what does your lawyer do when running a business

by Corene Schaden 3 min read

The reason for hiring a business attorney may not, however, be so apparent. A good business attorney will provide vital assistance in almost every aspect of your business, from basic zoning compliance and copyright and trademark advice to formal business incorporation and lawsuits and liability.

So, what is a business attorney? A business attorney is a legal expert who delivers legal services about the functions and regulations of the business. Attorneys at a business law firm in Santa Rosa can guide you through business establishment, dispute settlement, transfer/sale of businesses, and corporate laws.

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How can a lawyer help my business?

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help. Contact a qualified business attorney to help you address potential challenges a business can face.

Should I hire a small business lawyer?

The perception is that attorneys charge high rates and many small businesses don't have much, if any, extra capital with which to pay lawyers. As a result, most small business owners only hire an attorney experienced with business matters when confronted with a serious legal problem (e.g., you're sued by a customer).

How can a lawyer get clients?

One of the best solutions for how a lawyer can get clients is to stay connected with people you worked with early in your career. This includes your peers in college, law school, and your employers. Make sure you treat everyone you come into contact with as if he could be a future client. See You Need to Be Connected With Others at Work. C.

What is it like to work in a law firm?

Law firms are both complex and fast-moving, requiring firm leaders to be strategic with the creation and implementation of systems. As an attorney with a small law firm, it’s easy to focus all your attention on your clients.


What is the purpose of a business lawyer?

A Business Lawyer is an attorney who focuses on providing legal advice to business owners on issues that affect businesses, such as taxation, business transactions, and intellectual property rights. The Business Lawyer may also be known as a Corporate Attorney, Corporate Lawyer, or Commercial Lawyer.

Should I speak to a lawyer before starting a business?

But meeting with a small business attorney before starting a business can be one of the smartest moves you'll ever make. A business lawyer can explain how to start a business and answer your business law questions. But more importantly, a lawyer can identify the risks you face and help you minimize them.

What role does an attorney play in helping to form businesses?

What Role Does An Attorney Play In Forming A Limited Liability Company? Initially an attorney will help determine whether a limited liability company, the appropriate entity for the client, rather than a corporation, limited partnership, sole proprietorship or a general partnership.

What's the difference between attorney and lawyer?

Attorney vs Lawyer: Comparing Definitions Lawyers are people who have gone to law school and often may have taken and passed the bar exam. Attorney has French origins, and stems from a word meaning to act on the behalf of others. The term attorney is an abbreviated form of the formal title 'attorney at law'.

What are the questions to ask a lawyer?

Questions you might ask your lawyerDo I have a problem that can be resolved by law?What legal risks am I facing?What documents do I need to support my case?Do I need statements from witnesses?What are my options for resolving the dispute out of court?How can I settle the case?More items...

Why every small business needs an attorney?

Existing small businesses have their share of legal issues to contend with and often need a lawyer to help get a resolution that benefits them best. These situations include things like debt collection, hiring and firing employees, and dealing with a lawsuit that has been filed against them.

What are the most important things to do in business?

10. Contracts. Most businesses execute contracts for space, services, and supplies. Businesses often have agreements between partners, investors, and employees. It is important to get it right so you don't end up in court. 9. Registering, Licensing, and Permits.

What are the laws that fill in the gaps for business entities?

Most states have adopted "Uniform Laws" that fill in the gaps for business entities where their charters, by-laws, and other organizing documents are silent. You may be subject to a whole set of laws and regulations that you don't even know exist. 2. Tax.

What are the options within a business entity?

3. Autonomy. With many business entities, the things you don't decide are decided for you.

Do I need a lawyer for my startup?

In most cases, you're going to need the services of a lawyer for your startup, perhaps for tax services or employment law compliance. Whatever the reason, make sure you contact the right attorney for your needs.

Can I start a business by myself?

