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Top Questions to Ask When Choosing a Business Attorney
The number of lawyers in the US could increase by 9% between 2020 and 2030. There are already 804,000 attorneys in the country. If you need a business attorney, it helps to know what you’re looking for.
Otherwise, you could waste valuable time and energy trying to find the best business lawyer on your list. Choosing a business lawyer who lacks experience could impact your company’s future.
Before hiring a business lawyer, make sure to ask these seven questions. Asking these questions will help you narrow down your options.
Then, you can feel confident knowing you’ve found the best business attorneys in Tampa.
Read on to discover how to choose a business lawyer today.
1. How Long Have You Worked as a Lawyer?
First, it’s important to make sure you choose a business lawyer with years of hands-on experience.
Talk to other business owners in your professional network. Ask if they’ve hired business attorneys in the past. Use their referrals to start building a list of options.
Otherwise, head online. Visit the local bar association website or Martindale-Hubbell law firm directory. Start looking for business law firms in town.
As you begin building your list of referrals, ask each business owner about their experience with their attorney. Create a list of questions to ask ahead of time. For example, you might want to learn:
- How long has the attorney worked in the industry
- How long have they specialized in business law
- What services do they provide
- How have they benefited your business
- Are they easy to talk to
- Would you recommend I hire someone else
Ask each business owner if they encountered problems with the attorney, too.
Then, learn more about the lawyer’s professional history. Consider what law school they graduated from and how long they’ve worked in the industry.
Finding a lawyer with years of hands-on experience helping clients will give you peace of mind. These lawyers will have a better understanding of the laws and procedures that can impact your business. If they lack experience, however, they could make a mistake that can hurt your business.
2. What’s Your Specialty?
It’s not enough to find a lawyer with years of experience in the industry, though. Make sure each lawyer on your list specializes in business law. Consider how long they’ve specialized, too.
The best business lawyer should have experience and expertise relevant to your needs. You can break business law in different areas and sub-specialties. Ask each business attorney about the areas they specialize in.
For example, they might have experience and knowledge relevant to:
- Government compliance
- Forming and incorporating businesses
- Banks and financial arrangements
- General tax laws applicable to businesses
- Real estate
Think about your business. Evaluate your short- and long-term business needs or goals. The best business lawyer can help you in those areas.
If you only need a lawyer for a specific legal matter, look for someone who specializes. Otherwise, think long-term. You might want to choose a lawyer who can help you in the future.
An experienced lawyer will have an easier time advising you about relevant issues. They can help you navigate new legal concerns as they arise, too.
Determine what percentage of their practice is devoted to representing businesses. Consider how often they offer the services they need, too.
If they haven’t offered the services you need in some time, choose a different attorney.
3. Can You Provide References?
Before choosing a business lawyer, learn from the people who were once in your shoes. Ask each attorney for a list of references. Check online for reviews as well.
You can check the law firm’s Better Business Bureau and Google My Business listings for reviews.
Take the time to read a handful of reviews from each resource. Try to find business lawyers who have strong, positive reputations.
You might find one or two negative comments. That’s normal. Look for any repetitive concerns, though.
For example, you might find some clients struggled to reach their lawyers. If you’re worried about communication issues, remove those lawyers from your list.
Finding a lawyer with a glowing reputation will give you peace of mind.
4. Can You Provide Proof of Your Credentials?
Only 14.4% of all US lawyers are certified members of the ABA.
Before hiring a business lawyer, ask each attorney on your list for proof they’re licensed to practice in Florida. If their credentials are out of date, remove them from your list. Otherwise, ask if they have any other board certifications.
You might find lawyers with memberships to state or national organizations. Make sure their certifications align with your needs.
For example, perhaps you need a business lawyer for an upcoming trial. Look for lawyers certified with the National Board of Trial Advocacy. These attorneys will have extensive courtroom experience.
They’ll have an easier time preparing you for court as a result.
5. Who Will Represent Me?
Before hiring a business attorney, determine who will act as your primary contact. Sometimes, you’ll communicate with a paralegal instead of your lawyer.
Try to find a lawyer who won’t delegate too many of your concerns over to someone else. Otherwise, you could waste time communicating back and forth with a paralegal and lawyer.
You’re investing time and money in finding a board-certified lawyer. Make sure they have time to dedicate to your business.
Ask how many clients they’re currently juggling. If their workload is too heavy, they might not dedicate time to your needs.
6. How Do You Communicate?
Ask each lawyer how they plan on communicating with you moving forward. Will you schedule office meetings or only communicate by phone and email?
Make sure their communication style suits your preferences. Otherwise, you might struggle to reach your lawyer when you need them.
7. What Are Your Fees?
Ask each lawyer on your list about their fees structure. For example, will they bill you by the hour? Some lawyers bill in odd increments instead.
Asking each lawyer about their fee structure can help you gauge the average price for their legal services. A more experienced lawyer might charge more.
Don’t make a decision based on price alone.
Select the Best: 7 Questions to Ask Your Business Attorney
Don’t hire the first business attorney in Tampa you find. Instead, use these tips to find the best business lawyer on your list. Hiring the best attorney will give you peace of mind.
They’ll become an important legal aid for your business moving forward.
Need a trusted advisor in your corner? We can help.
Contact us today to discuss your legal needs.
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