Smart business owners know that it’s not a matter of if they’ll need an attorney, but when. All partnerships and corporations will require a lawyer at some point—and if you don’t have a trusted attorney by your side at the formation of your business, a sudden crisis might send you scrambling for legal help.
5 Hallmarks of a Good Corporate Law Attorney
The right attorney is vital to your business, so you should take the time to find someone who will be able to help you through the ups and downs as well as the everyday operations. You should interview more than one potential attorney to compare their approaches, policies, and the benefits they offer their business clients.
Before hiring an attorney to protect your business interests, you should get a sense of their:
- Experience. There are a lot of specializations in the field of law, and attorneys who are licensed to practice in the state can take on many different types of cases. More than one specialization can be a bonus, especially if the fields are related (such as estate planning and probate). However, a solo practitioner with a long list of specializations may not be the best fit for complex corporate clients. You want a transactional business lawyer, not a lawyer who occasionally handles business transactions. Making this distinction early can save you valuable time, effort, and profit.
- Reputation. Since legal trouble can arise in almost every aspect of your business, your attorney should have working relationships with a variety of other professionals as you require them. For example, your attorney doesn’t need to be certified in real estate law to help you lease office space, but they should be willing to work with local real estate agents and zoning boards on your behalf. A good business attorney will also be respected by both their clients and their peers, so check the lawyer’s testimonials and reviews before setting up a meeting.
- Availability. When you have life-altering legal questions, the last thing you want to do is track down your attorney. It should be easy to contact your lawyer with a problem, and your lawyer should take steps to minimize the effects immediately. Even if you only have a few questions, your attorney should be reasonably available to take your calls and educate you and your staff on legal matters.
- Flexibility. Just as there are many family lawyers who spend the majority of their time drafting wills, there are corporate attorneys who spend the majority of their time drafting corporate documents. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—after all, well-made articles of incorporation are vital to preventing disputes down the road. However, you will need someone who goes beyond the startup paperwork to protect you and your shareholders at the first sign of trouble. We regularly review our clients’ business documents as they grow, allowing us to fix small problems before they have a chance to become a target for litigation.
- Perspective. You may be focused on what happens in the next year, but your attorney should be planning for the entire life of your business. Our firm creates a comprehensive written plan for every likely scenario that could have an impact on business interests, including death, divorce, financial trouble, and how to handle a partner or shareholder’s departure. We have a unique ability to see the big picture, laying the groundwork for success at each milestone (going public, hiring more employees, selling out to a bigger company), outlining your exit strategies, and performing estate planning that takes you all the way through your career to a successful retirement.
Let Us Be Your Trusted Advisor
At Yolofsky Law, our Florida corporate law team helps businesses of all sizes achieve and exceed their goals. Whether you need guidance during formation or protection for the future, we can advise you throughout the life of your business. Give us a call today to discuss your options or download our free guide to succession planning, Be a Hero to Your Business.