Some people opt to start the business by themselves or with family members, while others have partners or other investors who will not be involved with the day-to-day affairs of the business. The laws that apply to start-up businesses differ based on the specifics of the situation, and even business people who decide to go it alone have options ...

Can I do business in another state?

The preconditions to forming and conducting a business entity in one state may not be accepted in another state. If you are not careful, the protections you have in your home state of operations may be lost if you do business in another state. See the State Business Laws section for more details. 6. Strict Conformity.

What does a business lawyer do?

A business lawyer can explain how to start a business and answer your business law questions. But more importantly, a lawyer can identify the risks you face and help you minimize them. When you meet with your lawyer for the first time, it’s a good idea to have some questions in mind.

Why is it important to meet with a small business attorney?

Meeting with a small business attorney is an important way to get your business off to a good start and minimize future risks. Here are questions to ask at your first meeting. New entrepreneurs have their hands full, making plans, developing products and services, and lining up financing.

How to start a business off on the right foot?

Always ask your business attorney to assess your risks and identify ways to alleviate them. Getting business advice and legal help from a small business lawyer is a smart way to start a business off on the right foot. But don’t lose touch with your lawyer once your business is up and running. Make it a habit to seek business legal advice regularly ...

What to do before starting a small business?

Before starting a small business, you must decide how your business will be structured. If you do not form a formal business entity, your business will either be a sole proprietorship (with one owner) or a general partnership (with more than one owner). Legally, you and your business will be the same “person,” so if your business has debts ...

What are the federal laws?

Federal laws range from anti-discrimination laws to health and safety regulations to wage and hour laws. You may need policies and procedures, handbooks, and training to ensure that you don’t inadvertently violate them. You must also comply with state laws relating to such things as the minimum wage.

How does a contract protect a business?

Contracts protect your business by describing the rights and responsibilities of the parties to the agreement. A well-written contract can reduce the number of disputes that arise, ensure that you get paid for the work you do, and provide a clear remedy if one party doesn’t hold up its end of the deal.

Can you use a name that another business is already using?

Every state has rules about the names that new business entities can use, and in general, you can’t choose a name that another business is already using. Also, it’s risky to choose a name that might infringe on another business’s registered trademark.

What to know when starting a small business?

If you're already running your own small business, you know that there are constant challenges to your ongoing success. It's easier to meet those challenges, and ensure your business continues to grow and thrive if you have solid information about basic business activities. From taxes, insurance, and contracts through financing, marketing, ...

Do you have to give consent to a lawyer to text you?

You are not required to provide consent as a condition of service. Attorneys have the option, but are not required, to send text messages to you. You will receive up to 2 messages per week from Martindale-Nolo. Frequency from attorney may vary.

How much do lawyers spend on administrative tasks?

Lawyers spend 48% of their time on administrative tasks. 91% of firms can’t calculate a return on advertising investments. 94% of law firms don’t know how much it costs them to acquire a new client. Startling, but not insurmountable. You have the opportunity to build something great!

What are the benefits of owning your own law firm?

There are many benefits to being the proud owner of your own firm, including: The ability to do more than practice law. Sure, your legal services will be your bread and butter, but you’ll also be able to build your own business on your terms. Control when choosing your clients.

What is the chance to develop a business model that works for you?

The chance to develop a business model that works for you (and your clients and team). As someone else’s employee, you may have little control over the business model of the firm. As the owner of your own firm, you make the decisions, including those tied to your business model.

Is law a business?

Law practice is a business and a profession. To start your own law firm successfully, you must agree to see it as both. The skills that it takes to run a business aren’t the same skills it takes to practice law.

Can you write a vision statement for a law firm?

Yes, your vision should be clear, measurable, and easy to talk about, but condensing your dreams and plans into one sentence can be confining. Use this time to write as much as you need. This is the first step to putting the foundation down for your law firm key performance indicators.

Is it a good idea to start a law firm?

In fact, it was for many of us! Unfortunately, most law schools are designed to teach you how to think like a lawyer and don’t devote much time teaching you how to start and run a business.

