How To Choose A Lawyer For Your Small Business in Ontario

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It is important to have legal representation for your small business as they can be a great asset for your business.  Don’t be afraid to engage legal counsel at the inception of your business; it is wise to have a lawyer familiar with your business, and you, from the get-go.  As the old adage goes, “penny wise, pound foolish”.  The short-term cost of a lawyer can prove to pay significant dividends in the long term.

If you haven’t hired a lawyer before, there are a couple of things you should consider such as timelines, type of lawyer, the right size of firm and proximity to your business.

Ultimately, you and your lawyer both want the same thing which is a mutually beneficial long-term business relationship.

Choosing the right time to hire a lawyer

However, it is important to know that good legal advice that is helpful to your business can be hard to come by, especially if the relationship is not formed yet. 

Generally speaking, the faster you establish a great and trusting relationship with your lawyer the better off your business will be in the long run. 

New businesses should be contacting business lawyers and getting a general understanding of their basic services and rates in the consultation to determine if the fit is correct. Getting an idea of the law firm’s rates is important so you can budget accordingly and ensure that when their services are needed you will be able to afford them and feel comfortable reaching out to them. 

Determine the type of lawyer you need

Most business lawyers can handle typical formation needs. This might include creating a corporation or LLP, putting together a partnership agreement and drafting common business contracts. 

Unless you need a lawyer for very specific purposes, a good lawyer should be able to assist you in all long-term counsel for your business. 

Be sure to choose the right size of firm

There are pros and cons to working with big firms, small firms and solo practitioners. 

Sometimes small businesses may find themselves to be a low priority for larger law firms. If the law firm is really making its money representing Fortune 500 companies, large government entities and the like, it can be challenging for the firm to be responsive to the needs of every individual client.

However, there can be advantages to working with larger firms if your business requires the resources the firm can bring to bear. Very complex lawsuits, for example, maybe better suited for a larger firm than a solo attorney, or small firm.

No matter what size the law firm, be sure to understand upfront who you will be working with. 

Determine if proximity to your business is a goal for you

This one can vary depending on your specific needs.

Of course, it’s great to be able to meet face-to-face on a regular basis, but if you would rather have virtual meetings, phone calls or communicate through email you can expand your search outside of your geographical location.

Conclusion

Overall, before choosing a lawyer be sure to do some preliminary research and determine when you would like to hire and who is the best fit for your business. 

Since every situation is different, it’s hard to give a quick answer to questions related to business law. Taking the time to talk to a business lawyer at Epstein & Associates about your concerns is a great place to start. 

This blog is made available by the law firm publisher, Epstein & Associates, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. Any specific questions about your legal concerns please contact us now and speak to an expert now that can assist with business law and planning services.

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