Negotiate with Your Lawyer

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are met with various challenges and among these worries is the question of whether or not they need a business lawyer.  It is a common perception that lawyers are expensive and these small businesses don’t have the extra money to be paying costly lawyer fees.  As a result, many of these smaller businesses don’t hire a lawyer until they are faced with a serious legal matter.  However, the reality is that hiring good legal counsel can actually save your business money in the long run.  While you certainly don’t need a lawyer to handle every aspect of your business, an ounce of prevention can be worth a great deal later on down the road. Lawyers can help your business in a number of areas including organizing your business, protecting patents or trademarks, resolving employee issues, analyzing contracts and leases, and negotiating with investors.  Once you have chosen to hire a lawyer to represent your business, it is important that you understand how to negotiate with them in order to get the best results for your business.

Be Prepared

Whenever you meet with your lawyer regarding your business you need to come prepared.  Make a list of goals that you hope to reach and be specific about which areas you want your lawyer to assist you with.  Make sure you can provide your lawyer with as much information as possible so they can negotiate effectively on your behalf.  Remember, your lawyer works for you so you want to empower them with as much background information as possible.


Listen to their Advice

It can be easy for business owners to get emotional about decisions regarding their business.  However, your lawyer acts as a negotiator on your side so it is wise to take their advice during certain negotiations.  Even though you might feel strongly about a certain issue, the lawyer is the one who is an expert in the field and an expert negotiator so there will be times when you need to take a step back and heed their advice.


Keep the Negotiations Courteous

Nobody wants to do business with a difficult person and the same is true with your lawyer.  As your business lawyer, they will be representing you over and over so it is to your advantage to establish a good long-term relationship with them.  A positive and collaborative negotiation is more likely to end with your desired outcome.


Understand the Dynamics of the Deal

Understanding the ins and outs of the deal is crucial in any negotiation.  Be prepared to ask your lawyer the following questions:

-Who has more leverage in this negotiation?

-Are there any timing constraints?

-What alternatives does the other side have?


Whenever you are negotiating with your lawyer it is important to ask the right questions.  Make sure you and your lawyer are on the same page before moving forward with any negotiations.  Your relationship with your business lawyer should work like a partnership, so everyone needs to be informed.  It is also important to build trust and rapport with your lawyer, as this will ensure that your lawyer will negotiate more aggressively on your behalf.