Owning a business comes with many moving parts. Some you can handle yourself, while others you need to look for professional assistance. Although you may not believe you need their services, it is always a good idea to have them on standby. Hiring a corporate lawyer or accountant is a prime example.
Most businesses can get by with only needing an accountant at tax time. There is accounting software that assists in recordkeeping. When it comes to legal issues, you want to speak to someone with business law experience.
If you're a business owner wondering if you need to keep a lawyer on retainer, the short answer is yes. Keep reading for five things to consider when researching a business lawyer.
1. Hiring a Corporate Lawyer with Industry Experience
Every business industry has specific liabilities. For example, someone in the beauty industry has different risks than someone operating a daycare. When hiring a corporate lawyer in Toronto, you want someone familiar with your industry.
Be prepared to ask industry-specific questions. The attorney you're speaking with may have business law experience in one area, but an associate in the firm is knowledgeable about your industry.
2. Affordable Rates Without Compromising
Outlining your need for legal services should be a part of your business plan. When creating an annual budget, make a line item for legal services. You may think registering with an online legal service is more cost-effective...think again.
Do your research and find local law firms. Ask if they offer retainer services and compare lawyer fees. Being expensive doesn't always equate to being the best. There are exceptional lawyers to fit every budget.
3. Longevity in the Service Area
Lawyers for businesses can have experience in many different areas. You'll want to zero in on their business law experience. Ask where they went to law school.
You'll also want to know what led them to focus on business law and how many years they've practiced in this field.
4. Trustworthy References
In the digital era, we have access to online client reviews. Online reviews are a valuable tool. Don't just look for the overall rating score. Look for reviews that explain why the client would or would not recommend the attorney.
Remain objective when considering hiring a corporate lawyer with a few poor reviews.
5. Proven Track Record
Last, you want a firm with proven business law experience. An attorney's best attribute is the ability to resolve issues without stepping into the courtroom. Ask about their biggest legal win and their win/loss ratio.
Don't Get Caught Without Legal Representation
Hiring a corporate lawyer in Toronto is vital to your business. There are multiple reasons why you may need a lawyer at some point. It's best to have a relationship with a law firm already. Otherwise, you're forced to choose someone while under pressure to resolve a legal matter.
If you're in the Toronto area, we'd love to meet with you and learn about your business. Click here to see the different business law services at Picov & Kleinberg Law.