Not sure what to look for in a business attorney or even if you need one? Business expert Barbara Weltman offers her advice on finding the right person.
You may have different legal issues that come up at different times, and you want to seek an attorney who is expert in the particular matter at hand. Ask yourself what you want an attorney for. Likely, you're going to use different attorneys for different purposes. For example, you may want one attorney to advise you on the best way to setup your business. In other words, whether to incorporate, or form a limited liability company. You may need another attorney to review a commercial lease, or someone to look over contracts that you want to sign. You may have employment issues and you want to ask an attorney specific employment related questions, or maybe you have a specific problem. Let's say you have a government issue with an agency such as OSHA, you want an attorney who's familiar with the specific issue, who's handled similar issues in the past. You should be upfront about the cost of an attorney. Find out whether you're going to have to pay a retainer, what the attorney's hourly rate is, and I – I think you can ask around to know whether that rate is reasonable. Typically, the rates are kind of similar in a particular location that you're based in, but the rates are going to vary depending on the expertise of the attorney and what specific issues you're dealing with.