You wouldn’t go to a doctor and say, “Doctor, I need my appendix removed, how much would it cost?” Instead, you’d give the symptoms you’re having – stomach pain, nausea – and rely on the doctor’s expertise in questioning you further and diagnosing the treatment you need.
Similarly it goes for a business attorney, here’s a short, semi-made-up anecdote to illustrate why it’s important to find a good business lawyer who will listen to you and your needs:
Client: “I want to turn my business into a franchise but the other attorney told me it would be $30k to $100k so I gave up.”
Me: “That’s a reasonable estimate to start a franchise. But first, why a franchise? What’s your business?”
Client: “I’m a small, local coffee shop and bakery. I need to start a franchise so I can open another location or two but not have to micro-manage it.”
Me: “Then you probably don’t need to start a franchise to do that. Just listening to your needs, you can accomplish your goal in a number of far less expensive ways such as partnerships, joint ventures, setting up a subsidiary business, with your existing corporation by bringing in new shareholders, or even just hiring a qualified manager. Let’s find out more about what *you* want to accomplish, then we can set up an appropriate entity to do that.”
Here’s the point as to why you need a business attorney:
find a business lawyer that will listen to your needs, and not just sell you what you think you want. As the anecdote illustrates, the client knew what he wanted in terms of how it would look to him as a business owner and investor. He just used the wrong jargon in a jargon-intensive profession. The first lawyer didn’t bother to listen to the needs, but rather reacted to the jargon.
I’ve practiced as a business lawyer for over 20 years. I’m familiar with the various business entities, the laws and statutes governing them, and I’ve probably done what you want to do with your business. I don’t want to waste your time and money giving you a product you don’t really need. If you’re in the Western North Carolina / Asheville area, call me if you have any questions at (312) 671-6453.