The legal industry is the gatekeeper; there’s no doubt about that. Of course, I’m speaking in regards to small business startups. Rest assured: of all the issues, challenges and hurdles budding entrepreneurs face when starting a business, nothing beats the legal field. Making sure you’re on par with governmental regulations and the like: you’re left with a checklist that must be observed, and oftentimes it seems like that list is changing every day. It can be very financial stressful.
You can circumvent a lot of the money crunchers, though, with these three simple ways. While the legal industry can cost a few hundred dimes or so, some of those dimes can be kept in the piggy bank for safe keeping, starting with….
Self-Education and Documentation
Let’s all applaud the rise of the internet, shall we? Thanks to the World Wide Web, you can practically educate yourself on how to manufacture a pipe bomb if you want. Why not drafted legal documents?
This is the truth — no longer can legal information be solely houses in courtrooms, clerk offices and law firms. You can basically find anything you want in terms of documentation right online, so long as you know what you’re looking for. Are you looking for contract forms? Excellent. Type it on a Google search. What about privacy policies? Take a quick look at some creative commons, and you’ll surely find templates you can use.
Research just how to fill out the templates, too. Understand what you’re going to need, in the industry you’re in, with what you’re selling, and who you’re selling to. This actually saves you a ton of money in legal fees, having a business lawyer prepare it all for you. What’ll happen is your attorney may only need to review what you’ve done for a nominal fee or fixed price, and you’re good to go.
Asking for Payment Alternatives
There was a time when the paper check was all you needed. If you were filthy rich, you’d simply drop a giant plastic bag filled with money on the table of the lawyer you’re working with. That’s how operations ran back in the dark ages.
Nowadays, times are different. We have multiple ways to pay, and quite frankly the legal industry has seen the writing on the wall very clearly. Not all attorneys, though, are in the know — but you definitely should still ask. It can’t hurt.
Specifically, not only does the way of payment change from time to time, but also the type of payment changes. Many lawyers may actually charge not simply for a fixed retaining fee, but also by the hour, or on contingency. Do the research. See what you’ve got on your plate in terms of flexibility. Again, simply ask.
Outsourcing Is In
Like the Bohemian revolution back in history of Moulin Rouge and such, the ability to be free in a sense has truly appealed to the everyday law firm. We still have the mega-giants in the industry, without a doubt, but you might save a ton of money looking for the loner.
Talent doesn’t necessarily decrease when a lawyer’s not part of the super-sized firm. Look for the smaller firms. Oftentimes they’re just as hardworking, if not more. Moreover, they also charge much less, usually. Additionally, these types of independent lawyers might work solely on small retainers, or even hourly, part-time, without any need for a long-term definitive salary as many in-house counsels or mergers with law firms agree on.
They’re on call, when you need them, how you need them. Think of them as “freelancers” if you want. Whatever the case, that quality business lawyer you get in touch with will ultimately save you a ton of money, because they’re always be there when you specifically need them. That’s all that matters.
Truthfully, Your Attorney Should Serve You and Your Needs
Your obvious need in this case is to minimize the expenses. Without a doubt, the entire legal industry charges a load, and you can understand that a lawyer must abide by the costs, maintain his or her own revenue as usual, and must charge the $200-$300-$400 per hour you might see on a regular basis.
That’s a whole lot better, though, than the $5K retaining fee from the big-time law firm. Isn’t it?
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Matt Faustman is the CEO at UpCounsel. You can follow his business insights on Twitter at @upcounsel.