Do you need to practice law to run a business?

While many of the skills you need to practice law will help you in your business, running your business will require you to tackle different problems than practicing law. And these challenges don’t go away as your business matures and grows. They just change and challenge you in new ways.

Why is it important to have a lot of business as an attorney?

Having a lot of business is essential to having security as an attorney because you will always have work to do. Having work to do will provide you the platform to hire others to work for you, to build your organization, and to further your career.

How do lawyers get clients?

One of the best solutions for how a lawyer can get clients is to stay connected with people you worked with early in your career. This includes your peers in college, law school, and your employers. Make sure you treat everyone you come into contact with as if he could be a future client.

What are some mistakes lawyers make?

One of the biggest mistakes attorneys (and even law students!) make, proving they do not know how to get new clients for a law firm, is ignoring that every single person they ever meet is someone who could be a client or will someday be in a position to be their client. Many attorneys believe that they are often being “smart” sizing up people they meet and trying to assess whether they could potentially be their clients. They may assume, for example, that the janitor in their building could never be their client. They may assume that the person who sells them auto insurance could never be their client. They may assume that someone who was once their biggest enemy could never be their client.

What do clients want from an attorney?

Clients want attorneys who are likely to do the best work possible and make clear decisions. When you examine most organizations that are very successful and have been around for a long time, it is easy to see that they tend to look for “steady” people who are not particularly mercurial and seem quite competent.

What does it mean to be familiar with an attorney?

This means phone calls on people’s birthdays. This means frequent letter updates. This means forwarding articles of interest.

What are the most important things to do in law school?

When people are in law school and even during their first few years out of law school, they tend to believe that the most important components of a successful law firm career involve (1) billing a lot of hours (meaning working hard) and (2) doing quality work. Very rapidly, however, young lawyers come to understand that just as important as doing ...

Who is your dry cleaner?

Your dry cleaner, the person who mows your lawn, the mechanic who fixes your car —whomever you can imagine is a potential source of business for you. Stay in touch with them and remember to always be nice.

What is law firm business development?

What does law firm business development mean for lawyers? Law firm business development essentially means anything you do, in a systematic way, that expands your firm’s revenue streams. It takes into account strategies to grow revenue from a big-picture perspective rather than one-time transactional decisions.

What is business development in law?

Business development for law firms means pursuing strategic opportunities for your law firm. This includes building new relationships and identifying new revenue streams and sales opportunities. Examples are cross-selling to existing clients and adding new practice areas to your firm. It might involve geographic expansion, ...

What is legal CRM?

A legal CRM is a contact relationship manager. It is basically the modern Rolodex, with logs of communications included. Clio Grow is an obvious choice here for Clio Manage users since the two fit together seamlessly. Clio Grow also works really well as a stand-alone solution.

How to build a strong relationship with a client?

To build strong relationships, focus on the five key aspects of running a client-centered law firm. See things from your client’s perspective. Creating a better client journey and overall client experience at your law firm means truly seeing things from your client’s perspective. Don’t make assumptions.

Why do I love marketing?

One of the reasons I love marketing is because you can seemingly create new business out of the blue. And depending on the advertising channel, the results can be instantaneous, through techniques such as turning on pay-per-click (PPC) ads and other forms of Google advertising. John Grisham writes books about the rainmaker, and that is precisely what a good marketing person is—a rainmaker.

Is a law firm a business?

It’s easy to get plugged into your legal work and forget about law firm business development and marketing. But remember, your law practice is a business. And in business, unless you are independently wealthy and don’t have to care about making a living, you have to keep an eye on the bottom line.

Is there a one size fits all law firm?

Remember: There is no “one size fits all” for law firm business development or marketing. Don’t be afraid to try a few different strategies. Remember: Business development is a long game of relationships and trust. The effects of your activities today may pay off for years to come.

How much does it cost to start a law firm?

