Have you been in business for a while and you are overwhelmed at the thought of resolving frequent legal concerns that arise from your business such as;
- Tax harassment
- Having to deal with employees who leave your business without prior notice or who leave your business to set up businesses similar to yours and are presently in competition with you
- Dealing with competitors who are after your intellectual property and trade secrets
- Dealing with difficult customers when making transactions
- Dealing with contractors who fail to keep to their end of a bargain, etc.
Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have intentions of starting your business, and you have questions such as;
- What type of entity will be suitable for my new business
- What taxes will my business pay after starting up
- Where and how do I pay my taxes? etc.
Having access to a dedicated legal team that provides you legal services such as legal advice, preparation of contracts, tax planning, etc on the go, could be the solution to your problem. Hiring a lawyer on retainership simply means, securing the legal services of a lawyer or law firm for a period of time in exchange for a fixed fee.
There are different types of legal retainership, however in this article, we will be explaining why hiring a lawyer or a law firm on retainership before and after you start a business, is important for every business and business owner.
WHAT KIND OF LAWYER SHOULD I HIRE ON RETAINERSHIP FOR MY BUSINESS
Having a dedicated lawyer or law firm that provides your business with ongoing legal support, such as; giving you and your team legal advice on call, and representing your business where the need arises can be the best investment you could ever make for your business.
However, we recommend that you hire lawyers or law firms who have an expertise in your type of business and has a firm grasp of what your business is all about. In Nigeria for instance, we have situations where most lawyers practice on every subject area, but have no superior knowledge or experience in a particular area of law. Although this is understandable because the legal education system focuses on every legal subject matter, signing up a general practitioner or a law firm that is engaged in general legal practice is risky for your business, as such kind of lawyers may have little or no understanding about what your business is about.
On the other hand, a Business/Corporate/ Startup lawyer and law firm are the kind of lawyers you should hire to look out for your business. This is because as deduced from their names, they are trained and have the required experience to handle legal issues that may arise as it concerns businesses.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A BUSINESS LAWYER OR LAW FIRM ON RETAINERSHIP
Below are some of the benefits of having a dedicated legal support team in your business;
1. YOU SAVE COST FOR YOUR BUSINESS
It is more cost effective to have a legal team on retainer that is committed to paying attention to all legal issues that may arise in your business. When you have a business lawyer or legal team on retainer, you are assured of access to legal services for a fixed amount over a period of time.
Such fixed amount is good for your business as it enable it to make budget accordingly while at the same time taking care of costs that may arise in the event of legal related emergencies.
Let’s take for instance, you need a lawyer to prepare an agreement for a business transaction. If you do not have a lawyer or law firm on retainer, you’ll probably be compelled to pay a lawyer for preparing such agreement only. Let’s assume the lawyer charges N50,000 (fifty thousand naira) for preparing one contract. There’s a high chance that when you go back to the same lawyer, you will be charged either the same amount, or a higher fee for another contract.
But when you have a dedicated legal team on retainership on the other hand, you gain access to several agreements (as agreed between you and the lawyer) at a highly discounted rate.
2. YOU SAVE UP TIME TO FOCUS ON THE BIGGER VISION FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Your goal for starting a business isn’t to slave away in it, but to make profit, but have sufficient time to do the things you love. That’s the mantra of most successful entrepreneurs you admire.
To achieve that, you have to ensure you surround yourself and your business with smart people. To buttress this point, let’s refer to this quote from Richard Branson;
“It’s all about finding and hiring people smarter than you. Getting them to join your business, and giving them good work. Then getting out of their way, and trusting them. You have to get out of the way so you can focus on the bigger vision… “
Stop slaving away in your business in the name of cutting costs. Hire smart people, an in this case, your business lawyer.
3. YOUR DEDICATED LEGAL TEAM BECOMES YOUR PARTNER IN BUSINESS
When you hire your lawyer on retainer, you get to have a legal team who understands minute details about your business, and this makes communication quite easy. As against a lawyer who comes in contact with your business on few occasions, and only when their services are required.
There’s a difference between how both of them will take care of your business when the opportunity presents itself.
4. PROTECTS YOUR BUSINESS FROM UNDESIRABLE EXPERIENCES
Experienced lawyers are not trained to do damage control or put out fires alone. A business lawyer or team of lawyers who understand their role in any business, foresees possible threats to a business, and devices strategies to protect the businesses they represent from such threats before they happen. Moreso, when you have a dedicated legal team that is familiar with all if not every detail about your business, it becomes easy for them to do this job well.
5. ENHANCES YOUR BRAND PERCEPTION AND INSTILLS CONFIDENCE IN YOUR DEALINGS
Imagine as a business owner, you find yourself in a business transaction with another business owner or company. You’ve negotiated business terms and it’s time to either have the contract prepared or review the contract given to you by the other party for your signatures.
How does it feel telling the other party “I’ll have my lawyer prepare the documents” or “I’ll have my lawyer review the agreement and stay in touch”?
What impression do you think the other party will have about your business and your brand?
Won’t they regard your brand as organized, structured and ready to do business? Wouldn’t you feel a sense of pride in knowing that you have a legal team who will always look out for your interest and bark to protect you should the need arise?
It’s a beautiful feeling if you ask me, and you should by all means do whatever you can to have and sustain that feeling.
HOW DO I HIRE A LAWYER ON RETAINER FOR MY BUSINESS?
So, you’ve gone through the benefits of having a business lawyer or law firm on retainer for your business and you’re probably asking, “How do I hire the right lawyer or legal team for my business”? Below are some practical tips to hiring a lawyer or dedicated legal team for your business;
1. Do your research; Look out for lawyers and law firms with experience. As stated earlier, not all lawyers understand the law as it applies to starting, managing and winding up a business. To find out if they have experience, look out for the kind of matters they handle, what subject area they talk about (online and offline), the certifications of the lawyers within the firm, etc.
2. Be clear about what type of legal subscrition plan you want to go for; When it comes to types of payment for legal services, there is the pay-per-service option (i.e pay for a legal service when the need arises) or retainer (which entails, paying a fixed amount for services over an agreed period of time. It could be monthly, bi-annual or yearly as the case may be). If you want access to legal services on the go for your business, you should go for the retainership payment option.
3. Ask for and study your terms of engagement; Generally speaking, a legal retainer is entered into for a long period of time and in such cases, it is best to have a written agreement that informs you about what to expect from the relationship when you subscribe to their retainership plan.
Running a business can be time consuming, and as a business owner, you may not have the time to devote your attention to re-curing legal matters in your business. This is where having access to dedicated legal support can be of great help to you and your business.
Are you worried that your business may not have much funds to accommodate a lawyer on a budget? Don’t worry, we have plans and packages that accommodates your interest.
Need to hire a lawyer for your business? Our law firm can assist your business with access to bespoke legal services on the go. You may reach out to us through the Whatsapp link on your lower right or HERE