If you’re a business executive, you’ve probably debated whether you need a business lawyer. You shouldn’t wait until you’re hit with a lawsuit to consult with one.
An attorney can provide guidance on many aspects of business, from drafting contracts to showing you how to dissolve an LLC in Florida.
Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Business Attorney
The size of your business is a good indicator of whether an attorney’s services will be necessary. The bigger it grows, the more legal challenges you will face. A lawyer helps you navigate them while you focus on your core business.
A law firm’s size also determines how useful it will be to you. A bigger practice can handle your interests over a larger jurisdiction, ie. several states. It will also probably charge you more in legal fees. Often times, a smaller law practice can handle most of your business needs, provide you with more individualized attention, and will charge less in legal fees.
The other factor to consider is the attorney’s field of specialization. Although a business lawyer is already practicing in a niche market, the business world is still vast. Depending on your needs, there are lawyers who specialize in advising startups, drafting and disputing contracts, and mergers & acquisitions.
A lawyer also comes in handy if you’re looking to either form or dissolve an LLC in Florida.
Why Your LLC Needs Legal Guidance
Although attorneys usually charge a one-time flat fee for forming limited liability companies, you’ll probably need them for other services. These include:
- Amending a partnership or LLC operating agreement in regards to sharing profits and losses. These special allocations require the input of a lawyer who’s well versed in tax matters.
- Contributing property to an LLC.
- Making acquisitions which require complex regulatory approvals. A good example is a requirement to conform to environmental protection laws. These are capable of stalling your operations for years, or even preventing growth altogether.
- Handling threats of lawsuits from disgruntled employees, partners, and other stakeholders. Even though these might be baseless, the resources needed to tackle them might impact your bottom line negatively.
Experienced business attorneys try their best to avoid costly lawsuits. Unlike criminal lawyers who enjoy courtroom battles, they prefer to settle things before they snowball. Your business lawyer will readily represent you in a court of law, but only after exhausting more diplomatic options.
Understanding Attorney Fees
Attorney fees depend on the particular issue being addressed. While forming a company might attract a flat fee, it might cost you more to dissolve an LLC in Florida. You might also have to regularly consult your lawyer to clarify some confusing business regulations.
To better control expenses, it makes sense to understand how attorneys charge their fees. These methods include:
- Flat fees for one-off, routine matters such as drafting contracts.
- Hourly rates. Also known as per diem, you pay an amount your attorney feels is commensurate to the value time offered. Some charge per day for longer engagements.
- Monthly retainer. This makes sense if you regularly contact your attorney for legal advice. Instead of being billed per call, you’ll pay a fixed, convenient monthly fee.
- Contingent fee. This is applicable to complex issues such as lawsuits, mergers & acquisitions or any deal in which the stakes are high. The lawyer is guaranteed a cut of the proceeds, or out-of-pocket expenses if the intended result isn’t realized.
This fee ranges from 25% to 40%. It’s preferable because you have common interests, which motivate your business attorney to win.
These billing methods are not cast in stone. You may have to come up with a payment plan which suits your needs as a company. This is detailed in an agreement known as an engagement letter.
Do You Need a Professional Business Attorney in Jacksonville?
Our practice is known for its vast experience and expertise in business-related matters. Whether you’re looking to begin a fruitful partnership or dissolve an LLC in Florida, we’re best placed to guide you. Contact us today for more information on our full range of services.