The 5 Questions Every Startup Should Ask When Hiring A Lawyer

Man drawing artwork of "Start up" on a grey wall

There are a great deal of thoughts and concerns that arise when you’re starting your own business. Many entrepreneurs will take the crucial step of hiring a lawyer before their company begins doing business in earnest. Having a lawyer’s expertise in your corner can help to diffuse a number of minor issues before they can become major ones. These are the questions that should be asked when hiring a lawyer for your startup.

  1. What Is My Best Fit?

    One of the more common mistakes made when hiring a lawyer is choosing the one who is best on paper, without regard to their specific fit. When you are running your own business, you will be spending a great deal of time alongside your legal representative. So, it behooves you to select one who is well versed in the area of business you will be plying your trade in and also has a pleasant demeanor.
  2. How Will I Be Billed?

    Every lawyer has their own methods for billing clients and a client should be asking about them during the early stages, so that there is no confusion at a later date. Some lawyers will decide to bill you for their services by the hour and these hours are typically divided into certain increments. Junior and senior lawyers charge different rates for their services, which should also be a consideration.

  3. What Are The Costs of Incorporation?

    Whether you are forming a corporation or an LLC, you will be spending at least $2,000 and as much as $5,000, but there are lawyers that will provide discounts during this crucial process. The more founders that your company has, the more bells and whistles you’ve included, the higher your costs will be. The lawyer also helps with the handling of certain items and provides tips about stock options and other common issues that crop up during the LLC/corporation process.

  4. What Do I Focus On When My Budget Is Small?

    The majority of businesses are started on a shoestring budget. As such, prudent business owners will focus their capital on the truly important priorities. This includes differentiating the rights and privileges of each founder, protecting any and all intellectual properties, learning all pertinent information that pertains to tax consequences and establishing protection from potential liabilities.

  5. What Red Flags Should Alarm Me Most?

    You should not hire a lawyer who is not extremely well versed in the terminology that your business will be using. You will also want a lawyer with a high level of experience, not one who is using your small business as a dry run to learn the ins and outs of your particular field. Last, but certainly not least, a top notch lawyer clearly spells out all of your costs during the hiring stages and does not surprise you with additional charges.

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