The choice of legal representation or advisor for your business is one of the most important decisions you will ever make as an entrepreneur. Every company will inevitably need to lawyer up or require legal representation for one thing or another at some point in time. It would be best if you had a legal advisor at the helm of your business to take it safely through the stormy waters of legal and financial matters and to make sure that the ship of your business remains on course. As a business owner, you want someone to represent and advise you on legal and financial matters to grow better.
“The choices you make now, the people you surround yourself with, they all have the potential to affect your life, even who you are, forever.” — Sarah Dessen.
You should carefully choose all aspects of your business (for example, marketing, finance, human resources, technology and equipment, operations, and even legal) because they directly influence the success of your business. Making informed decisions as to what would be best for your business is of paramount importance. If you are opting for legal representation or an advisor for your business, you need to consider the same amount of tact before making your final choice in this regard.
10 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Legal Advisor
Individuals commit many blunders when it comes to choosing the suitable legal representation or advisor for their business. In the first place, we must consider several factors to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of such variations and to control it in the future. In some cases, the errors led to a great deal of loss, while others managed to avoid those mistakes thanks to luck. What are some of the mistakes you should avoid when choosing your legal advisor? Would you please continue reading for more insights? Let’s go:
#1. Choosing Family Members or Friends
Choosing a legal advisor who has a close relationship with you can be detrimental. At first glance, it might seem like the right idea, but in the long run, things might get complicated. It might end up costing you your relationship with that person. Avoiding the temptation to pick a family member or close friend can save your relationship. Sometimes you may disagree with the legal advice you receive from your attorney. As humans, this may cause a strain or a permanent end to the relationship. However, if you choose someone close to you or a family member, remember to keep it professional.
#2. Choosing Based on Feelings Alone
Do not choose a legal advisor solely based on the way you feel or the way you think. For your decision to be a good one, you should probably base it on facts rather than emotion. You might feel someone is not coming off right, or you may feel an instant connection with the person you want to hire. Nevertheless, emotions can be right at times, but they can also get clouded, leading you to make biased decisions.
“Don’t make a permanent decision based on temporary emotions” — Torrey Shannon.
You can listen to your feelings to a certain extent when choosing a legal advisor. The most important thing is to get it right; thus, you must allow rational thought to guide you when the occasion arises, as this is your highest priority. Consequently, if you think someone’s suitable for the job, you should not stop there. Do your due diligence in going further by doing the adequate research necessary to learn more of your intended legal counsel. Make sure you know everything there is to know. Gut-feeling could be right at times; however, be rational and decide based on facts.
#3. Failing to Ask the Right Questions
No matter how good the legal advisor appears or claims to be, you must pay heed to remain vigilant and ask pertinent questions throughout the process. Make sure that the questions you ask are not just any questions but the right questions. Be sure to ask critical and direct questions before hiring someone. Your watch phrase should be, ‘Never take anything for granted.’ Find out about the level of knowledge, experience, qualifications, and any other questions that you may need to ask the attorney you are considering. Make sure you have a clear picture of what you hope to get in a legal advisor and judiciously work towards it.
#4. Not Verifying Your Legal Advisor’s References Properly
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing your legal advisor is not checking the status and references of your potential legal representation. It would be best if you found out the reputation of the legal advisor in their previous jobs. Were there complaints? Never forget to cross-check the references provided. Find out what they thought about your potential attorney under consideration. What role did they perform with them, and does it relate to your business? Also, checking online reviews helps you make significant decisions as well. Cross-checking your legal adviser’s references is vital in ensuring you get a trustworthy person in your business.
#5. Choosing Solely on the Pay
When choosing legal representation, it can be tempting to jump at the first affordable option, but refrain from doing this by all means. The service fee that a legal advisor charges can be one of the factors guiding your decision to work with them. However, it should not necessarily be the deciding factor. If you are looking for a legal advisor who offers the highest quality at the highest rate, that does not necessarily mean they are the best for you, and cheaper does not necessarily mean better. The nature of your business goes hand in hand with your budget, so you will always find someone that meets your expectations at the right price. Focusing on quality should be the priority when making any decision.
#6. Choosing Someone with Little Experience
Never choose an inexperienced legal advisor. When choosing a legal representation, people often fall into the trap of picking someone who probably has experience in a single line of business or has had a few years of practice, which is often wrong. They may not be familiar with your line of business. They might not give you the same type of advice and representation if their experience is more vast via handling varying industries. If finding someone with general knowledge proves difficult, you can always go for experienced legal representation in your line of business.
#7. Rushing Your Decision
Rushing into making various decisions in your business can be detrimental. It would be best if you eschew fast and erratic business decision-making, especially in choosing your legal advisor. You would want to choose someone who would adequately represent you and give you proper guidance and legal advice. So, take your time, make sure you’re ready in all aspects, your decision should never be rushed or made in the nick of time. Find out all you need to do and make proper and informed decisions.
#8. Not Knowing the Proper Fees
When choosing the right legal attorney for their business, people’s most common mistake is jumping in without drawing up a proper financial plan. Be sure that you know how much these services will cost, the duration of their payment, and so on. You must be aware of the exact amount of money you are paying for the legal support you receive. Regardless of what they might say, a reliable legal advisor should be straightforward and concise about the fees and costs associated with their services.
#9. Choosing the First Person You Meet
Thinking about the job to be done in choosing a legal advisor can be arduous. When you think about the inquiries, questions, and resumes you will have to go through before finding the right legal advisor, you could fall into the temptation of picking the first person who satisfies most of your specifications. As someone who wants the best for your business, you should never fall for the lure of choosing the first person who meets your criteria. Go through your list of potential advisors. Make sure you review and question each one. Then compare results and pick the one who seems best. Always remember that the first choice may not always be the best.
#10. Deciding on Your Own
If you are in partnered business, married, or maybe you have people close to you who are reliable, then you should never make the decision alone. For those who have business partners, this is a must. You can’t go solo on such a crucial decision. Get your partner or partners involved in the decision-making process. A good way of making the decision process more manageable is getting second opinions. Reach out to people that matter that can help you in zeroing in on the best choice. Reach out, most especially to those that have experience in such dealings. Find out their opinions and ideas and compare them with yours and make your decision.
“In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.” — Harold S. Geneen.
In summarizing this piece, we see ten mistakes to eschew while choosing legal representation. First, choosing a family member or close acquaintances may not always be the best idea. Second, making a choice based on feelings alone could be a mistake. Always make a factual and logical choice. Third, failing to ask the right questions. Fourth, failing to check your potential legal representation’s references. Fifth, making a choice solely on pay can be elusive. Try to focus on quality. Sixth, choosing someone of little or no experience may spell doom for your business. Good experience is pivotal in hiring the most suitable legal counsel.
Seventh, rushing your decision is not always the best idea. Think through your process. Remember, less haste, less waste. Eighth, being clueless about the market rates for your potential legal representation shows that you may not be ready to acquire the services of an attorney for your business. Would you please educate yourself on what it will cost you? Ninth, being hasty to pick the first option without examining all the other options could land you in a load of hurt. Tenth, making a solo decision without leveraging your partners’ opinions or people with more information on the process.
“Sometimes, when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.” — Steve Jobs.
Choosing the right legal advisor for your company should be one of the most important decisions you make. You cannot afford to make mistakes during this process as you cannot afford to lose time. To succeed in business, you need the assistance of a reliable legal advisor. Making mistakes when choosing such representation should be avoided by all means. You want the best for your business. You must see to it that you meet all criteria adequately—the ones that have to do with you directly and the ones that have to do with the legal advisor.