You normally think of those who have someone like James Hoffman attorney on retainer as big-time moguls with lots of irons in the fire. Maybe you even think that the cost of having your own personal business attorney is an unnecessary expense. However, there are several reasons why it’s smart for even a small business owner to keep a lawyer on-call.
Why You need a Full-Time Lawyer
You may not need a lawyer on your payroll when you’re just starting, but it’s a good investment once you’ve established your business. There might be plenty of times when you’ll regret not having an attorney who knows you and your company, and whom you can turn to for advice or to protect your interests.
Having your own lawyer will save time when you need emergency representation to handle an unexpected legal challenge. The more you grow, the more you’re at risk from a number of potential liabilities. Disgruntled employees, unhappy customers, takeover attempts from other companies and even scammers prey on companies every day. Think of a retainer as an insurance policy that protects your from risk.
There are also non-litigation or liability legal issues that your attorney can handle. Businesses that are experiencing growth may have to alter their corporate structure, want to merge with another company, acquire intellectual properties or reassess their tax obligations.
How a Retainer Works
There are two ways to handle retainers. In the first, a pre-specified fee is put into a special account when you first engage an attorney. As your case progresses, they draw money from that amount. If it’s depleted, you deposit more based on an estimate of how much it will take to dispose of your case. Other retainers are used by people who need multiple legal services, like contracts, on a regular basis. These retainers are done on a fee basis, where you keep an account at a certain level continuously for as long as you need to keep that lawyer on retainer.
Your attorney may be your most important business partner. When you need a full-time advocate who’s always got your back, look for a business lawyer you can trust.