FAQs for Small Business Owners
I know I need something but I don’t know what I don’t know. How do I tell you what I need?
You know your area of expertise and we know ours. Why would you expect to know our area of expertise? Of course you wouldn’t! That’s why you hire us – and we’ll explain and give you more information than you probably want to know. When we meet, you may suspect you need one thing but it turns out you need another. For example, you may come in thinking you need an NDA but what you really need is an Independent Contractor Agreement. We can help determine the right way to build your legal infrastructure based on your current legal needs.
How do I know when I need to talk to an attorney?
It can be lonely as a small business owner. You may not have people you can go to for advice and guidance – especially specific technical advice and guidance. How many times have you heard “you should talk to an attorney about that”? Well, we are those attorneys you should talk to. Advising and guiding is all we do (well, ok, we also write contracts but that’s secondary).
Is everything I tell you confidential? What if you have other clients in my industry?
As attorneys, we have a duty of confidentiality. That means we’re perfect for helping you vet those new business ideas or potential joint ventures you don’t want to tell anyone about yet. And because we’re not “inside” your business, we can be objective in a way that can help you see things from another angle. Chances are, we do have other clients in your industry. But we treat each of our clients individually because no two businesses are the same. Of course, we don’t share your ideas or best practices with anyone else. Even our advice to clients in the same industry ends up being quite different because of the goals and direction each is trying to achieve.
I’ve been wanting to “put things in place” but I don’t know where to start. Because I’ve ignored it, I’m afraid it’s now a mess. Will you still be willing to help me?
We know dealing with legal issues is hard and can be scary. It’s especially hard for service professionals because we are used to being experts. It’s easy to put it off and think that you’ll deal with it later. But it weighs on your mind and you worry about something happening. We see this a lot so there’s no judgment on our part. We just take it one piece at a time and fix things as we go. We make it a plan you can manage.
I’m afraid the legal fees will be too high and I can’t afford them. Do you have payment plans?
We don’t have “payment plans” per se, but we do have two different services models you can choose from. One model is project-by-project which means you pay for what you need as you go. Each project has a flat fee and we work on the project until it is finished. We wouldn’t have any further contact until you needed us again for a different project.
The second model is a year-long relationship in which we can do more to help you build infrastructure in your business. It also helps you with cash flow and having to cover a spike when you have a project. In this model, we offer a monthly support program that allows us to give you the guidance you need while allowing you to keep control of your budget.
What if I don’t need an attorney all the time?
Most people think of attorneys as those who go to court. You don’t ever want to have to need a trial attorney and when you think you need one, it’s too late. We’re not trial attorneys, we’re business attorneys who help you avoid problems altogether. You need us more than you know. As entrepreneurs (us included!), we are optimistic and focused on what we want to accomplish. That sometimes means we don’t always see the downside – our attention just doesn’t go there. Sometimes we just don’t understand how complex the law can make things.
What if I don’t really need an attorney and I can work it out myself?
Trial attorneys love this type of thinking. It keeps them in business representing you in lawsuits. The fact is, you have your own area of expertise and business law is not it.
How do I know when I need a business attorney?
You need us more than you know. It’s better to talk to us and not need us, than to need us and not talk to us.
What if it’s a really small deal, do I still need an attorney?
Small businesses have more to lose if something goes wrong. So, while the deal may be a “low” dollar amount, it could have high liability implications that you just don’t see. We’ll see them for you so you can make sure the upside still outweighs the downside.
I’ve gotten this far without an attorney; why do I need one?
You’re at a good point to start eliminating some of the risks you were willing to tolerate at the beginning. As your business matures, you should be taking steps to eliminate risks.
Nothing is wrong, why would I need an attorney?
Because we can keep it that way! You have a good business and you’ve got a growing client base. By now you have realized that improving your business is a never-ending task. We’ve got some things up our sleeves that can help you improve your business even more – and put some protections in place.