HOW MUCH DOES A LAWYER COST FOR SMALL BUSINESS?
As a small business, getting a lawyer is very important. Don’t be like most small businesses who think they should not get a lawyer. The benefits of getting a lawyer for your small business far outweigh the possible costs which might be the reason why most small businesses shy away from getting a lawyer.
One of the benefits you stand to enjoy as a small business using a lawyer is business structure advice. A lawyer provides small businesses with the best advice for the type of structure to use for their small business.
As a small business with limited resources, you may not know the right structure to choose from, based on the type of business or services you will be offered, whether to choose a partnership, non-profit, sole proprietorship, corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) structure.
A lawyer also helps you to better understand the various local, state and federal laws governing the operation of your business. These among others are the reasons why you should get a lawyer for your small business.
So how much does it cost to hire a lawyer for a small business?
How are the Services of a Lawyer Priced?
The cost of a lawyer for a small business comes at a range. The services of a lawyer for a small business can be priced based on the education, level, and experience of the lawyer.
Another important variable that determines the price of a lawyer for a small business depends on the location of the business or the location of the lawyer’s primary area of service.
Another major determinant of the cost of a lawyer for a small business is whether the legal service is being rendered by a single lawyer or by a group of partners or lawyers.
The Cost of a Lawyer for a Small Business
The cost for a small business lawyer comes at a range of $150 (U.S. dollar) to $1,000 (U.S. dollar) per hour.
Things to Bear in Mind While Paying for a Lawyer for a Small Business
Because the cost is charged on per hourly basis, there are certain things you have to bear in mind while paying for the services of a lawyer for your small business.
Before you pay for the services of the lawyer, you should be sure how much time it would take the lawyer to complete the service in terms of hourly time. Some lawyers in certain locations charge less than $1,000 for their services. Some could charge between $150 (U.S. dollar) to $350 (U.S. dollar) per hour.
In some other location, the cost could range higher, based on the experience of the lawyer.
Still, on the aspect of location, lawyers located in larger and more densely populated areas and cities deliver their charges in the upwards of $850 (U.S. dollar) to $1,000 (U.S. dollar) per hour.
Negotiating with a Lawyer for a Small Business
When trying to negotiate with a lawyer for your small business, you should bear certain things in mind. Such as;
Just like any other business, lawyers are interested in maintaining a good and long-lasting relationship with their clients. As a result, they also offer alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) for their clients.
Attorneys also offer monthly retainers for small businesses. This option allows small businesses access to the services of experienced lawyers over a period of time.
Some lawyers sometimes also offer free legal consultancy services to small businesses.
Apart from the hourly rate which attorneys charge small businesses, lawyers also offer fixed rate charges irrespective of how long it takes to complete the work for which they are hired.
When you May Not Need a Lawyer
In as much as it is important to get an attorney for your small business. There are certain times and situations when you do not need the services of a lawyer for your small business. Such times when you do not need the services of a lawyer for your small business include;
- When Preparing your Business Plan
When putting together a business plan for your business, you do not need the services of an attorney.
- Hiring Employees.
You do not need the services of an attorney when you are hiring and interviewing employees for your small business.
- Employee Identification Number.
You do not need the services of a lawyer to apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN).
While we have dealt extensively with how much it costs to get the services of a lawyer for a small business, there are certain situations and scenarios which could affect the cost and price you pay for an attorney.
One of such situation is during special situations such as during mergers and acquisitions. Attorneys charge special fees which could be on a commission basis.
Another factor that could affect the hourly cost for a lawyer for a small business is during times of litigation. At every point, you should ensure you are getting the full services for the cost you paid for the attorney.
The ultimate guide for how you pay a lawyer as a small business is your budget. As a small business, do not expect to procure the services of a well-experienced attorney on the low budget of a small business.