Getting the Maximum Advantage Out of Your Business Lawyer

How to make the most of having a business lawyer and get the maximum benefit out of the relationship.

Once you have successfully established a relationship with a lawyer, you need to make sure that you are using him to full utility and to the best interest of your business. You must keep channels of competition open at all times. When you find out lawyer who can help you or your business, understands your business needs and does a good job in keeping the legal problems in check, you have found a valuable asset for your business. It is up to you to use this asset whenever required and to take out its full potential.

It is advised that you should meet with your lawyers regularly. Even once a month. While this may seem counterproductive to keeping the legal costs low, you would be surprised how it enables you to reduce your day-to-day consultation with your attorney thus bringing down the costs and more importantly helps you nip certain legal problems in the bud before they have a chance to escalate into something more complicated.

It is a good idea to arrange annual meetings with your attorney to discuss the past years progressed and plan goals for the coming year.

Keeping in touch with your lawyer and business attorney will also help you estimate how good a job he is doing. Usually the quickest measure of your attorneys competency is to realize how many legal difficulties you’re still facing.

Lawyers are not only supposed to solve problems but they should also fend them off in advance by bringing up solutions to potential legal issues and problems that the business can face in the future. This is somewhere where the experience of a lawyer can come in handy.

Even if the lawyer is not very experienced, a competent professional always does extensive research or refers to someone who can help in a situation that he is not well versed with. That said, when you hire a lawyer for your business, he should be somebody who is well aware of and has a good knowledge of business laws and legal structure of small businesses. A good lawyer is a competent professional who returns phone calls, meets deadlines and follows through on promises.

Make sure that your attorney is helping you meet your business goals, control legal ramifications, does not burden you with undue legal costs and is a support system for your business.

Using Prepaid Legal Services For Your Small Business

Using a Prepaid Legal Service can cut down the cost of getting legal guidance and help for a small business tremendously.

Something that has caught on in popularity in the recent times is prepaid legal services. Prepaid legal services help a business combat the rising legal costs and helps the business get certain basic and preliminary legal service from a reputed and respected source without having to pay the earth for it.

Prepaid legal services are not limited to providing basic legal support but also extend 2 extensive legal guidance and solutions. Prepaid legal services are about charging a fixed monthly fee and offering a package of services such as say Unlimited phone consultation, review of 5 contracts per month, up to 10 get collection letters per month and discount on other legal services.

A prepaid legal service can cost as little as $15 a month to $200 or more.

It has been established by a few experts that many and in fact most of the legal problems faced by small businesses can be resolved with a single telephone call. This is where a prepaid legal service comes in handy as it allows phone consultation with a respected law firm which otherwise might have been out of the businesses budget.

The way a prepaid legal service works is that they usually have a contract with one law firm in each state to handle routine matters. In this way the prepaid legal service is one of the law firm’s biggest clients. When you call up the law firm as a subscriber to the prepaid legal service you get a better reception and more attention than you otherwise could have hoped for when speaking directly with the law firm itself. This is an obvious advantage of dealing with the prepaid legal service. Not only are you better received and given more attention but you also get to consult with the specialists at considerably reduced rates.

Here are some of the points to keep in mind when considering using a prepaid legal service for your business.

What kind of package are being offered? Since prepaid legal services charge a fixed monthly amount and deliver a packet Stevie, make sure that the package includes the kind of services that you require for your business.: Since the service in the package may be limited, ask about the charges for others extended services as well.

Would you prefer to build a relationship with one lawyer and attorney who understands your business goals and future growth prospects and is available for consultation on a more one-to-one basis as opposed to having to talk to a different lawyer every time you call.

Consider the quality of work that you might receive from a prepaid legal service. You should try and get a reference from other entrepreneurs who have used so services and maybe even get a recommendation. Asked how the company would handle a conflict of interest in case you have a dispute against the business who also uses the same prepaid legal from.

For more information, contact the American Prepaid Legal Services InstituteAt 321 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610 or visit their website at www.APLSI.org.

How To Cut Down the Expense Of Your Business Lawyer

Tips for cutting down costs of a business lawyer.

Many entrepreneurs get daunted by hiring a lawyer for the business wing to the cost that it signifies. Hiring a lawyer conjures up images of skyrocketing legal bills. However, there are various ways on you can keep control over the Expense that you undertake by hiring legal advice and guidance for business.

Learn more about how lawyers charge and how you can use the various systems to keep the building cost of your business lawyer low.

Hourly or per diem rate. Most lawyers charge by the hour. If traveling is involved they may charge extra.

