Hiring a good lawyer is crucial for the success of any business. However, many small business owners do not use the services of a lawyer simply because they are trying to minimize their business costs. While you do not need a lawyer for all your business affairs, there are matters for which a small business lawyer is worth the cost.
Here are some of those matters:
Disputes arise in all areas of business and may involve, clients, partners, customers or other businesses, even if your actions were not deliberate or if you find yourself in the middle of a contractual dispute that ends in litigation. There are strict timelines in litigation, so as soon as you’re aware of the potential for litigation, you should contact a lawyer.
2. Government Complaints
Are any government agencies filing a complaint or investigating you for possible violations of law? If so, not only could you face civil charges, but criminal charges as well. Therefore, it would be wise to consult a small business lawyer.
3. Selling or buying a company
If you want to sell your small business or buy a company or it’s assets, you should include a small business lawyer in the transaction. A small business lawyer will help with the agreements, consents, permits and anything else required for the sale or purchase.
4. Succession Planning
The process of deciding what will happen to your business when you and/or other co-founders are no longer able to run it or have no desire to do so is known as succession planning. Succession planning looks at how the business will be passed from one owner or group of owners to the next. There are many options for you to consider. A small business lawyer will help you to narrow down those options and select the one that will work best for you.
How much will a small business lawyer cost?
The amount a small business lawyer will charge depends on the type of service you require, the lawyer’s experience and whether one lawyer will suffice, or you need a team of lawyers to handle your affairs. Also, Vancouver small business lawyers use different fee structures including:
- Fixed fees
If a lawyer uses a fixed fee, they will look at the task that needs to be done and charge a set amount regardless of how much time or work is involved. This type of fee is usually used for specific tasks such as drafting or reviewing a contract.
- Hourly rates
With an hourly rate, you will be charged for the time your small business lawyer takes to work on your case. You should note that this includes time spent on activities like phone calls, meetings, drafting, case research, document preparation, court appearances and anything they do with relating to your case.
A retainer is an upfront payment for services that your small business lawyer will offer your business. Whenever your lawyer incurs a cost while handling your legal matters or needs to collect legal fees, they will be paid from the retainer, which will need to be replenished once it is depleted.
While working on your behalf, your lawyer may incur certain expenses such as court or government filing fees. These expenses will be added to your legal bill.
- Government taxes
Regardless of the fee structure your lawyer uses, they will be required to charge taxes on their legal fees and on some disbursements.
How to keep your legal costs down
Unless they are doing a specific transaction, most small business lawyers will charge you an hourly rate. So, it is important that you have all your documents in order and know exactly what you want the lawyer to do before making an appointment. You should also only make decisions after careful consideration as it can become very expensive if you frequently change your mind having to go back to the drawing board with your lawyer.
When you meet with a lawyer, discuss what you want to achieve and ask them to give you an idea of how long it will take and how much it will cost. Then, weigh whether the cost is worth it. You don’t want to hire a lawyer for a matter that ends up costing more in legal fees than the amount you recover or save. Before you move forward, ensure the lawyer presents you with an outline of all their fees, the services they will provide for those fees and how you will be billed.
Do you need a small business lawyer in Toronto?
At Samuel Osei Law Corporation, we provide a wide range of legal solutions from advisory services to litigation for small businesses. Our small business lawyer is experienced, professional and thorough and he is committed to helping you tackle whatever legal problems are affecting your small business. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation.