How to Choose the Right Business Attorney for Your Startup
When a startup is growing, legal issues will inevitably arise. These matters can include everything from equity compensation strategies to preparing for venture financings.
Finding the right lawyer or law firm to handle these needs requires careful thought. Here are some tips on choosing the best attorney for your startup:
Find a Lawyer Who Specializes in Startups
Incorporating a company, entering a new regulatory environment, and creating legal documents are just some of the early technicalities of starting a business. While it is possible to handle these tasks without the help of an attorney, integrating the right lawyer at the beginning can save time and money by eliminating mistakes and reducing risk exposure.
An excellent way to find a startup attorney is through referrals from other entrepreneurs, either people you know personally or members of online forums. Often, these individuals will have a positive experience working with a particular lawyer and be willing to share their recommendations with you.
Other places to seek out recommendations include startup incubators, industry conferences, and business meetups. You can also look into your state’s bar association’s website for a list of licensed lawyers. Small practices and solo practitioners can also give you a more personal touch when finding the right startup attorney.
Ask for Referrals
The most effective way to find a startup attorney is to ask for a referral from another business owner. However, it’s essential to ask in a not overbearing or pushy manner. Riley suggested that attorneys begin by acknowledging their client’s work, then making a short but specific request for a referral. He noted that this small gesture can lead to a doubling or tripling of an attorney’s income.
If a lawyer is unwilling to take this approach, it may be best to look elsewhere. When meeting potential attorneys, determine their work scope, connection network, and more.
Additionally, consider whether they’re open to using a technology platform that simplifies and expedites the legal process. This can distinguish between a high-profile legal battle and a more manageable, cost-effective experience.
Seek Out Experience
The lawyers you work with will be essential partners for your startup, so finding a lawyer who understands your business is critical. If you can, try to find out whether Underhill Law Denver business attorney has worked with other startups and companies similar to yours.
Suppose you talk with the attorney directly or set up an in-person meeting. This will give you a sense of their communication style and whether they’ll be able to provide you with the level of service you need.
Also, during that first meeting, ask the attorney about their experience and what they’ve seen regarding risk and growth. This will help you determine whether they fit your startup well. It might be a sign that you should look elsewhere if they’re not. Also, ask about the rates they charge. Some attorneys offer a flat rate for certain services, while others charge hourly rates.
Look for Networking Opportunities
The right business lawyer can help you avoid mistakes and make sound decisions for your startup. The best way to find one is through networking events. Many local Chambers of Commerce also host various small business networking events. The Chamber will push for community policies that benefit small businesses.
Most good business attorneys pride themselves on having many colleagues operating in different law areas. This will allow them to quickly refer you to someone who may better handle a legal matter outside their specialties. Finding a law firm that works well with your values and culture is also beneficial. This will save you money by eliminating the need for multiple attorney consultations.