What to Ask: Hiring an Attorney and Incorporation | Shelia A. Huggins, Esq.
UpCounsel attorney Shelia A. Huggins explains what every startup should be asking their legal team about hiring an attorney and incorporation2 min read
What is your experience in working with small business owners?
This question is essential because the small business owner will learn whether this legal team is a good fit for that business.
What technologies have you been able to incorporate into your law practice that might be of interest to small business owners?
This questions is essential because it will show the small business owner that the legal team is forward-thinking and might be able to assist it with being forward-thinking.
How can you help a small business maximize profits?
This question is essential because it will tell the small business whether the legal team understands the business model of the small business and how the legal team can assist the small business in growing.
How can you help a small business with liability protection?
This question is essential because the business will want to know that the legal team is being proactive about possible legal issues and not just reacting to legal issues that may come up.
How can you help a small business with plans for expansion?
This question is essential because it helps the small business determine whether is legal team is in it with them for the long haul.
What is the best way a small business owner can protect personal wealth and assets from business risks?
Good contracts, business succession planning, good plans and policies
What is the best way a small business can maximize its tax deductions?
Work with an accountant to plan the tax year before it starts, meet quarterly with the accountant and lawyer to review and anticipate tax liability, and make changes in spending and annual tax planning as needed.
What specifically are small business owners most confused about when you first meet with them?
The legal and administrative differences among the different business entity types
How can quality legal services help a small business grow?
By helping the business owner develop contracts that protect the business owner and maximize value to the business.
How can quality legal services help small businesses save money?
By making certain that good contracts are in place, liability and risk assessment is performed, business partners are properly vetted, and the proper business entity type is chosen.
How can small businesses maximize the value of their legal team’s services?
Making sure that they secure an attorney who is familiar with the needs of businesses and is not just a general law practitioner.
Should business partners have the same amount of equity in a company? Why or why not?
No. It depends on monetary and other contributions, operational responsibilities, and the terms of the anticipated returns.
What are the top three things a small business owner should be aware of when purchasing an existing business?
Accurately determine the value, Due diligence reviewing customer lists, sale records, advertising materials, and employee contracts, Determine why the business is for sale.
Do you have any other essential legal guidance for startups that you haven't already included in this survey?
Participants in a startup must take the time to properly vet all business partners before going into business with them.