How to find a lawyer for your small business

Everyone knows a good lawyer joke, right? What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? A good start. Yuck it up now, because there will come a time when you need the services of a lawyer for your small business. The time to find a lawyer is now, before you need one. When it comes to get one you may not have the time to find the right one.

Selecting a lawyer for your small business is an important decision. Lawyers not only offer advice, but can handle many of the legal documents you need created. They should review contracts, and help you decide on employee actions.

Finding a lawyer can be a daunting task, but don’t worry. Here are five ways to find and hire the right lawyer for your small business:

Word of mouth: Referrals are the easiest way to find a small business lawyer with experience. Ask your peers at meetings, ask your chamber of commerce associates or even your friends. If someone has worked with a lawyer and had a good experience, they’ll let you know.

Lawyer directories: Each state bar association has a directory of lawyers. They list the lawyer, their specialty and their location. This can help you discover someone in your area with the specialty you need. To find your state’s bar association, type “state bar association” into a search engine. Replace state with the one you are looking for

Business social clubs: Do you belong to a fraternal organization? Athletic Association? PTA? Many organizations have directories that list the occupations of their members. You can use that list to call one or two to ask for a referral to someone they know.

Media: As you read the paper, watch the news or surf the internet, look for news articles talking about small business cases. You can easily find the lawyer who handled the case and contact them. This method allows you to at least know the lawyer has experience.

Advertising: I was cautious to list this, but if all else fails you can turn to your local yellow pages for help. Lawyers can now advertise their services, so look over the listings and focus on the small business lawyers.

Our next article is going to review how to interview a lawyer to see if they’re a good fit.