Businesses fail and close down everyday. Statistics show that globally, about 20% of small businesses fail within their first year. There are many reasons why these businesses fail. In Nigeria, however, some businesses fail due to bad financial decisions. And that’s why every entrepreneur needs a good finance lawyer to offer the right fiscal advice.
There are many successful companies in Nigeria that hire finance lawyers to help them deal with legal issues relating to their finances. Some businesses even have robot lawyers that analyze data and make accurate financial predictions for them.
Finance lawyers have special knowledge representing their clients in financial matters like securities, banking, and bankruptcy. They are also involved in company registration, tax compliances, raising capital, and drafting agreements for their clients.
For example, the Finance Act of 2020 has amended the tax laws in Nigeria, and businesses are required to comply with the provisions. A good finance lawyer will help your business to act in accordance with all the tax legislations.
Hiring the wrong lawyer may result in grave consequences for your business including fines, liquidation, and lawsuits.
A large percentage of lawsuits in Nigerian courts are financial disputes involving many businesses.
Below are some tips on how you can get the best from your finance lawyer:
Be prepared to share important financial records
Lawyers work with facts and are therefore more effective when you provide them with all the information concerning your business.
Before you hire a finance lawyer, be prepared to share all necessary financial records. Don’t hide any records. Being open with your lawyers will enable them to give you the best financial advice for your business.
Your finance lawyer can protect your interest if you grant him/her access to all your financial information.
Do some research to find the most qualified Finance Lawyer
Most people assume that all lawyers have the same level of knowledge and expertise. But law practice is a vast field and every lawyer has a favorite area of specialization.
While most lawyers are into general practice, some focus only on one or a couple of areas.
Researching before hiring a lawyer means locating one with the right knowledge and skill set. Researching will help you to hire the best hand for your kind of business.
A finance lawyer who understands your business can assist you to lay a proper foundation and help you avoid problems that may crop up in the future.
Ask for a referral
One of the best ways to find the right kind of finance lawyer for your business is to ask for a referral from reputable lawyers.
Lawyers know the strength and capabilities of their colleagues and are always willing to refer you to only the best in their field.
Another great way to ask for a referral is to consult a fellow business owner to recommend an experienced finance lawyer.
Investigate the Finance Lawyer you intend to hire
With time, every lawyer tends to develop a reputation. While some of them are good, others are not so good.
Take into consideration feedback about the finance lawyer you intend to hire. Reviews and feedback will help you to decide if the lawyer will make a good employee or not.
You don’t want to get involved with a finance lawyer who is in court with most of his/her clients.
One good way of investigating a lawyer is to make inquiries at places where the lawyer practices.
Court workers see lawyers work every day and have a good knowledge of their practice and personalities
Focus on the Finance Lawyer’s experience
Experience is a huge asset in law practice. Experienced lawyers not only make your job easier, but they make fewer mistakes.
An inexperienced finance lawyer is bound to leave you exposed to financial elements that will harm your business.
Business owners should therefore consult only finance lawyers with vast experience in their business area.
For example, if your business involves an international transaction, it would be a bad idea to consult a lawyer with no knowledge of international businesses.
Don’t forget: size matters
Many business owners are sometimes torn between hiring big law firms or small law firms for their financial issues.
The kind of law firm you should hire for your business depends on the type of service you want.
If your business involves complicated financial transactions then your best bet is to hire a large law firm.
Big law firms have wide networks and resources to push through and get your job done in good time.
Small law firms, on the other hand, can provide prompt and personalized services whenever you need them.
Get a lawyer you can afford
As a business owner, your primary objective is to make money. Law firms are also run as businesses and set up to make money.
Although the cost of legal services does not come cheap, they are however negotiable.
Some business owners have made the mistake of engaging lawyers without determining the cost of those services.
Failure to find out the cost of the legal service of a lawyer or law firm will expose you to paying whatever is presented as lawyer’s fees at the end of the day.
Take note that our courts do not joke with lawyer’s fees as they believe a lawyer deserves his/her wages.
Have a written agreement
After discussing and agreeing with the lawyer on the fees and the mode of payment, insist on having the terms written down.
Go through the agreement and if you do not understand any clause or provision, seek a third party interpretation before endorsing it.
With a written agreement, you will have a pretty good idea of how much you are paying for the legal services.
Wrap up on hiring the best Finance Lawyer for your business
In business, anything can happen. Business owners should therefore take every step possible to minimize their financial risks.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your business interests is to hire a good financial lawyer. However, the onus is on you to hire top finance lawyers that have the right experience and skills to help your business thrive.
Don’t forget: it is better to hire a good lawyer now than spend money in the future trying to extricate yourself from trouble.