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  • Commercial Law Advisors

How to find the right start-up lawyer for your start-up – A checklist

As an entrepreneur who is setting up their first start-up, it is essential to have a lawyer that is the

best fit for your business. Identifying a lawyer that fits best with your business is a daunting task,

and this roadmap can prove of assistance.

Before breaking it down further, let us look at why it is important to have the right lawyer. A

competent start-up lawyer handles all your legal requirements deftly and with utmost care.

Merely complying with the legal requisites is not all that they take care of, they go the extra mile

to ensure that you are protected by the law from all sides. Therefore, finding the right lawyer

more or less affects the entire business and plays an integral part in ensuring that your startup-up

does not hit rocky tides. Here are the things you need to look out for to find the right lawyer for

your start-up,

  • Find a lawyer or a law firm with wide ranging specialization in business law, intellectual property, competition law, mergers and acquisitions and other relevant commercial regulations for your sector.

  • The law firm or lawyer must be familiar with the start-up business industry and have an understanding on how your specific sector works.

  • The must have past experiences in representing start-up businesses and hold sufficient experience with raising multiple rounds of investments for expansion.

  • Assess if they personally represent any of your lead investors or other parties with vested interests in your business or are involved in anything that might trigger a conflict of interest.

  • Assess if they have an international presence and can help you launch globally.

  • Assess if their services affordable or negotiable.

This is a broad outlay of the checklist you should have in mind while choosing a lawyer for your

start-up. Each of the abovementioned points play a huge role in the successful and smooth

outcome of your business.

Finding the lawyer or law firm that specializes in your industry and is able to understand your

needs is the primary goal. The key is to develop a professional relationship with them that helps

you communicate your needs and requirements to them, and they execute it out in a way that

works in the best interest of your start-up. The right fit is not merely based on the lawyer’s

expertise but also on how much time they are willing to invest in helping your business grow.

Similarly, your legal representatives should be able to understand what your market is and how

your market functions. They should be able to anticipate the needs that may arise in the course of

business, conduct due diligence, and protect your business, your intellectual property and the

people involved.

It is also essential that you hire the services of a lawyer or law firm who has represented or

worked with start-ups earlier which makes it easier on you and them to evaluate and anticipate

your needs. They should be acquainted with working along Venture Capitalists and Angel

Investors and should be equipped to assist through multiple rounds of raising finances. They

should be fairly aware of the risks that are involved at every point of growth and expansion so

that they are able to lay out a plan of action for you that lies in the best interest of the business

and you.

As a start-up that is trying to find a foot hold within a competitive industry, finding the right

lawyer might prove to be a difficult task at times, so, where can you find the best or the most

experienced lawyers who can assist you in building your business from the ground up. The

general tendency might be to ask friends or family, and, in some cases, your lead investor might

suggest their lawyer. It is always advised to not engage the services of your lead investor’s

lawyer as it might lead to conflict in the future. You need an objective and impartial figure that

prioritizes the business over everything else. By hiring someone who has an existing personal or

professional relationship with a party who has a vested interest in your business, you are

exposing yourself to potential conflicts and risks. So where can you find a lawyer or a law firm

that can represent you and your business in the best way possible. Online directories such as

Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 etc. provide rankings of top law firms across different

practice areas, thus assisting you in finding the right firm or lawyer for you.

Engaging a lawyer or law firm that specializes in a field might be a costly affair. It is integral that

you evaluate beforehand the affordability of the lawyer or the firm that you engage. It is

important to discuss these terms with your legal team or representative and agree on terms

acceptable to both parties before you disclose the details of your business fully.

While it may seem like a daunting task to new entrepreneurs, finding the right lawyer for your

start-up is a very important step in your business journey, perhaps the easiest way to get an

understanding of how the legal industry assists the business industry is to talk to your network

and other founders and understand how essential their services are and how the business thrives

on their advice.

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