By Lauren Cohen, Esq. (TN & ON) – Founder, ScaleUPCheckUP™.
Finding and working with proper legal counsel is crucial, especially where your business is concerned. While you may not need legal guidance on a day-to-day basis, often where having the right representation and counsel in place before situations arise will save you time, money and consternation.
A strong client-attorney relationship is built on a foundation of trust – it is almost that of a fiduciary (A fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties – Source: Wikipedia) and should not be taken lightly; choosing the right professionals from whom to seek counsel and advice regarding the multitude of legal and related matters that will face your business as you grow is critical to your ultimate success as a business owner, and your ability to scale successfully. It’s important to hire professionals with whom you feel comfortable and secure; people who will coordinate and help manage your growth, handling the important foundational and structural matters so you can focus on scaling your business to the next level, and beyond.
Accordingly, below are what we consider to be the top 6 items to consider when hiring attorneys for your business:
How much experience they have in your industry. Ask good questions such as similar businesses with which they has worked, the outcomes achieved, and identifying some of the potential risks inherent in your industry. In traditional settings, you may want to ask for references ie: other business owners that you can contact to inquire about the professional services, their delivery, response time, quality and quantity of work product, etc. However, when working within the ScaleUP model, these steps will not be necessary as all service providers will be pre-vetted and certified as ScaleUP Ambassadors or Vendors in order to be
included in the ScaleUP professional resource team.
Look for a good fit. The “fit” includes someone with whom you have a quick and easy rapport, who understands your situation and business model and indicates an interest in your business and long-term goals. The professional should be responsive, appear competent and demonstrate the level of experience needed to handle the type of issues your business is likely to encounter. For example, an automotive repair shop would likely have different issues than a tech company and a different type of professional would be needed.
Find out how much time is generally spent litigating cases (going to court) versus negotiating resolutions to issues at hand. Mediation can often save companies thousands of dollars, so you want to work with counsel who is more oriented to negotiate than to “take someone to court,” without first making every possible attempt to negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement.
Work with attorneys who collaborate with experts in areas that complement their specialty area. These attorneys can help you put the right Agreements in place, obtain the right insurance, work with the right CPA, find the right banker, consult with the right financial advisor and a whole plethora of other guidance to set your business on the right track.
Ask if the professional or ScaleUP has any other clients or interests that might pose a potential conflict to representation. This could include competitors, former business partners and anyone who might have had or currently has an interest in your company or affiliated companies – or in you personally – in the past. If conflicts are evident, then you can choose if you would be comfortable sharing confidential information with the professional and/or ScaleUP and you will likely need to sign a conflict waiver.
Remember to inquire about fees. How and when the professional bills, what the fees are for certain things, what forms of payments are accepted, if there are surcharges for credit card payments, etc. In many cases, ScaleUP Ambassadors or Vendors are guided by standard fee schedules and at least to some degree
adhere to the fees set by ScaleUP, with variations depending on particular circumstances, locations, complications, or client needs. Standard fees could include: preparation and filing of documents such as incorporating a company, preparing and filing a trademark application, preparing a standard Agreement, reviewing generic Agreements, etc.
Once you have chosen the right professionals to work with you and your company, you will be in a much better position to focus on the sales and marketing and related elements needed to scale your business correctly. Get the broccoli covered so you can focus on the ice cream
ScaleUPCheckUP™ is here and it is a game-changer. The game is about to change – are you ready? To find out if YOU are at risk, take the ScaleUPCheckUP™ Assessment NOW: https://www.scaleupcheckup.com/scaleupcheckup-assessment, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-724-0085 for more information.
While the above is not and should not be considered legal advice, since each individual’s circumstances vary, ScaleUPCheckUP™ monitors these rapidly developing issues, as enforcement of the law switches into high gear. Instead, the foregoing is intended as an overview and not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. However, contacting an attorney to steer through the maze of bureaucracy to register and defend a mark may very well be necessary to consult an attorney.
ScaleUPCheckUP™’s blog, website, newsletter and other forms of communication contain general information about legal and related matters. The information is not legal advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your attorney or other professional legal services provider.