If you decide to practice from your own home, the cost of starting your business can be as low as a $3000.

What is the last section of a law firm's business plan?

The last section of your law firm’s business plan is the operations and finance section which shows how you plan to run your business on a day-to-day basis. It includes the financial data such as your projected balance sheet, income and cash flow statement, including a break-even analysis.

What is the first section of a law firm?

The first section contains your executive summary, the description of your law firm, your firm’s structure, its goals and strategy, partners and key staff, your particular areas of practice, and how you will make your firm successful. You must also highlight the unique characteristics of your firm.

What do you need to do before opening a new business?

Before you open the doors to new clients, you need to create a business plan. Careful planning helps you avoid surprises that cause many new practices to fail. The challenge is to build a practice that goes beyond solving the clients’ problems. A business plan describes your practice in detail.

Can solo practitioners work in a law firm?

Unless you have specific skills that make you invaluable, most solo practitioners can never go back to working in a large law firm again. This may be due to the negative perceptions that the solo practitioner’s skills are no longer good enough, they are unable to work with others or they do not have the skills to work in a large firm.

Can you take on any client?

While initially, you may take on any client, later you may have the opportunity to take on more interesting projects. You can make the decisions about which cases to take on and choose to focus on a specific practice area.

Do lawyers have to start their own law firm?

Like other entrepreneurs, lawyers that want to start their own business have to evaluate the pros and cons of starting their own law firm. While being the owner of your business may give you complete control over the business and all its assets, operating a business comes with its own set of challenges.

How to start a law firm?

First, if you’re managing a law firm, you need a formal law firm business plan that lays out your goals, financial profits plan, how you differ from the competition, and how you plan to market that difference. Some resources to help you plan:

What is law firm marketing?

Law firm marketing is an essential part of law firm management. Even if you want to spend most of your time practicing law, your brand is your competitive moat. Your brand plays a big part in determining how you stand out to clients compared to competing attorneys.

What is good law practice management?

Good law practice management means being able to take an objective look at where your firm is succeeding, and where it needs to improve. Revenue, billable hours, collection rate, new cases, and more, are all examples of key performance indicators (KPIs) you could be tracking.

What are the future of a law firm?

Associates and staff members are the future of your firm. You don’t just need to hire the people with the highest bar association test scores for your firm: You need to help them grow. Invest in the success of your attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, and office staff, and your firm will thrive in the long term.

Why is confidence important in law?

You’ll need it to build trust with legal clients that you can solve their problems, trust with your team in your leadership abilities, and trust in yourself to make good business decisions.

What does change mean in legal?

Change could mean rapid growth at your firm, or suddenly pivoting to a virtual practice model due to a global pandemic, or something else entirely. Either way, your ability to adapt will be your superpower. The world and the legal industry are changing constantly, so not innovating is not an option.

What is a law office procedure manual?

A law office procedures manual clearly communicates how things should be done at your law firm, keeping everything consistent and efficient. This means a more predictable workday for lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, accountants, and office administrators.

How does law office management help?

Law office management streamlines processes, improves collaboration, reduces costs, properly allocates resources, and keeps your firm moving forward.

Why put together a law office procedure manual?

Put together your office procedures so that, as you grow, you have a foundation in place for each new employee or member of your firm. You’ll want to compile all procedures into a law office procedure manual for safekeeping and reference.

What is important to a firm when managing documents?

As you manage your firm’s documents, it’s important to have a process that includes what to save and what to shred, even in a paperless office. When it comes to client files:

What is a process in law?

In your law firm, processes ensure you can easily locate contacts, tasks, emails, documents, and more associated with your clients. They also help you use your time and resources efficiently and ensure your staff does the same.

What to do at the end of a case?

At the end of a case, return client documents to the client, unless you specify otherwise. Get rid of unnecessary documents. At the close of a case, make sure you get rid of any non-pertinent documents that simply take up space. Have a separate file location for closed files.