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When do you need a small business attorney, and what do you ask an attorney to figure out if they're the perfect fit for your company?
As a small business, costs can be something that you need to keep tabs of. And, hiring an attorney can be a major cost, especially if you're looking to find someone reputable.
Part of being a savvy business owner means that business owners should be cognizant of what to look for when hiring a small business attorney - and what they can actually handle on their own.
When do you need an attorney?
Certain issues don't require an attorney to address. For example, if you have training and experience in writing business plans, you could probably write one yourself. And, you could likely be able to write your own business' operating agreement, and apply for your employer identification number (EIN), which is necessary for employee taxes.
Of course, if you feel overwhelmed by these tasks, or feel that it's necessary to consult a lawyer, retaining a lawyer is always an option. However, consulting a business attorney can be something vital when your business has more complex issues, such as if someone has filed a lawsuit against you, or if you wish to negotiate the sale of your company or the purchase of another.
What should you look for in a small business attorney?
The first step is to find an attorney who is familiar with the issues that you are encountering. And, if possible, find attorneys that have referrals or who can have past clients that can vouch for their ability to handle issues similar to your own.
Since you'll be hiring the attorney and corresponding with them about any of the issues that arise, calling them or meeting them in person to judge if their personality will work well with yours is also vitally important.
For many business owners, searching for a small business attorney online can be a good way to start the hunt for the perfect attorney, but be sure that what you ask the attorney also clarifies their roles, responsibilities, and what you want out of their representation.