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Los Angeles Business Lawyer

As a small business owner in LA, a Los Angeles business lawyer should be a key part of forming your business. Rather than just seeking legal advice when faced with a legal claim, business owners should be proactive to avoid legal claims in the first place. Nakase Wade California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer has help many entrepreneurs choose the right business lawyer.

In this article, we will explain how to find a business law lawyer in just 5 steps.

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  1. Identify the areas where you need legal help
  2. Search legal directories to find specialist attorneys
  3. Interview the business attorneys on your shortlist
  4. Negotiate fees
  5. Identify areas where you don’t need legal help

California trusted business lawyers and corporate attorneys.

Rather than dealing with lawsuits as they arise, be proactive and protect your business from claims. You can do this by hiring a business attorney from the beginning to ensure your company is legally sound. Some of the areas a small business attorney can help your startup are:

  • Business formation – Your attorney can help you weigh the pros and cons of different business entities.
  • Raising venture capital – There are a number of complex securities laws involved in raising venture capital; a business attorney can ensure you do it in the correct way.
  • Civil Litigation – no doubt nearly all business have disputes. A civil litigation lawyer will necessary to assist a company resolve business disputes.
  • ADA Violations – even the best intended entrepreneur may face an ADA lawsuit. An ADA lawyer is necessary to help a business comply with ADA laws.
  • Employees – nearly all businesses have employees. A labor law attorney is necessary to ensure compliance with labor laws.
  • Founder agreements – Avoid disputes between your business partners by ensuring everyone’s responsibilities and the profit splits are clearly laid out in writing.
  • Contracts – Strong contracts will protect your business and its interests.
  • Employment disputes – Regardless of your policies and practices, employers are likely to experience labor or employment disputes. A business attorney can prevent many of these disputes and mitigate those that occur.
  • Intellectual property – Intellectual property is your competitive advantage and needs to be protected at all costs.

The above examples show how a business attorney can proactively protect your business. Don’t wait until you are sued.

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Decide whether you need a general business attorney or one that specializes in your industry. A generalist may be useful if you are a startup and need helping setting up your business. A specialist attorney will be aware of the industry-specific laws and regulations that affect your company.

An online legal directory will list business attorneys by specialty and area. Make a list of ones that are nearby and specialize in your industry so you can check reviews to make a shortlist. Another way to find shortlist candidates is to ask people in your industry to recommend lawyers they have worked with. The California Attorney General website has a list of directories for Finding a Lawyer.

Interview the Business Attorneys In Your Shortlist

Most business attorneys offer a free consultation so they can meet clients before working with them. Interview each small business attorney on your shortlist to determine if they are a good fit for your company. They must have the experience your company requires, and also their personality must fit with yours. After all, this will be a long-term professional relationship.

Here are some examples of questions that will help you to determine suitability for your small business.

Have You Worked With Many Small Businesses?

While an attorney that represents Fortune 500 Businesses may seem attractive, they are used to working with clients that have deeper pockets. An attorney that regularly represents small businesses will have a better fee structure for your needs and will provide more cost-effective defense.

Share your list of areas you need legal assistance and issues you foresee and ask the business attorney about their experience with those issues.

Do You Have a Network That You Can Refer From When I Need Specialist Assistance?

Business attorneys will have areas of expertise and may not be experts on every issue that may arise. It is important to have an attorney who will happily refer a specialist colleague when a legal issue is outside of their expertise.

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It is important to have an attorney who will happily refer a specialist colleague when a legal issue is outside of their expertise.

Will Other People in Your Firm Work on My Business?

Business attorneys will have a number of cases on the go at any one time. Because of this, they will have a team of paralegals, law clerks, and associates who will assist them with the admin and research for cases. Having these people assist with your business is a benefit as their time is less costly than an attorney and means your business will receive more time and attention.

Are There Any Conflicts of Interest If You Take My Business?

Business attorneys that specialize in certain industries may represent a competitor, and therefore there may be a conflict of interest if you are in dispute with them. Your business attorney will not be able to represent you if they are representing an existing customer.

What Is Your Preferred Communication Method?

Attorneys will have their own way of communicating with clients, but you may also have preferred methods of communication. If you value efficiency, then email and occasional calls may be the best. If you need more explanation, then you may prefer face to face meetings with your business attorney.

What Are Your Fees?

Don’t be afraid to talk about money. You need to ensure you can afford your attorney.

Negotiate Fees

Discuss the business attorneys fee structure and how much they charge. This is an essential part of finding the attorney that works best for your business. Here are some of the fee structures that attorneys may use:

Flat Fee

Flat fees are set fees for specific tasks. Even if the task takes longer than expected or is more complex, there will be no extra fees or hidden costs. This fee structure is often used for basic services, and you may be able to negotiate package discounts for a startup.

Contingent Fee

Contingent fees are used often when a business is taking legal action to recoup compensation or damages. Rather than being paid upfront or using billable hours, the business attorney will only be paid when they win the case. They will collect their fee as a percentage of the recovered compensation. An attorney may be reluctant to offer a contingency fee if they have not worked with you before or believe that you fire them midway through the case. This is because they will only be paid once they win the case.

Business Equity

It is extremely rare for a small business lawyer to offer business equity as a payment option, but they might if you have a good business concept.

Retainer Agreement

A retainer agreement allows you to purchase a set amount of the business attorney’s time each month. This means that you will receive quicker responses when you ask for advice. Any work the attorney completes above your retainer allotment will be completed on a flat fee basis as per your agreement.

While starting a business can seem complex, there are a lot of things that are straight forward and don’t need an attorney’s assistance. By identifying things you can do by yourself or with the help of a professional like an accountant, you can keep costs down. Here are some common business tasks that do not require legal assistance:

  • Writing a business plan
  • Selecting a domain name or business name
  • Filing formation papers
  • Applying for business licenses
  • Applying for an EIN
  • Applying for a business loan
  • Hiring independent contractors or employees
  • Anything to do with taxes
  • Payroll

In Conclusion

Hiring a business attorney from the very start will save your business money in the long term. They can ensure your business is protected from expensive and time-consuming legal claims and your contracts protect your business interests.

Take the time to research and interview small business attorneys so you can find the right fit for your company. You want to stick with one business lawyer for as long as possible to ensure they have an in-depth knowledge of your company.

Nakase Wade business lawyers and corporate attorneys serve as a strategic partner for companies of all sizes – from start-up to mid-size businesses and Fortune 500 companies – across the country and around the world. Our attorneys are driven to advance client business goals, to achieve exceptional results, and to realize new possibilities as we work to deliver an incomparable experience. Our business attorneys and corporate attorneys serve businesses in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County, or San Bernardino County.

Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.