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Finding the Right Lawyer

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Finding and hiring a lawyer is one of the most important things the founder of a new startup can do. The lawyer will help draft the necessary paperwork to establish the entity, whether it’s a limited liability corporation, corporation, or partnership in the U.S. or a private limited company or limited liability partnership in the U.K. Lawyers can also advise you on the legal challenges you can expect as you grow and about the particular requirements of the state or country where the business is located.

Law firms focused on helping young businesses are becoming increasingly common. Finding one shouldn’t be too difficult—just ask for recommendations from other entrepreneurs. If you are taking advantage of a shared workspace like WeWork, search the network where you are based or ask a community manager for a recommendation. In the U.S, many state bar associations also have lawyer referral services.

You need to find someone familiar with the legal issues of small businesses. Always ask for references, and don’t hesitate to contact them. Make sure that you understand what charges and fees you can expect. These vary from firm to firm and lawyer to lawyer.

A final point: your company will be better served by a local firm who specializes in business rather than using one of those free legal service websites. While these services are great at getting you started on collecting the right information and serving as placeholders for necessary legal materials, but you don’t want to rely on them in the case of a lawsuit.

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