How To Find The Best Business Lawyer

business law

If you have recently started a small business, you are likely to have come across several legal issues in your everyday operations. This is why you should stay informed and prepared as much as possible. Even if you are experienced in business or legal matters, it is always advisable to seek the help of a business lawyer to stay away from any errors and their implications.

Though the thought of paying business attorney fees may not appeal to you, the costs are worth it as a lawyer helps you assess and avoid risks, protect your profits and make the right decisions about the law compliance for businesses, saving you a lot of money over time. However, choosing a lawyer is not an easy task and involves a great deal of consideration.

We have created this guide to help you find the best business lawyers in the US. In this guide, you will learn about different types, the cost involved in hiring one, the factors you should consider while making a decision, and all the important things you should know before consulting your attorney.

What Is Business Law?

Business law is a generic term used to represent the code involved in protecting rights and liberties, resolving disputes, maintaining order, and establishing standards for business concerns and commercial transactions.

It is the law governing business entities and their dealings with individuals and government bodies. Each state has a defined set of rules and regulations for businesses. It is the responsibility of business organizations to be aware of the existing laws applicable to them.

To understand business law, imagine you want to start a clothing company. It is the business law that regulates how you register your company, how you organize it, how you should pay your staff, and how you can ship your merchandise to international customers.

This clarifies that business law applies to several aspects of a business. Moreover, it varies depending on the type of business, its structure, and jurisdiction.

Different Types of Business Lawyers

There are various types of business lawyers specializing in different aspects of a business. An organization may need a specific type depending on its unique requirements at a time. Here are some of the most important of them.

  1. Employment Lawyer

    This type of is particularly useful in modern workplaces where businesses require staying on top of the latest employment laws.

    The attorney can help you understand your legal obligations and stay compliant with government regulations associated with employees.

    They can save you from financial liabilities your business could face from failure to comply with employment laws.

  2. Business Formation & Dissolution Lawyer

    These lawyers can give you useful advice and guidance on starting a company as to how to register and form it.

    These specialists help you select your business structure and make vital decisions about the operations.

    An attorney helps ensure your business is compliant and protected right from the beginning. These attorneys also specialize in legal proceedings for a business dissolution.

  3. Bankruptcy Lawyer

    These lawyers generally have experience and knowledge about the merits and demerits of different options available to businesses under debt and can best advise them on improving their financial standing.

  4. Intellectual Property Lawyer

    These lawyers help businesses that get into disputes over their intellectual property such as trademarks, patents, and copyrights.

    A business can seek the help of this type of business attorney when another company or an internal employee tries to steal or sell trade secrets.

  5. Commercial & Contracts Lawyer

    The most significant type of business lawyer, these attorneys advise on laws governing different aspects from transactions and deals to employee agreements.

    Contract laws regulate a wide variety of aspects and scenarios which is why these lawyers are quite useful.

  6. Tax Lawyer

    Corporate tax lawyers are one of the most important business attorney types as tax laws are difficult to understand and keep changing all the time.

    These experts can keep you updated on how the latest changes to these laws affect your business and also help devise effective corporate law strategies to save money.

    A law lawyer is specifically necessary when you are under charges involving tax issues.

  7. Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer

    These lawyers help with negotiations associated with buying and selling of businesses. When you negotiate for assets and property of the business, it is a good idea to have a mergers and acquisitions lawyer represent you.

  8. Antitrust & Trade Regulation Lawyer

    These lawyers advise businesses on whether the business practice complies with trade regulations and competition in the U.S marketplace by undertaking several legal activities including counseling, litigation, merger advice, and investigation.

  9. Business Disputes Lawyer

    This type of lawyer specializes in resolving disputes between businesses and partners through legal proceedings and negotiations. The attorney also helps draft agreements for partnerships to avoid disputes in the future.

  10. Immigration Lawyer

    These lawyers help with negotiations associated with buying and selling of businesses. When you negotiate for assets and property of the business, it is a good idea to have a mergers and acquisitions lawyer represent you.

Cost of Business Lawyers

A business lawyer provides services related to the legalities of operation and regulation of businesses. You might need a business attorney to help and advise you about the laws and regulations your business should adhere to.

They are specifically important for startups as they help ensure a legal beginning and provide advice on how to use laws to protect the business.

For established businesses, a lawyer ensures any mergers or acquisitions are done properly without any complications. A business attorney also identifies any compliance issue you might be facing and help resolve them.

Most lawyers charge an hourly fee. The amount the attorney charges depends on several factors including the complexity of the case, the average hourly rate in the locality, the business size, and the lawyer’s experience.

Fees charged by these lawyers are generally lower than larger firms. Some lawyers even charge different rates for different tasks.

They might charge a higher rate for court work and a lower rate for documentation, for example. Average hourly rates range between $150-$350 though hourly rates can vary greatly from one lawyer to another.

If the business is facing an issue or trial, it may have to pay a higher rate for litigation. Complex procedures like mergers and acquisitions can also cost higher. It is important that businesses discuss the lawyer’s fee structure when consulting them for the first time and clarify their hourly fees.

Lawyers generally works out the fee structure during the first meeting. A standard arrangement may require you to pay a specific amount upon hiring and subsequent work would be charged on the basis of the hourly rate.

Though the hourly fee is the most common structure used by business lawyers, some may prefer to charge a flat fee, particularly when the case is routine or simple. Here, the lawyer charges a fixed amount for the task regardless of the time it takes.

For example, a business lawyer may charge $1000 for assisting business formation or $500 to draw up a lease contract.

Some other lawyers prefer a contingency fee arrangement where he gets paid after the case is settled. In cases of bankruptcy, a statutory fee structure is used where the fee is based on the state statute.

Deep Dive Into Business Law Fees Based On Field & Experience:

Field & ExperienceJunior AssociateSenior AssociatePartner
Employment Lawyer$100 / Hr$250 / Hr$400 / Hr
Commercial & Contracts Lawyer$200 -$400/Hr$450-$600/Hr$500-$850/Hr
Business Formation & Dissolution$40 To $100 / Filing$150 To $250 / Filing$250 To $425 / Filing
Bankruptcy Lawyer$350-$500/Case$500-$1,500/Case$1,000-$5,000/Case
Intellectual Property Lawyer$250-$275/Hr$320-$450/Hr$450-$820/Hr
Tax Lawyer$75-$150/Hr$200-$400/Hr$1,000+ / Hr
M&A Lawyer$250-$300/Hr$450-$600/Hr$800-$3,000/Hr
Anti-Trust & Trade$200-$250/Hr$250-$400/Hr$650-$1,000/Hr
Business Disputes Lawyer$250 / Hr$600 / Hr$800-$3,000/Hr
Immigration Lawyer$150-$350/Filing$750-$1,000/Filing$1,000-$3,500/Filing

How To Choose the right Business Lawyer?

There are several options for business lawyers in any state. Making a choice can be intimidating but resembles any other business decision.

You can get started by performing an online search or taking recommendations from other businesses in your niche and location.

Though this would help narrow down your options, there are some factors you should take into consideration before even scheduling your first meeting with the lawyer.


All U.S. lawyers possess some minimum qualification to be eligible for practicing law. Such qualifications ensure that attorneys can protect businesses well. However, you can expect your lawyer to have more than the minimum qualification.

There are several ways lawyers can stand out in their area. they can join a professional organization, earn rewards from local area publications or earn review ratings from legal organizations.

Such recognitions and additional qualifications prove the lawyer as an expert in the field and make it easy to narrow down your options based on your requirements.

Experience Level

While recognition and reputation are important considerations for assessing the professionalism and quality of a lawyer, nothing is as profound as experience.

When hiring a lawyer, you should be able to trust that they will get you the best results. Though not all attorneys disclose details of previous clients, there are ways you can learn about the lawyer’s experience without getting into the confidential information of the clients.

Most business lawyers highlight their recent settlements and trials on their websites to give you an idea of how well they will be able to handle your case and business. You can also ask the lawyer some relevant questions about their experience in the niche and industry your business belongs.

If the information is not readily available, you can ask about their notable cases and recent experiences without any hesitation. After all, you must know your business attorney well before working with them.

Fee Structure

There are different structures for fees. Before hiring a lawyer to represent your business, it is important to discuss with them the fee structure they use and determine whether it works for you.

Find out whether your lawyer uses a flat rate, hourly fee, or contingency fee, and try to understand how it fits your budget and needs.


It is important to pay attention to what others have to say about the lawyer you are considering. Testimonials and online reviews help understand the experience other clients had with the lawyer.

There are several review services you can get started with. If a law firm has a website, it might post positive reviews and client testimonials to help you set the right expectations and gain confidence.

Things To Know Before Talking To A Business Lawyer

Small businesses and startups often want to keep the costs to a minimum. There are several matters you can handle yourself using the resources available online or offline and save the cost of hiring a lawyer.

However, a business attorney often proves to be valuable during the initial stages of a business when you don’t have time to address liability and legal issues as well as compliance matters.

One of the first things you should be clear about is whether you need a lawyer. Though an attorney can help you address the initial procedures in setting up a business, you may choose not to hire one if your budget doesn’t permit it.

You can also avoid hiring a lawyer if you are a small business and haven’t done anything that can put you into a lawsuit.

The decision of hiring a business lawyer also depends a lot on the type of business you are looking to establish. Some types of businesses need legal help right from the start, particularly those that require a license to operate or have a higher risk of something going wrong.

For example, if you want to start a bar, it helps to hire a lawyer initially as you need to deal with permits, licenses, and insurance coverage for protection.

Hiring a lawyer can ultimately protect your finances and profits, it is important to determine whether your business has the potential to make money. Before investing your time and resources into building a legal framework for the business, see if your product/service has demand.

Find out whether your new venture can create an income stream to support your expenses. The ultimate purpose of hiring a business lawyer is to protect your assets, increase profits and minimize risks; you don’t need one if your business is not exposed to any risk or cannot maintain profits/assets.

Once you decide to hire a lawyer, make sure you look for somebody you can get along with and trust. See that the attorney you select has an interest in what you are doing, is overall enjoyable, and can relate easily to you.

You also want somebody competent, responsive, and experienced with legal matters your business may face. For example, opening a restaurant has a different set of factors for consideration than starting a software company.

As you research and explore your options, ensure you get niche lawyers focused on cases in the field you are working. A lawyer who is not an expert in the niche can hurt more than help.

You can ask for referrals from other businesses in your industry and ask the lawyer some questions about previous cases to understand their area of expertise.

Another important consideration is to get a lawyer with the right seniority for the task at hand. You don’t want a senior attorney taking care of documentation and an assistant lawyer negotiating with a seasoned venture capitalist.

You should also pay attention to how important the matter is to your company. When the case involves valuable assets, it is worth spending a little more than your budget to protect them.

Business Lawyer Consultation

When you consult a lawyer, you are looking to hire a professional who has years of experience and practice in law.

Their time is valuable, so it is best to keep the meeting concise and productive by having a set of questions ready. Things you want to ask a lawyer during the initial consultation can be divided into general and business-related.

General Questions

These questions pertain to give you an understanding of your lawyer, their operation, specialties, and what you can expect from them. Here are the most important things you should ask your lawyer during the initial consultation:

  • What is your specialization?
  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • What is your scope of operation?
  • How do you charge?
  • What companies have you worked with in the past?
  • Are your past clients comparable to my business in terms of size, location, area, and industry?
  • Have you any experience with startups?
  • Are you well aware of the laws applicable to new businesses in my state?
  • How will you address my needs on an ongoing basis?
  • Can I call you about any legal issue or just the matters within your specialization?

Apart from these, you can ask any question you think should help you learn more about your business lawyer and guide your decision about hiring them.

Business-Related Questions

When you want advice on a specific topic, there are a few business-related queries you should make to determine whether or not the lawyer is best for you. Here are some questions you can ask.

What structure is best for my business? One of the first things you do when starting a small business is to determine its structure. There is no better person than a lawyer to assist you with this decision.

General partnership as well as sole proprietorship both view the business and the owner as the same, so when there are legal problems or debts, you might be held accountable.

S Corps, C Corps, and LLCs differentiate between person and business, so there is no risk to your personal assets in case the venture fails.

Your lawyer can undertake an analysis of your business and the plan to position you optimally. This will impact how the business is owned, managed, and taxed.

What should be my business name? The name you adopt for your business is important, but many new businesses assume they can pick any name they like and start trading. Every state sets some rules and conditions for naming business entities.

Apart from this, you should also be aware of naming errors and trademarks before choosing the business name. A business lawyer helps find available options, research them, choose a proper name and do the procedure for making it official.

Does my business operate legally? It is difficult to know whether you are currently operating in compliance with the state, federal, local and municipal laws.

Operating legally might involve applying for licenses and permits and paying fees you may not know about. If you fail to do so, you might encounter legal liabilities, penalties, fines, and business closure.

Consulting an experienced lawyer would help you establish that you are presently operating within the boundaries of the law. The attorney can also point out areas of non-compliance if any. Moreover, regulations and laws are updated from time to time, so you need a lawyer who can inform you of such changes.

How can I minimize business risks? Starting a new venture involves so many risks. Your business lawyer can assess your situation to identify areas of the highest risk.

Once they make a thorough analysis of the business, they can suggest how those issues can be best avoided or addressed.

The methods include opting for insurance, using well-crafted contracts, complying with laws, and creating an ideal entity.


A business lawyer can prove to be a worthy investment for startups as well as small to large-scale organizations as they provide guidance, answer queries and address any legal issues you may face.

A reliable business attorney can guide you through the process of setting up a new business by taking care of legal formalities and handling challenges.

Finding the best business lawyers in the U.S. and choosing one for your business can be a daunting task. It is best to do thorough research, set the right expectations, and know your requirements before hiring an attorney to assist you with legal matters.

Consulting the business lawyer to discuss your expectations, business type, and structure and asking some questions help ensure you get the right lawyer who can protect your business and benefit you in the long run.

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