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Part of being a responsible business owner is knowing that sometimes you need legal help. If you lack expertise in law, hiring an attorney that is skilled in the regulations and statutes enforced on businesses is the best thing you can do for your business.

An attorney can inform you of up-to-date private and public laws that deal with merchandising, trades, and sales, keeping your business functioning smoothly without any major hiccups. They can also second as your personal attorney. Selecting a lawyer that’s not only skilled, but the right fit for you can take a little bit of research and time; however, the rewards show themselves immediately.

Check Credentials

This is a very important part of hiring an attorney. Today, there are multiple ways to print out fake licenses for unsavory persons to hang up on their walls. This is why you must conduct a background search and contact your state bar association. Ask the lawyer to provide you with examples of their previous work history, cases, clients, etc.—anything that they can divulge without breaking client confidentiality.

Get Recommendations

Word of mouth is a large part of an attorney’s reputation. How the community as a whole views an attorney or firm can tell you a lot about them. Contact business associates and ask for recommendations, keeping in mind your particular business needs. They can shed some light on what is available in your area.

Focus on the following when vetting recommendations:

  •    Areas of expertise

You’ll want to choose someone that knows the ins and outs of your type of business.

  •    The size of the law firm or attorney’s client load

Don’t choose someone that already has a lot on their plate.

  •    Fees

You have a budget you need to adhere to, so find someone that charges a fair price for excellent service.

Read Online Reviews

Don’t stop your search after asking for recommendations. There are websites where you can plug in keywords that will give you a list of reputable attorneys for hire. The Internet also has client reviews, which can give you valuable insight and, at the very least, give you topics to address if you decide to interview that lawyer. A good attorney can think fast on their feet and will be able to address negative reviews.

Have A Consultation

Almost all lawyers and firms offer free or low-cost consultations to prospective clients. Narrow down your search and schedule a consultation to discuss your business, the needs that the attorney will fill, and what you would expect out of their service.

Also, ask them questions that are creative or out of the box to obtain a deeper understanding of how they operate:

  •    “How has your law firm evolved over the years?”

Learn about the lawyer’s development.

  •   “Which is more important: success or money?

Depending upon their answer, you’ll know if their goals align with your own.

  •    “What do you enjoy most about your work?”

This is pretty clear-cut. Are they passionate about the law? If so, it will show in the service that they provide.

  •    “What are the qualities of a successful business?”

Open the floor on what they view as responsible business practices.

  •    “What is one challenge you foresee and what do you recommend doing to solve it?”

Gauge their efficiency and ability to create creative solutions on the spot.

  •    “Do you have any hesitations about taking me on as a client?”

This is very eye opening and informative; be prepared to address what they say calmly and professionally.)

Utilize a few icebreakers; keep it professional, but also choose what will provide you with the answers you seek.

  •    “What are three words you would use to describe yourself?”
  •    “What motivates you?”
  •    “How do you perform under pressure?”
  •    “If you could go to dinner with any three people, who and why?”

Finalizing Your Decision

The most important thing to do is to select the business attorney that best complements your business. Incorporate all aspects of your research into your decision-making process: reputation, recommendations, credentials, fees, experience and expertise, and lastly, what you learned during the consultation process.

As a responsible business owner, you know that your business needs to be up to code and following all regulations, like licensure, to ensure that your business runs smoothly. A proper attorney, the right attorney, can show you the proper methods for taxes, sales, and profits; purchasing within your country and outside of it (international laws can be complex); and so much more.

Explore your options, get to know what is available to you, and choose the right fit!