There are many challenges to growing a new business, and as an entrepreneur, you will be required to don a number of different hats when building your stature and network. There is one corner, though, that you will not be able to attempt or manage alone: law.
Legislation and regulation impact nearly every part of your business, and legal aid will be a requirement for correctly navigating the various legal challenges you will face on your journey – whether issues with compliance, legal disputes with partners or clients, or research into a new potential field. Due to the multifarious nature of law in business, it may behove you to work with a legal team with cross-disciplinary experience. How can you make an informed decision when choosing such a legal team?
Often, reputation is a strong place to start when canvassing for legal counsel or assistance – and a good initial criterion by which to measure potential candidates, in that it can save you a great deal of time. Canvassing partners or other local businesses within your industry for recommendations can lead you to legal firms with a proven track record.
Alternatively, you can simply search for reviews and testimonials of individual firms and professionals, in order to find out if they have a history of success. Conversely, learning of a poor reputation can allow you to swerve a firm that could cause more problems than they do solutions.
Of course, specialization is a wider consideration that naturally needs to be incorporated into your early search. Law is an extremely wide field, covering a vast array of subjects and niches. Not all legal professionals have the same experience, and indeed every firm or individual you encounter in law will have their own specialism or area of expertise.
When it comes to choosing legal assistance, first you need to have a proper understanding of the legal issue or topic you need advice, counsel, or representation for. The difference between employment law and intellectual copyright law is significant and choosing a qualified and experienced firm in your relevant corner is nothing short of necessary.
Read More: Basic Legal Compliances for Small Businesses
Every business has its own budget with regard to legal advice or representation, one often predicated on its available cash more than its size. Keeping a law firm on retainer may be a luxury only afforded to larger, more successful outfits, but representation for a single issue or event is different.
While small businesses should not make a habit of approaching larger, more expensive firms, the issue of budget is more complicated than sheer cost – potentially to the benefit of your business. Depending on the issue or case, a legal firm might take it on pro bono, taking fees only on successful judgment. Alternatively, payment plans may be possible to subsidize the upfront cost of advice or representation.