What Kind of Lawyer Does a Start-Up Need?

27 06 2011

If you’re starting – or thinking about starting – a business, you know that every penny counts. Unless you are lucky enough to have a lot of funding from the start, you will need to make some hard decisions about what to spend on in the beginning. One of those decisions will, undoubtedly, involve legal fees.

As a business owner, you need to make your legal budget work for you. There are some things you can probably do without – or do on your own – in the beginning. There are other things that you need a lawyer to help with. Your lawyer should, ultimately, prevent legal problems and save you money. But hiring a lawyer is a daunting task. Here are the things you should be thinking about as you make this big decision:

– Your lawyer should be able to advise you regarding entity formation, intellectual property, funding and investment, and contracts. He or she should be focused on litigation prevention. If you are in a regulated industry, your lawyer should be familiar with it.

– Your lawyer should be comfortable discussing fees with you. Try to find a lawyer who is flexible about fees.

– Your lawyer should have experience working with start-up companies, and should be enthusiastic about your company. You want a lawyer who will be part of your team. He or she should point out problems and find solutions.

– Your lawyer should be available. Don’t hire someone who never returns phone calls or emails. You might need your lawyer to be available at the last minute.

– Your lawyer should be looking for a long term relationship, not a quick paycheck. A lawyer who wants to keep you as a client will treat you well.

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