Trust me, it’s hard to make legal, sexy.
But, you know what is ALWAYS sexy?
In your bank account. In your hand. In your will for your heirs.
Also sexy are the following:
- Keeping your house, car and trinkets, even the ugly heirlooms, protected from lawsuits.
- Setting up agreements with partners you like and trust. (So you don’t hate them later).
- Keeping your brand & ideas protected…and remaining yours.
- Understanding your future risks and planning for and avoiding them.
All of the above can be accomplished with the assistance of a good, business lawyer.
A good, business lawyer can add to your profit…if you use them proactively.
But in a sea of attorneys in Google – How do you pick a good lawyer for your business?
A. First, decide WHEN you need one.
Generally your need for an attorney is triggered at the SAME TIME as your need for a CONTRACT.
Simple trigger for both: When your business is creating a debt or obligation to another person or entity.
Simply put – when is your business creating a debt to pay, OR an obligation to perform services/deliver a product for another person or entity (business).
Examples are: when you enter into a client agreement with an individual, loan obligation to a bank, bring on partners, etc.
B. Then it starts with you.
- Adopt a profit mindset NOW. Use your attorney as one of your PROFIT tools for your business growth.
- Engage them in your PLANNING process, not your REACTION process. Look at them as the “Let’s create” people…not the people you would call in the “Oh crap!” situations.
- Do not be intimidated by what you DO NOT KNOW. Attorneys (and CPAs) are literally there to assist you on your business journey. There are NO stupid questions.
- You are the client. You have the right to interview and hold your own attorney, accountable.
C. Then, consider the Attorney’s credibility.
- Are they barred in the state of your company incorporation or principle place of business? An attorney is barred within the state if they pass the state bar to practice law.
- Are they a BUSINESS attorney that practices business law. Not family law or criminal law only. Some attorneys practice more than one type of law (this is fine – just make sure you know what their specialty is).
- What’s their Industry credibility? Avvo rated, American Bar Association or State Bar Association. Look for external areas of credibility or ratings besides their state Bar license.
- Relationship matters. Look for long-term relationship not a transactional relationship. – Are they picking up what your future plans will be? Can you have a real conversation with them on the status of your business? Are they solutions-oriented to your issue? OR…. consistently labeling risks and liabilities without solving the problem?
- Have they assisted companies in your sector and/or industry before? What’s their past experience?
- Flat fees? Generally, business transactional work such as incorporation, contract review can be billed at comprehensive flat fees. Which means one price for everything to do with the transaction, including meetings, calls, reviews. This allows for fluid connection and transparency without you being concerned about the time. For more complex matters, such as litigation or mergers/acquisitions, an hourly fee is standard fare where you may be billed for every 6 or 15 minutes of their time.
- Check ins beyond your need? How’s their followup?
- Do they teach or have other resources for you to learn from? Look for blogs or seminars that you can join and learn from.
- Referred by another service provider or client? – Referrals are the best form of authenticity and validation. Ask the person referring you on their experience with the attorney.
Remember, a solid business attorney is a key player on your Profit Tools: Your TEAM.
All roads lead back to Legal.
Love your legal.
Use your legal.