If you own any business in Canada, it might not be a bad idea to consider hiring a business lawyer. Business lawyers can come in handy in various scenarios, including if your business is ever in need of legal advice.
In addition to providing advice, business lawyers can also help to facilitate disputes, avoid legal pitfalls, and ensure that all of your contracts are sound. They can also help you stay on top of legal changes and prevent you from breaking the law in Canada.
But if you’re going to hire a business lawyer, you want to hire a good one. So here are 10 tips for hiring a business lawyer in Canada.
- Hire your business lawyer before you need them
If you can afford it, it’s always recommended that you hire your business lawyer before you need them. As mentioned above, business lawyers can come in handy for many different reasons, and one of their most significant advantages is that they can help you navigate through the legal system when starting up a new business.
In addition to that, hiring your lawyer early prevents you from scrambling to find one at the last minute. This gives you the time to do your research and choose a lawyer who fits you and your business well.
- Define your company’s objectives before selecting your lawyer
When selecting a lawyer for your business, you want to choose a lawyer with expertise and knowledge related to your company’s needs. For example, if you run a technology company, you might look for an attorney specializing in property rights and licensing.
If you run a service business, you might prefer a lawyer that is good with contracts and negotiations. Determine what the needs of your company are, and then find a lawyer that suits those needs.
- Make sure you’re hiring a business lawyer
This may seem like a common sense tip, but many businesses make the mistake of hiring the wrong type of lawyer. If you’re looking for a business lawyer, make sure that they are actually a business lawyer. Failing to do so could cost you time and money.
- Do your research
Whenever you’re hiring anyone for any service, you should always do your research about them beforehand. Check to see if they have any online reviews.
You shouldn’t rely purely on reviews when selecting your lawyer, but they can be a good indication of what type of work they have done for others.
You can also check out your lawyer’s web page to see if they have any testimonials from clients. If they do, what type of clients are they working with? Are they working with other clients that run a business similar to yours? If so, you could be on the right track.
- Schedule an in-person interview
Once you have done some research and selected a potential business lawyer, set up an in-person interview with them. Remember, you are hiring them for a job, so you have the right to ask as many questions as you want.
Now is the time to ask questions like, “what type of experience do you have with businesses like mine?” and “what is your fee structure?” The more questions you ask, the better you will start to understand whether your lawyer fits your needs.
- Schedule multiple interviews
Don’t just interview a single business lawyer. Instead, select a few different lawyers and schedule an interview with each of them. This will give you a feel for the differences between lawyers and help you choose the right fit for you and your business.
- Pay close attention to how your lawyer speaks
As you probably already know, lawyers are known to have their own lingo. But you’re going to be working one-on-one with your lawyer, and it’s important that you understand what they are telling you.
Though your lawyer should be well acquainted with legal lingo, they should also be attentive to the fact that you are not. Look for a lawyer who is willing to teach and guide you, and who is willing to take the time to explain legal jargon in layman’s terms.
- Conduct background check
Yes – it’s okay to request a background check from your lawyer. A background check is a great way to give you peace of mind that your lawyer is who they say they are and that they have not been in any legal trouble in the past. You can also perform other checks like reference checks to ensure that they have a good reputation in the industry.
- Make sure your lawyer is licensed
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who will try to pass as a lawyer when they are not licensed to do so. Don’t be scammed by one of these people. Ask your lawyer for their licensing and educational documents to support that they have passed their bar exam.
- Go with your gut
You may have to spend a lot of time with your lawyer, so you want to make sure that you choose a lawyer that is not only a good fit for your business but also a good fit for you. Choose someone that you feel comfortable speaking with and who you trust.