Attorneydiction.com,- My mentor Brendon Burchard told me, “don’t let your small business make you think small.” Think of yourself as the CEO. Every great CEO surrounds himself with very smart people. You need a smart Business Attorney around your corner.
You may not think you need a business attorney. But when you know you need it, it’s usually too late. Even if you think you don’t need a lawyer right now, it’s important to have a relationship with someone. You never know when you will need it.
A wise business attorney can keep problems from occurring. Even though it takes money to rent, it may cost you a lot less than it would cost you to tackle a big problem. You need a lawyer around your corner. You need someone who can protect you from doing things the wrong way.
Get out there and network and connect with several different types of attorneys:
Business attorney (business contracts and deals)
Employment law attorneys (ask them about the employee handbook)
Intellectual property lawyer (patent / copyright / trademark)
Court attorney (tell them about your business)
Here are 8 things you need to know when working with a attorney, more specifically a business attorney
1) If you work with a customer, supplier, vendor, attorney can create a contract that protects you. Better to be safe than sorry. Satan is in the details … CYA big time here. I can’t tell you how many of my clients have had problems because their customers didn’t sign very good contracts.
2) Hire a business attorney who specializes in the area you need. So far only a general practitioner can take you before he refers you to a specialist. For example, if you need a lawyer to work out a contract you can use with your clients, don’t hire a family lawyer.
3) If you hire a lawyer who is a solopreneur and is not part of a large company, you will likely pay a lower hourly rate. While that may be good, it’s important for you to know that your attorney may not have access to the resources that large corporations have – other lawyers, more support staff, etc.
4) Hire a lawyer by reference. Get references and contact them. Also check in.
5) Hire a business attorney who trusts you and your business. They need to tap into your vision and support you as you grow. Make sure they are supporters for you, and work with you. For example, if they say “You can’t do that,” maybe they should brainstorm you to see “how you can do it.”
6) Be clear what’s on the clock and what’s on the time. A large number of lawyers work every hour. Their time is money. If you ask them to do something, make sure you know in advance how much it will cost. The last thing you want is a financial shock. Make sure you understand their payment method when emailing them.
7) If you have created a product or service, you may need to submit the trademark to the US patent office. You should definitely consider working with an intellectual property attorney. After all, why not protect something you’ve worked so hard for?
8) Who will do the work? The lawyer you hired? Their junior allied lawyer? Paralegal? Sometimes the attorney will leave part of the menial work to a colleague or paralegal. That might save you money, but make sure your attorney will thoroughly review the work and be actively involved with your stuff. Go and see a lawyer next week. Only one. You never know when you will need it.***