Charging by a flat fee. Some attorneys and lawyers can also suggest a flat charge for certain routine matters such as reviewing contracts and processing loan documentation.

Monthly retainer. One of the options that you can use is to pay a fixed monthly fee to the lawyer if you anticipate a lot of routine questions and legal advice.

Contingency fee. Many lawyers often work on a contingency basis which means that for lawsuits and complex legal matters they receive a percentage of the proceeds if they happen to succeed in the legal proceedings., And contingency fee ranges between 25% to 40%. In case they fail to get and deliver the outcomes you require, they received only the expenses.

Value billing. Some lawyers and law firms bill at a higher rate on business matters if they can obtain a favorable result such as associating a contract that saves the client thousands of dollars. You should typically try and avoid this method which is also known as partial contingency.

If you think any one method will work better for you than the other, you can try and negotiate with the attorney. The attorney may be also willing to offer flexible arrangement to meet your particular business needs.

When you hire a lawyer to draw up an agreement known as an engagement letter detailing the business and billing method find out if more than one lawyer works on your file make sure that you specify the rate for each attorney separately so that you are not charged a higher fee meant for one of the primary lawyers in a from when your work is being done by the associate who charges less.

This agreement should also specify what out of the pocket expenses you are expected to reimburse. Some will seek reimbursement for means, secretarial overtime, postage, photocopies which many people consider to be part of business expense. You should agree to reimburse only the reasonable and necessary out of pocket expenses. If you find unexpected charges and expenses on your bill, you should ask your lawyer for authorization.

Get an estimate beforehand.

You can also ask a lawyer to give you an estimate of how each legal process or procedure is going to cost in advance. This will give you an idea about the kind of legal costs that you are facing in the future. Some lawyers will also guarantee you a cap in writing. This will be the maximum cost of a particular service. This can help you budget and give you a more accurate idea of how much you can expect to incur increased legal costs allowing you to budget for it more accurately.

What increment does the lawyer used to calculate the fee. A lawyer can keep his track of time in increments of as less as 5 min. or as long as half an hour. The shorter the increment the more you are likely to save over quick phone calls and short advices. Using larger time increment could result in you getting built $50 for a five-minute phone call.

Request a monthly itemized bill. Many lawyers wait for the build to get reasonably large before the Senate across to the customer. This can result in you getting unmanageably large legal bills suddenly and out of the blue. In order to avoid this ask for a monthly itemized bill from a lawyer. This will also help you monitor the costs and review them for any excessive fee which may be a result of too many people working on your file or the wrong people or even a mistake in the billing.

Prompt payment discount. See if you can negotiate with the lawyer to give you up prompt payment discount. A prompt payment discount can be in the range of 5 to 10% and be extended to you for being a prompt payment customer who pays within 30 days of the invoice date.

Prepare before a meeting or consultation with the business lawyer. When you need to consult your lawyer on some business issue, make sure that you arrange all the necessary documents and know exactly what you want to discuss. You can even fax the necessary documents to the lawyer in advance so that he does not have to waste time reading them during the actual meeting. Being prepared for consultation and meeting with your business lawyer will help you save time and money. Organizing yourself in this manner will also avoid you having to call your attorney many times during a single day. As he you should avoid doing this anyway because it is likely to create problems between you and your business lawyer. No one appreciates too much of their time getting taken for nonessential issues. No one also likes and unorganized and unprofessional approach to dealing with business problems and issues.

Meet with the lawyer regularly. While this may not seem like such a good idea specially if you’re trying to keep the legal costs down, meeting with your lawyer regularly is actually very effective in reducing the phone calls and the number of and you have to refer to your lawyer otherwise. Even a monthly meeting of 5 to 10 min. can help you take care of legal problems before they happen and have had a chance to grow into something more unmanageable.

How to Find the Right Attorney/Lawyer for Your Business

How to find a good business lawyer.

The most common and reliable way to find a good business attorney is perhaps get recommendations from reliable sources. You can ask your business associates, other business owners in the same industry as yours or take advice from your bankers and accountants who are trusted people to give you a recommendation of lawyers suitable for your business. Make sure that you speak to people you trust. When approaching other business owners, make sure that there is no conflict of interest. If you are not comfortable using an attorney used by another business owner, you can always ask that lawyer as to who he might recommend a for some reason you cannot use him.

If you want more sources and more prospects you can contact your local Bar Association. Many of them also have reference services.

