Contrary to popular belief, a business should not wait until it is facing a lawsuit to hire a corporate lawyer. There are many other ways a corporate attorney can benefit your business. In this article, we will discuss why you might need a corporate attorney and how to find a good one!
What Does a Corporate Attorney Do?
A California corporate lawyer can help your business in more ways than just litigation. They can help businesses or startups with the following things:
- Protecting intellectual property – By protecting your intellectual property through copyrights, patents, etc., you protect your business’s competitive advantage. A corporate lawyer can handle these complex processes and ensure the paperwork is filed correctly.
- Employment disputes – An corporate attorney can prevent, mediate, and litigate any labor disputes. They are also invaluable in creating airtight employment policies and contracts to ensure you lower the risk of litigation.
- Contracts – Contracts protect your business from issues with suppliers, employees, and even clients. A corporate attorney will ensure your contracts protect your business interests.
- Founder agreements – These documents are created at the start of a business partnership. They outline all of the responsibilities of each partner and how any assets and profits will be split.
- Incorporation – A corporate attorney will help you to choose the best type of business entity and complete the necessary documents.
- Raising venture capital – There are a number of complex laws surrounding raising capital for your business. A corporate lawyer will help you to navigate these laws.
California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer. Telephone: 800-484-4610
What Can’t a Corporate Attorney Do?
While a business attorney is extremely beneficial to your business in terms of the knowledge they bring to the table, there are a number of things they cannot do for your business. Some of these will need to be handled by other experts, like an accountant. There are even some things that just don’t make financial sense for an attorney to do.
Here are some things you should not ask a corporate attorney to do:
- Filing formation papers
- Applying for business licenses
- Applying for an EIN
- Writing a business plan
- Selecting a business name or domain name
- Taxes or anything tax-related e.g. California FTB Corporation tax.
- Applying for business loans
- Hiring employees or independent contractors
A corporate attorney may be able to give you some advice on the above topics but will not be able to help you with them.
How Are Corporate Lawyers Paid?
Corporate attorneys might be paid in a number of different ways depending on the types of services you require and what works best for both of you. When you speak to potential corporate attorneys, talk to them about their fee structure and negotiate until you find something that works for both of you. Here are some of the most common fee structures that a corporate attorney may use:
When you hire a corporate attorney on retainer, you are buying a certain amount of time each month that will be dedicated to your business. That means you buy 10 hours a month of your attorney’s time. If you end up needing more time that month, then your corporate attorney will bill you based on an agreed flat fee rate.
If you need a lot of legal assistance, a retainer agreement will be beneficial. It means you can contact your attorney at any time and receive a quick response. You will be able to ask them any questions, big or small, as they come up, rather than waiting for a regular appointment or when you need to hire their services for another matter.
A contingent fee means that your corporate lawyer will receive their payment as a percentage of the recovered damages once they win your case. It is most often used for litigation where if you win the case, you will win monetary compensation. A corporate attorney will usually only offer this to businesses they have worked with in the past and trust not to fire them before they have the chance to win the case.
When you pay an attorney a flat fee rate, you pay them per task rather than per hour. This is beneficial for your business as there are no surprise costs, and you can budget for your legal services. A corporate attorney will charge flat fees for common business services. In some cases, they may even provide packages of common services.
This is extremely uncommon for startups, as the corporate attorney cannot guarantee that your business will be profitable. However, in some cases, a corporate attorney may work for a company in exchange for business equity.
It is very common for a corporate attorney to use certain fee structures for some services and others for other services.
How to Find a Corporate Attorney
Finding a corporate attorney is not difficult. If you follow the correct process, you can find one that will help your business thrive. These three steps will help you to find the right fit for your small business.
Search Online Legal Directories
Online legal directories will help you find corporate attorneys in a certain area as well as corporate attorneys that specialize in certain industries. If your industry has a number of specific regulations and laws, like film, you should seek out an attorney that specializes in your industry. Research each corporate attorney to check their reviews and expertise. Add any promising candidates to a shortlist.
Ask For Referrals
If you have family and friends, or even industry contacts which businesses, ask them if they have had positive experiences with corporate attorneys. Ask them to tell you why they liked them and what their work was like as well. This will be extremely helpful if the person referring an attorney works in your industry.
Here are some California business lawyers and attorney directories (no endorsement) for you to consider:
- Nakase Law Firm – “As business litigation attorneys, Nakase Wade attorneys recognize that early business resolution is usually better than a prolong war. Nevertheless, a business litigation attorney must not be afraid to go to trial. Many purported ‘business litigation attorneys’ do not actually have experience in trial. Business attorneys Brad Nakase and Douglas Wade have extensive business trial experience. You will received personal service and attention from a business litigation attorney who has been to trial and experience to direct the lawsuit towards the best early resolution.” Visit Website: Business Litigation Lawyer
- Tour-Sarkissian – “At Tour-Sarkissian Law Offices, LLP, we understand that the needs of businesses vary depending on a number of factors. Accordingly, we tailor our legal services to meet the needs of our clients. We take the time to listen to you and identify your objectives. For business startups, restaurants and other businesses, this type of personal attention can mean the difference between success and struggling to remain relevant in an ever-changing economy.” Visit: Website
- The Small Business Law Firm PC – “Forming a business, or creating an entity for an existing business, is a complex series of tasks that require expert legal advice. Our firm is trained to ask the right questions of the business owner(s) to ensure entity is properly created and/or the existing business is properly transferred to that entity.” Visit: website
- Centauri – “Centauri Law Group P.C. in Irvine, Orange County California, provides representation to assist in developing businesses, taking the process from start to finish. From formation and entity choice to expansion or dissolution, a qualified corporate lawyer in Orange County can assist you and your business with all your corporate legal needs. We also have the ability to serve as outside corporate counsel for companies in any industry. No matter what role we take, we are responsive and return all communication promptly so that our clients get the answers they need as quickly as possible.” Visit: Website
- Justia Corporate Lawyer Directory – Visit: Website
Interview Your Shortlisted Corporate Lawyers
Most corporate attorneys will offer free consultation appointments. Take advantage of these and meet each attorney on your shortlist to determine if they are a good fit. Write a list of questions in advance as well as some general information about your business and what you think you will need legal help for. This preparation will help you to utilize your time to the fullest and compare the expertise of each corporate lawyer you speak to. Ask follow up questions, but prepare a uniform set of questions that you will ask each attorney.
During your interview, you should also pay attention to the corporate attorney’s personality. You should not be hiring a corporate attorney for their jokes, but you will be working closely with this person, so it is important that you get along with them. You should not hire a corporate attorney who is rude or condescending in the consultation.