When an entrepreneur thinks of having to consult a lawyer they likely immediately think of outrageous fees they can’t afford. Yes, lawyers can be expensive and most are expensive, but we’ve provided some helpful cost-effective tips for hiring a business lawyer so you can get the help you need without spending a fortune.
How Lawyers Bill Time
It’s important to first understand how lawyers bill their time before you can understand how you’re going to keep the costs down.
Hourly (or per diem) Rate – Many lawyers will bill their clients by the hour. Traveling might alter this and they could bill by the day instead of per hour.
Flat Fee – Some lawyers will work for a flat fee if the matters are routine and common; closing a loan, reviewing a business or legal contract, etc.
Contingent Fee – When it comes to more complex legal matters, or lawsuits, lawyers will typically have a contingent fee. This means that if they are successful they receive a percentage or portion of the final proceeds; this amount will vary based on each individual lawyer and case. If they are not successful for your case they only collect the out-of-pocket expenses.
Monthly Retainer – Many legal offices will offer a monthly retainer which means you can seek all the advice and assistance you need on a monthly basis via a monthly retainer fee.
Save Money on Business Lawyer Costs
Detailed Estimate of Costs – Before you pursue the services of a lawyer ask for a detailed estimate that includes the cost for each matter that needs to be addressed. You might also ask if they offer a ‘cap’ which portrays the maximum cost of a particular service they offer. This can help you gain an idea of how much you may spend in the end. If your bill ends up being more than the estimate they provided you will want to ask why and get all of the details to know where your money went.
How the Firm Bills for Time – Not all lawyers will bill or charge the same way so it’s important that you know and understand how they bill for their time. It varies greatly by each individual lawyer but is a crucial component to saving money on legal costs.
Itemized Bills Every Month – You could request that your lawyer send you an itemized bill each month. This could help you avoid paying an outrageous sum of money at once if you plan on needing their services for awhile. Monthly invoices can help you keep track of what you’re paying for and ensure you aren’t paying excessive fees or for mistakes; charges meant for a different client, etc.
Get Prepared – Before you actually consult with a lawyer you want to be fully prepared. Know what you’re going to need paperwork wise and have an idea of what you want to discuss with them. You might even send any documents to your lawyer ahead of your call so they have time to read and review them. This will also help them be prepared for your call; it’s a win-win for both parties.
Discounts – Find out if the lawyer offers any discounts for paying your bill within a certain time frame. Even just a 5% discount can make a drastic difference on the total amount you end up paying for a business lawyer.
Regular Meetings – It’s important that you communicate with your lawyer regularly so that you know what is going on. This doesn’t mean you need to call them on a daily basis but it’s important that you’re in-the-know and are updated on any existing matters involving your business.
Hiring a business lawyer can be expensive but the above tips should help you save money and have a better understanding of how to continue saving costs once you’ve acquired their services.
For reliable and affordable legal representation from Smutylo Law, please contact our firm by phone or through our website http://lawyercorporation.ca.