The next thing that you need to do is shortlist a list of 5 potential and top candidates. Interview them and tell them that you are interested in building a long-term relationship. Find out which of these attorneys is willing to meet you for an initial meeting without charging you a fee. During the interview figure out which business attorney is ready to meet your business requirement. Not all businesses are created on the same scale nor do they have the same kind of funding available.

The lawyer that you choose should be able to match competence and expertise within the budget that you have for the legal department of your business. Here are some of the questions you should ask the lawyer during the interview and the qualities that you should consider before finalizing.

Experience of the Business Lawyer.

While this is not a hard and fast requirement, you need an attorney who has a good knowledge of the field of business that you’re operating in. This means to say that there might be no point hiding a civil lawyer who does not deal much in issues of a business legalities.

Understanding.

Wake up you should choose a lawyer for your business who has a good understanding of what your business is all about. It only helps to develop a good working relationship if your client understands your business goals and is someone who is a longtime partner in your business’s growth.

Your Business needs and requirements.

You should be very clear with your lawyer about how comfortable he is with serving the various requirements of your business. Is he comfortable with dealing the smaller issues and is he going to be easily available to tackle small problems or is he going to not consider it worth his time. Small businesses often require simple consultation which can be even done over the phone call. Your business law should be willing to give your business to scan of an attention. Also, monthly schedules meeting with a lawyer is a good idea as well as an annual recap of all legal issues and potential growth developments in the future which require a legal overview.

Communication. Communication will be an important point with the lawyer that you choose for your business. If he cannot communicate clearly to you or insists on using legal jargon that you cannot fully comprehend, he might not be the best choice for you. Full and complete communication and time for the business owner is something that business lawyer should always be willing to provide.

Availability. Is the attorney going to be available to you always? Or is he only going to give you time on set dates? Find out how he is going to tackle business issues as they arise and if he is going to be available for urgent business needs.

Fees and Charges. As already mentioned, different businesses may have very different needs as well as budget. Does the fee and charge structure of the attorney suit your expense budget? Many of these things will depend on the size of the business as well as the size and reputation of the lawyer or the law firm that you are hiring.

A business lawyer can charge anywhere from $50 an hour to $500 per lot. Make sure you get the kind of trade that you can afford. Also keep in mind that the lowest fee not indicate the best value of your work since you may either be dealing with an inexperienced lawyer or your work may be handed down to a apprentice or legal aide.

Get a reference.

When you choose a lawyer for your business don’t be afraid to ask for references. Get an idea of what kind of businesses the lawyer has dealt with in the past. If possible get a list of clients or other attorneys that you can contact to discuss your business requirement.

Hiring a Lawyer When Starting A Business – What are the Benefits?

Learn why you should seriously consider hiring an attorney for your business when you start up.

Many businesses and especially small businesses will want to question if they need a lawyer and when should they look to hiring a lawyer for the business? The fact is that even small businesses have to deal with certain legal issues. For example, a small business might need help when registering the trademark or trying to get the zoning license to operate a business in a particular area. Also setting up the legal structure for business requires legal advice and input.

In a nutshell, taking advice from a lawyer becomes almost a necessity when starting a business as well as managing its continuing affairs. A lawyer can handle many services for the business which include setting up a partnership or corporation, checking for compliance with regulations, negotiating loans, obtaining trademarks and patents, preparing by buy and sell agreements, assisting with tax planning, drawing up pension plans, reviewing business forms, negotiating and drawing of documents to buy or sell real estate, exporting selling products in other states and collecting bad debts.

A business lawyer can also help resolve dispute with employees, suppliers, distributors as well as customers.

Many people and especially small business entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing that their business startup does not require the guidance of an attorney. In many situations, the small business entrepreneur does not want to increase his start up costs by using the services of a business lawyer. However the truth is that businesses of all sizes and even small business startups require legal guidance and assistance of a competent attorney from as early as the planning stages.

Many entrepreneurs also make the mistake of waiting till crisis situation arises before consulting a business attorney. Before seeking the services of a lawyer this can mean that you are not left with adequate time to find the ideal candidate and may get stuck with a second-rate attorney who only cost you money and does not deliver favorable result. It is a good idea to develop a relationship from a good lawyer right from the beginning. This will give you ample time to research and choose a lawyer who is suitable for your business requirement as well as your budgeting expense. In all probabilities you will be looking to develop a long-term relationship with your lawyer for your business concerns. Developing a relationship with a good business attorney takes time. And if you start right from the beginning, the attorney will be closer to your business that and know things about it much more in detail