For a number of small business owners, hiring and working closely with a solicitor can be quite an intimidating task. The fact is that there aren't too many places to source great lawyers from and even fewer resources about how lawyer's services should be used to achieve the desired results. Another aspect that has to be kept in view is that hiring a solicitor can be quite an expensive proposition and many small business owners feel that the expense of hiring a lawyer outweighs the benefits.
Though these reservations are understandable, some of these qualms are unfounded. Having the right kind of solicitor can be of great value to business owners who are trying to move their business into high gear. A great solicitor will support all your business efforts, and protect your intellectual and financial property, minimize risks which will also help you save money in the long term.
It is essential for every thriving company to have a lawyer. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you are hiring a good solicitor for your business:
#1 Change your Perspective
Though a lot of people will tell you that lawyers tend to overcharge you and have nefarious business intentions; this is untrue of 99.9% of professionals in the legal field. In fact, many lawyers are highly dedicated to their work and will make every effort to see their client's interests are protected. If you utilize their skills and services correctly, it can provide your business with a lot of support. This is why it's important for you to shrug off those negative thoughts even before you start looking for a solicitor
#2 Business Vision
As a business owner you have a vision for your company. There will be a number of lawyers in Australia, but you will have to find one who will be able to understand your business vision. Spend some time researching about different lawyers and the fields they specialise in. The person you identify should also be able to understand how the small business culture is. For instance, if you go to a solo practitioner, he/she will have the necessary legal expertise and understand what it takes to run a small business. The person will be more affordable compared to hiring the services of a mid or large-sized law firm
#3 Consult & Listen
Most solicitors will provide the first consultation for free. It's important for you to be able to ascertain whether the person is proactive in his/her approach to understanding what your requirements are. You will have to be open and speak very candidly if you expect the person to provide you support and advice. You should also ask what the solicitor's expertise areas are. Ask questions and see whether the person is answering satisfactorily.
#4 Think Value
Most solicitors have a fixed hourly rate and most of their rates will be on the higher end of the scale. But keep in mind that you pay for their expertise & understanding of complicated legal matters which you will not be able to handle yourself. Some lawyers also maintain flexible rates and you will have to discuss this aspect at the outset with the solicitor. Enquire about all your financing options and see whether the rates work for you.
#5 Being In-Sync
Its very important that the solicitor you hire be in-sync with your requirements and over time, you should be able to build a solid working relationship with him/her. This aspect can be a little difficult to judge accurately in the first consultation. However, you should try to figure out whether the person is on the same page as you.
Play it Safe
If you decide to manage your small business without the help of a solicitor, you could be opening up the possibility of risk to your company. In addition, you preclude yourself from taking your business one notch higher. Check with peers or friends and see if they are able to give you references for a good solicitor. Check the person's credentials with the local bar association. This will help you know whether the person is credible and vetted. Very simply, choose your business solicitor with care.
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.