Basic Training: Zapped! Or, Is $60 Too Much for a Legal Consultation?

Posted on October 3, 2017 in Planning & Advisors

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Q: What kinds of legal issues do I need to be aware of in my business? And, do all attorneys charge for consultations? I went to one attorney who wanted to charge me $60 for a consultation.

A: Not sure where you’re located or what stage your business is in, so it’s hard to tell you what should be on your horizon. In many situations, law can be counterintuitive–and the principles can vary from topic to topic, so that’s why it’s good to get guidance from the outset to put that foundation in place. Many businesses are able to put that foundation in place with their lawyers and, for the most part, they run on their own, with a few check-ins with their lawyers during the year.

The most common legal issues tend to be:

  • Working with business partners
  • Agreements with clients and vendors/suppliers
  • Office leases
  • Hiring, firing and managing employees
  • Collecting bad debts

As to legal fees, some attorneys charge for consultations and some don’t–so it’s a good policy to ask in advance. Before you balk at the charges, realize that there is a value in paying someone to help you get to the heart of what you need done in far less time than it would take you to do it yourself. 

You’ve already encountered one of the main obstacles to doing your own legal work: You don’t have the time to educate yourself, and certainly not to the point where you might feel you can handle your own legal work competently. And frankly, it’s not a valuable use of your time to try to train yourself to become an “instant attorney”–if you really loved doing legal work, you would have become an attorney. Your strengths lie elsewhere.

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