Hiring an attorney to support your business as it grows and evolves to face new challenges can be one of the most beneficial choices you can make. It can also be an intimidating one.

At the Law Office of Kari Santana, we believe that working with the right attorney can be one of the best things you can do for your company. We’re proud to support West Michigan business owners like you. So, in this blog, we’ve outlined common reasons people hire business attorneys and questions to ask before you hire someone so you can rest assured you’ve made the best decision for yourself and your business.

Common Reasons Business Owners and Startups Hire a Business Attorney

Working with a business attorney can be one of the best investments you can make for your startup or business. While there are many reasons you might need to hire a professional for legal assistance, these are five common ones:

You Want to Start an LLC

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a smart way to protect your assets and ideas, but forming one can be complicated. When you work with an attorney, they can help you choose the best entity for your situation; a corporation could be a better fit for your needs. An experienced attorney can also help you secure and complete all the documents you need to get your business up and running.

You’re Starting a Business With Multiple Parties

If you’re starting a business that involves multiple people, you should have a clear understanding of rights, responsibilities, and expectations at the start of the process. Working with a business lawyer can help you outline these details and protect everyone involved, just in case you disagree in the future.

You’re Buying or Merging a Business

Even if you’re buying a business from or merging with someone you trust, it’s a good idea to have an experienced business lawyer on your side. They can guide you through the negotiations process, make sure you’re getting a fair price, and offer extensive assistance filling out all the required forms and paperwork.

You Need to Resolve a Business Dispute

Disagreements are never easy, but they’re even more complicated when you’re at odds with a business partner. Suppose you’re struggling to come to an agreement with a shareholder or business partner. In that case, it’s time to talk to a business attorney who can help you resolve your differences, find common ground, and protect your business together.

You Need to Navigate Copyright and Trademark Laws

Like many business proceedings, obtaining a copyright or trademark involves paperwork that can be confusing to complete and submit. If you need guidance with this process, especially if you’re obtaining a copyright for a proprietary product or company name, don’t wait to contact an experienced business attorney.

Hiring a business attorney is one of the most beneficial steps you can take to protect your hard work. If you’re having trouble but are struggling to articulate your needs with your business, it’s never a bad idea to get in touch with an experienced, local business lawyer. You can meet with them in person or remotely to discuss your business and learn how they can help you resolve your issue, sort through complicated paperwork, or support you through the next phase of your business career.

How to Find and Hire the Right Business Attorney

Hiring an attorney can feel like an intimidating step, no matter how much you need their help. If you’re stressed about the prospect of finding the right attorney, request a consultation to learn more about their practice, perspective, work style, strengths, and more.

Here are some topics and questions to bring up in your initial meeting:

Ask About Their Experience

Before you hire someone, make sure to ask about their experience working with businesses in your industry. Some sectors, like tech, can offer specific challenges and opportunities that not every lawyer might be fluent in.

Understand Their Fee Structure

There’s no shame in asking about money. Understanding—and agreeing to—your lawyer’s fee structure is crucial if you’re going to have a successful professional relationship.

Get a Sense of Their Work Style

Before you hire an attorney, you should understand what to expect from your working relationship moving forward. Don’t hesitate to ask technical questions about hiring them, including their preferred methods of client communications, how long they typically take to respond, if you’ll be working with the attorney directly or a team, and more.

Trust Your Gut to Decide “Fit”

You know your business better than anyone else. You’ve worked hard to build your success, and your attorney should be similarly on your side. Your attorney should “fit” with your ethos and goals and be great to work with in addition to their professional skills and offerings.

If you feel good about your prospective lawyer’s qualifications, skills, fee structure, and work style, it’s a sign that you’re ready to hire them! Congratulations on taking a big step to protect the future of your company.

RELATED: 3 Things Michigan Business Owners Need to Know About Non-Disclosure Agreements

The Law Office of Kari Santana: Helping West Michigan Businesses Succeed

At the Law Office of Kari Santana, we have over a decade of experience helping West Michigan organizations, small businesses, and startups succeed. We are ready to help you work through your challenges, take advantage of opportunities, and reach your goals. To learn more about how we can support you, please contact our office for a consultation. To get started, call Kari Santana at (616) 717-5759 or use our quick and easy consultation form.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.