While America is certainly one of the best countries to start a business, there are also unique risks in the Land of the Free. Many of these risks are legal.
The US is, by far, the most litigious country in the world, with business owners spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year defending against legal actions. Meanwhile, the sprawling list of federal and state regulations that businesses must follow is one of the largest out of any country on Earth.
As a business owner, you need to select a business lawyer before you can begin operations. Here’s how to choose a licensed business lawyer that will help you stay compliant and navigate America’s legal waters.
1. Know Why You Need a Business Lawyer
When browsing options for lawyers, the first thing you need to do is narrow them down. You should do this by considering carefully why you need a lawyer right now.
For example, you might be in the early stages of starting a business and might require someone with business law expertise to choose the right structure for you. Of course, according to LLCGuys – the most commonly chosen legal structure is an LLC and you will probably need this for your business.
For this, you might need a lawyer who can form an LLC on your behalf, to protect your business assets from all personal liability. This should be your starting point.
2. Select a Business Lawyer for Your Industry
A law firm could have the best references and reviews around, but that is no good to you if the lawyers have zero experience in your industry.
If your business operates in a specialized, highly regulated sector, you need a lawyer that knows that sector. If a firm does not have demonstrable experience in your field, consider looking elsewhere.
3. Choose Local
Oftentimes, the best lawyer for your business is already in your community. Unless you are planning on launching a massive corporation, you do not need a global law firm.
For your small business, you need a local lawyer with a strong understanding of the local regulations and laws that apply to you. An out-of-towner will not be able to offer this.
4. What’s the Billing Structure?
When comparing lawyer fees, there are multiple ways to assess what it will cost you. Some lawyers bill by the hour and even by hourly increments (i.e. 1/10th of an hour).
Others will bill accordingly to service, with a flat-free for, say, setting up your company’s legal structure. Always confirm with your lawyer what their billing structure is before you sign them up, and make sure your cash flow fits with it.
5. What Else Can They Bring to the Table?
A good business lawyer will always bring something extra to the table. This might include connections with more specialized lawyers that you might need in the future.
It might include regular legal seminars for business clients, to keep them up to speed on the laws that apply to them. Always ask your lawyer what they are bringing to the table.
The Law Can Help Your Business Grow
The right business lawyer will not only help you navigate the law but also use it to your advantage. When you select a business lawyer, you are selecting a legal steward that will both protect and grow your business in the long term.
To find out more about how the law can help your business thrive, we have got you covered. Make sure to consult our expertly-curated Law section for detailed insights on the changing face of American business law.