As a small business owner, you are probably thinking – “Do we really need a corporate attorney?”. Fact is you probably used the basic advice of a lawyer for setting up your business, and as your small business grows and becomes a brand, you will need legal advice and assistance, more often than expected. If your business is based in San Francisco, you can expect to hire firms like SPZ Legal for corporate council. Before you do that, here are some tips to consider.
Don’t wait for trouble
Many small businesses make the mistake of avoiding corporate lawyers, until they end up with a case related to patents, or something like a lawsuit filed by a customer. You should have a corporate attorney for the company from day one, so that there is no time wasted, when a problem actually crops up. Start looking for corporate lawyers as soon as you start operations, and allow them to handle all legal matters, including aspects like real estate transactions.
References are handy
Always rely on references for reviewing corporate law firms. Note that corporate law is complicated and is very different from personal injury law. You need a legal team that has both experience and expertise to handle every possible matter, and in that context, your fellow small business owners may have a few references.
Check their website
Almost everycorporate lawyer or law firm has a website these days, and you can find all sorts of details on their web pages. Check if they have information related to case studies, highlight the clients they work with and offer advice for free on selected matters. A professional corporate law firm will take their web presence and brand very seriously.
Insist on a personal meeting
The first couple of meetings with the corporate lawyer’s team are critical for knowing their work better. Get references if needed, or simply ask questions about their profile. For instance, how many lawyers work for the firm? What kind of small business matters do they handle for other clients? How do they charge clients?
Your corporate lawyer is a big asset for your small business, and we strongly suggest that you think of long-term collaboration and select a law firm that has the necessary understanding of your niche and nature of operations. It is always possible to hire a firm later, if you are not happy with the results.