Insureon Blog

How to find a lawyer for your business startup

25. June 2019 17:10

Business owner speaking with a lawyer

By Hannah Fillmore-Patrick, Insureon Contributor

Entrepreneurs are risk takers. While taking smart risks is what propels a new business to success, it’s good to have someone focused on the legal implications of your business too. A lawyer can give your startup legal advice, negotiate effectively with partners and competitors, and represent your business in lawsuits.

Here’s how to find, vet, and choose a lawyer for your new business.

Finding a lawyer for your startup

Not all startups need the same type of lawyer. If you need help registering your business’s intellectual property, for example, you might need a copyright lawyer. If you’re looking for advice on your startup’s tax situation, you might need a commercial tax attorney. And if you need someone to defend your startup in court, you might need a business malpractice lawyer.

Once you know which type of lawyer you’re looking for, recommendations from people you know are often the best and quickest way to find a good lawyer. If you’re plugged into the local startup scene, ask other business owners about their lawyers and let people at startup incubators, co-working spaces, and industry events know that you’re looking for a startup lawyer.

The internet is another good place to look for a lawyer. You can filter lawyers by location and area of practice with online databases, such as the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory and Lawyers.com. Many lawyers feature testimonials on their websites, which let you see the type of clients and legal issues they have experience with.

What to ask your potential lawyer

It’s a good idea to meet with several lawyers, so that you understand all your options before you choose the one that’s right for your startup. Many law firms offer free consultations, particularly if you were referred to them by a current client. During this consultation, be sure to ask questions about your potential lawyer’s experience, clients, connections, and rates, as well as their thoughts about business risk and growth.

Here are a few questions you might want to ask when you meet your potential lawyer for the first time:

During the consultation, make it clear that you need a lawyer who’s skilled in getting new businesses off the ground. Many business lawyers have only worked with established businesses and may not be prepared for the complexities of working with a startup.

Choosing the right lawyer for your business startup

Choose a lawyer who understands your industry, has worked with new businesses before, and sympathizes with your business strategy. A great startup lawyer shares your strategic vision or, at least, won’t second-guess the nonlegal aspects of your business. Look for someone you enjoy working with and, most importantly, can trust.

Here are a few other things to take into consideration as you choose a lawyer for your business startup:

The best startup lawyer is the one who, later on, you never seem to need. A good startup lawyer will lay a solid legal foundation for your business, allowing you to grow your startup free of legal obstacles like compliance issues, tax liability, and expensive litigation.

Tags:

Lawyers | Small Business Risk Management | Tips for All Small Businesses

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