When going into business with anyone it is important to not only make sure that you are partnering with someone who you not only like but, who will have your best interest in mind. Hiring the right business lawyer is vital to the future of your business in case anything goes wrong. Your attorney can advise you on a variety of matters from the type of business you’re starting to figuring out how to handle complex legal situations. They’re there to support you through any conflicts or incidents that arise. As time goes on and your lawyer gets to know you and your business better, they will become one of your most valuable assets. Keep reading to learn how you can and why you should develop a relationship with a business lawyer.

How to hire the right lawyer for your business

Business lawyers are not one-size-fits-all. As with all important relationships, it’s paramount to make sure you’re professionally compatible. Take your time in finding the right legal support for your specific business needs.

Consider your company’s needs.

First, find a business law firm that has experience dealing with companies in your sector. Knowledge of your industry means they’ll be better able to protect your business against the types of issues that affect it.

Research attorneys and ask for referrals.

Researching lawyers can be daunting. The sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. Online reviews are amazingly helpful. Look past online ratings and take time to read actual client reviews, especially those in the same industry as you.

Ask other business owners about their experiences with their attorneys. Referrals from others in your industry are helpful. Ask other business owners how they resolved conflicts or tough situations. Knowing that a lawyer has been successful in representing other business owners is a good indicator that they can fulfill your needs as well.

Conduct an initial interview.

Make a shortlist of candidates and sit down with each one. Ask questions and follow up on their responses. The conversation should leave you feeling confident in their abilities.

Find out about their experience in your specific industry. Get them to share why they think they would best represent your business. Explain what your goals are as a business owner, and ask them how they can help you achieve them.

Trust your instincts. While knowledge and experience are important, you need to feel that you can communicate comfortably with your attorney and that you trust their judgment.

Why you should hire a business lawyer

Over time, your business lawyer will prove useful in many ways. They’ll learn about you and your business’s needs and direction. They will be able to make recommendations to improve the areas of your company. It’s smart to get your attorney involved as much as possible.

Business startup advice

It’s best to use your business lawyer’s guidance and expertise even before your company gets off the ground. Creating your company with a strong legal foundation can protect you in the long run. This investment will likely save you money for years to come.

Deciding on the type of business that you form is complicated. The most common choices are a limited liability company (LLC), a sole proprietorship, a partnership and a corporation. Each structure has varying degrees of liability and tax implications. Choosing the right option will protect you in the long run, save you money for years to come and potentially shield you from personal liability.

Contract creation and enforcement

All business relationships with your customers and suppliers are governed by contracts. Your lawyer can make sure that such agreements provide your company with the highest degree of protection. They can also check over suppliers’ contracts and give you advice on whether or not you should sign them.

The right contract is particularly important if you’re going into business with a family member or friend. You can avoid ugly situations later by getting the terms of your agreement in writing. Your attorney can create a contract to protect the interests of all parties involved.

Your lawyer will create a contract for your customers outlining what you will provide to them and how and when they pay you. Depending on whether you are a service company or selling a product, what you need in your contracts will vary.

You also need a contract to deal with consultants and contractors. Your attorney can draft a contract that clearly details the work they will perform for you as well as when they get paid.

Click here to read more about developing a relationship with a business lawyer

Original article published on business.com

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