Posted by Minna Boyle on 5 March 2019
As a small business owner, talking to a lawyer can often be a daunting experience.
Every time you think about your business legals, a bunch of questions probably come to mind:
What do I even need?
Who should I ask?
How do I know if they’re doing the right thing for my business?
How much is it going to cost?
Are they going to charge me in 6-minute intervals?
Are they even good?
If you’re feeling this way, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Many small businesses avoid seeking legal help because of these barriers. But this isn’t fair at all! The law applies to everyone – so why should you live in uncertainty about your legal protection, while bigger businesses can relax knowing they’re covered?
It may seem like there are no suitable law firms available for your small business – but thankfully this isn’t the case. The legal industry is rapidly changing and becoming more accessible for SMEs, and it’s your chance to take advantage of it.
So to help you get started, here are 3 quick tips to help you find and choose a small business lawyer.
Find A Lawyer Online
In the past, SMEs wouldn’t be able to afford the big law firms, so they’d have to seek help from the sole legal practice in their local shopping centre or the main street.
Thankfully, there are many more options these days as more and more lawyers are available online!
So just like everything else in your life, you can search for a small business lawyer online. You can also look to social media groups or other online platforms for suggestions, but often a Google search is the easiest way to start.
You should also check their reviews on Google reviews to get an idea of how others found their experience with them.
Find The Right Expertise
One big concern for many businesses is finding a lawyer that has experience working with similar businesses.
If you’re not familiar with the law, it’s hard to know whether or not your lawyer is actually doing a good job for you. That’s why it’s worth finding a lawyer that has the right specialisation.
Your local lawyer may say they can help with your business contracts, but their website says they do everything from wills and estates, selling property, and criminal law – but if they’re a team of two, you might want to consider whether they’re really the best.
You really want to be careful so that you choose a lawyer who specialises in business legal services. You can use your local lawyer for personal stuff, but leave your business to a business law expert.
Find A Lawyer You Trust
This one is tricky, because it can be very personal. You don’t have to like your lawyer as a person, but you do have to trust that they will have your best interests at heart and deliver you what you ask for.
Especially when you search for a lawyer online that you’ve never used before, it can be hard to know whether they are trustworthy.
Here are some qualities to look out for when you’re looking for a lawyer you can trust:
Your lawyer should be open and honest with you – about price, timing, and any other questions you have.
Having clear fees and timelines is a great start.
You can also ask them about their location, experience and process to get an idea of how they work.
A lawyer with a confusing, convoluted process is hard to trust.
You should know exactly how it’s going to work in terms of communication, payment, and deliverables.
Don’t be shy to ask for more information about their process, and you might get an insight into how the firm operates.
Who wants to work with someone who takes weeks to get back to an email?
Try to find a legal team that gets back to you quickly, sends you regular updates and is happy to answer your questions.
Usually, you’ll be able to gauge this from the initial contact with the law firm.
Invested In You
Finally, it’s easier to trust a lawyer who really cares about understanding your business and requirements.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re just one of many clients that they are churning through. If your lawyer treats you like that, not only is it poor customer service but they probably aren’t doing the best job for you.
The right lawyer should have the patience to listen to your concerns. They may not agree with everything you ask for – it’s their job to give you their professional advice, and it’s not always easy to hear.
But the important thing is that they are fully informed about your perspective and dedicated to getting the best outcome for you.
What To Take Away…
Finding a lawyer for your small business is not easy – but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your legals altogether!
If you’re stuck on where to go to get legal help for your business, you can try searching online for a law firm you can trust that specialises in business legals.
By the way, we didn’t just write this article to help you find other lawyers… These are the things we value as a law firm, so if you’re on the same page as us, let us know! We always offer a free, no-obligation chat and all of our services come in fixed-fee packages, tailored for small businesses and startups.