When I talk to business owners I often hear that they are avoiding going to see a lawyer because of the cost. While I agree that lawyers can be expensive (remember I was one for a number of years), there are ways to lessen the cost. At some stage you are going to need to incur legal fees as they are a necessary cost of doing business that needs to be budgeted for.
Here are my 5 tips to assist you with saving money on your legal fees:
Ask for a flat or fixed fee
There are two main ways that lawyers charge; by the hour or for a fixed (sometimes called a flat) fee. By agreeing a fixed fee at the start of the work there will be no surprises and you know exactly what you need to pay.
Check your quote
Ensure that everything that you want is included within the fixed fee.
In the same way that delivering a shoe box full of invoices to your accountant is going to cost you more in their time; seeing a lawyer within having thought through what you need will cost you more in the end.
Ask what paperwork is needed
You can ask in advance of your meeting what you need to do or to have. For example, you may need to bring your passport and electricity bill for anti-money laundering purposes and to bring your tax information.
Do some forward thinking
Think about what is important to you in relation to the work that you want your lawyer to do and write in down in a simple way. Not only will this clarify your thinking but it will assist in having your legal work done quicker.
For example, if your lawyer is drafting a contract for you then consider:
- Do you want full payment in advance or is a deposit sufficient.
- Do you have a payment plan for your clients’ fees?
- Do you want the right to charge a penalty if a client cancels with less than 24 hours’ notice?
I suggest that you picture the steps that your client would go through and what might come up at each stage. Depending on the way you think you could do a flow diagram or a mind map or a list of steps. All of these methods are useful to clarify what happens in your particular business.
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Disclaimer: This article is an educational resource designed to make you aware of some of the legal needs of your business. The information provided should be treated as a guide only and should not take the place of hiring a lawyer. Reading this article does not create a lawyer-client relationship between us. If you have a specific legal issue you need help with, you need to hire a lawyer.