Attorneys are great resources for a beginning startup or small business, but they are not one-size fits all solution center. A couple of things should always be considered by any small business looking or legal help.
Start-ups need lawyers to help them with three main groups of people.
The Government- You don't want to break any laws.
Third Parties/Public- The company needs to take the necessary steps to reduce and control any risks with customers, suppliers, employees, and the public.
Each Other- If there is more than one person that forms the company, it is crucial to establish the rights and expectation of those who found the company in the event that something happens down the line.
Lastly, listed below are a few more important things to know about hiring a lawyer for your start-up:
Cost - Attorneys are hired more efficiently under a monthly retainer than by paying them by the hour or task. With a retainer, a business just pays a flat fee and expect a dedicated amount of regular service, advice, and work with an attorney every month. However, anything involving litigation would be above and beyond and depends on the case.
Questions & Answers - Attorneys do not have the answer for how to run a business, however, they do have plenty of answers for what legal ramifications might occur if something happens or doesn't happen, given enough detail to work with.
No Promises - No attorney can guarantee a particular outcome. The fact is, whether an issue is settled or goes to court, there is always going to be an element of risk and potential loss. A good attorney will, from experience, project the likelihood of the desired outcome given the facts known at the time.
Certain Times- When starting a company, there are particular times where you will want to hire a lawyer such as when hiring new employees, contract negotiations, or obtaining patents for some businesses to name a few.