4 Questions to Ask a New York Business Lawyer Before Hiring

4 Questions to Ask a New York Business Lawyer Before Hiring

The lawyer you choose to partner with when starting your business will have a profound effect on your company’s future. Many people fail to recognize the vital role a business lawyer plays in determining the success, or failure, of your company. More importantly, they don’t consider how their company’s risk management and performance will impact their personal lives. It’s no secret that some attorneys are better qualified than others, especially for specific roles. 

Unfortunately, looking for the best New York business lawyer won’t help you much because you have no way of measuring their skills. You want to find a great attorney who understands business structure and has a knack for success. 

Rather than reading hundreds of reviews or taking someone’s word about an attorney’s performance, you can ask a set of very specific questions. The answers given will help you determine whether this is the New York business lawyer you want to hire.

1. What special skills qualify you as the best attorney of choice?

While this is a two-part question, the answer unpacks a lot of relevant information. For instance, if you are building a clothing brand then you may want an attorney with retail experience. Asking this specific question first encourages an attorney to sell themselves to you by listing special qualifications and expertise in a relevant field. 

After the attorney has sold themselves on their special skills and qualifications, you’re asking them to commit to certain general duties. Their answers will give you an idea of what it may be like to work with this individual. It also forces them to think on their feet so you can see how they perform under pressure. 

2. Do you currently represent any clients or businesses that may present a conflict of interest?

Depending on the company you are building and the industry you will be operating in, certain clients could present a conflict of interest. The attorney could already represent certain industry competitors or prior colleagues. If they do, keep on searching. It’s best to ask this question early in the conversation so nobody’s time is wasted if there is a potential conflict that could prevent objectivity. 

3. How will you minimize my personal risk and the risk to my business?

Some of the main responsibilities of a great New York business lawyer include structuring a business appropriately and mitigating risk. They should mitigate the risk to your business as well as your personal risk. In essence you are asking about their approach by asking exactly how they intend to minimize risk. For instance, some attorneys may recommend spreading risk across the board while others may recommend purchasing certain insurance policies or financial products.

4. How will you handle scaling as my company grows?

A successful company will certainly grow and expand over time. Consequently, the roles and responsibilities of partners and employees will also develop and expand as the company grows. Asking a potential colleague how their role will change as you scale your company gives them an opportunity to explain what they will do to support that growth. It will also give you a glimpse into how they view themselves interacting with your business going forward. 

Partner with a Great New York Business Lawyer Today 

Business lawyers help structure the legal entity of companies and encourage them to take a proactive approach to legal matters by mitigating risk. They help company owners navigate the intricate web of legal complexities involving federal, state, and local laws with tactical clarity. Asking the right questions before choosing to partner with an attorney helps ensure the one you choose to hire has the specialized expertise to protect and propel your business forward. If you already own a business, or you are thinking about starting one, partner with a great New York Business Lawyer today. 

Scott Hamlin
Scott is the editor-in-chief of Spice Market New York. He is also an author and publisher of his own craft.