Legal Services

Where to go for business legal advice

Even the smallest business will, from time to time, need to consult lawyers for professional legal advice. In fact, perhaps there's no more important time to have access to business legal services than when first starting a business: the advice of a lawyer can make those initial and sometimes confusing first steps all that much easier to understand and follow. Establishing a solid foundation with a lawyer from the get-go can make continual legal assistance more convenient (and perhaps even more affordable) in the future.

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Whether it's for signing contracts with outside employees, hiring new internal staff, acquiring new properties or merging services with other firms, consultation with a professional law firm is as important to overall business success as business development consulting or software consulting.

How to Find Legal Services

One of the simplest ways you can find an effective lawyer is to simply head onto the nearest Internet-connected computer. Through online search services, new, established and prospective business owners can filter through many local lawyers in just a few minutes, narrowing down the field to those with expertise in only the most relevant areas.

Another idea is to inquire with your State Bar Association, which will likely list its bar members by name, region and specialization.

A third option for acquiring the legal help your business needs is referrals. This can be as simple as asking fellow colleagues or friendly competitors for the names and specializations of lawyers in the area. However, some law firms also offer referral services, putting a potential client in contact with a lawyer in a specific field for a small fee (or for free).

Examine Your Attorneys

It's important to be up-front with a lawyer about the services you need them to provide, your company's budget and its future profit forecast. Ask a lot of questions of any lawyer you're considering hiring. Establish whether or not their field and particular experience is right for your business: less experienced legal experts may be more knowledgeable in a specific field – and cheaper – than longer-established lawyers. Finally, make sure you understand everything that's being put in front of you – if a lawyer's language becomes incomprehensible legal-speak, it could be a sign that they're simply not ready to work with a business like yours.