Checklist for Hiring a Small Business Attorney
As a small business owner, you probably have a lot of people working for you. Is one of them a small business attorney?
If no, why not? A small business lawyer can take care of all the legal requirements of owning a business, defend your business from employee harassment and discrimination claims, facilitate business deals, and draft favorable contracts. Do you have the expertise to do that yourself?
If you don't have a small business attorney, hire one. Don't worry it can be pretty simple. Here's a checklist for hiring a small business attorney:
1. Find an Experienced Attorney
Don't know where to find an attorney? We got that covered. Search our Lawyer's Directory for a listing of local business attorneys.
Found an attorney you may like, but are unsure about him or her? You can check their credentials online on your state's state bar website. There, you can check to see how long they have been in practice and see if they have ever been disciplined for ethical violations.
2. Ask Questions
You interview your employees before you hire them. Why not interview your attorney before you hire them too?
Ask about their specialties and experience. Get a clear answer on how much they charge and how they charge for their time. If you don't like the answers, then shop around for another attorney.
3. Gather Your Documents
Don't go see your attorney empty handed. Gather and bring your business' contracts, accounting books, business plan, licenses and permits, and any other applicable documents to help your attorney better understand your business.
4. Don't Forget to Discuss These Issues
Don't just hire your lawyer to write a contract for you. Have the lawyer examine your business practices to ensure that all your business practices are legal.
Discrimination, harassment, and injury suits are major issues that can get small business owners sued. Another dicey area is advertising. Improper advertising could cost you more money than the advertising brings in.
Discuss your hiring policy, anti-discrimination and harassment policy, advertising policy and even insurance coverage with your attorney to make sure you're not breaking laws or exposing your business to liabilities.
What are you waiting for? Go find an experienced local business attorney!
- Browse Business & Commercial Lawyers by Location (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- When Do I Need a Business Lawyer for My Small Business? (FindLaw's Learn About The Law)
- Starting a Business? 5 Legal Areas to Learn (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
- Retaining a Lawyer for Your Business: 3 Things to Know (FindLaw's Free Enterprise)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.