What to look for in a legal service provider for business

Running a business is not without its stresses and strains. So, having the added responsibility of choosing legal representation for your enterprise can be an unwanted addition to any business owner’s to-do list. Cost, expertise, success rates; these are all things a conscientious entrepreneur must think about before choosing a legal expert.

A business may require a number of legal services over time. From employment contracts to service level agreements, intellectual property matters to business premises. All of which leaves a business owner with a decision to make: should you choose one multi-disciplinary legal firm or employ smaller specialist firms to handle individual matters?

If you own your own company and are looking for legal support, here are a few pointers to get you started.

Where to begin
Start with the main reason (or reasons) you require legal representation. Do you have a specific problem you need help with? Do you primarily require help with the legal aspects of employing staff? Is somebody claiming against you? There are many types of business solicitors: corporate lawyers, intellectual property lawyers, employment lawyers and business property lawyers, to name a few. Before going any further it is crucial to consider the size and nature of your business.

If you anticipate 90% of your legal support to relate to employment law then you may find a specialist the most appropriate and cost-effective option. If you require a range of legal services right from the start of your enterprise’s life, there may be time and money to be saved from having all the legal expertise you need under one roof.

Keep a realistic budget in mind whenever investigating legal services. Compare a number of firms closely and try to assess which legal service providers offer added value to a business like yours.

Here are just a few services you may require if you are a start-up business:

  • Limited Liability Partnership Agreements
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Terms & Conditions for supply of goods
  • Terms & Conditions for website selling
  • Employment law and HR
  • Property Law
  • Intellectual Property law
  • Health and Safety policies
  • Data Protection documents
  • Non disclosure agreements

A business not only requires support from a legal service provider with a wealth of experience, but one with the right type of experience. Small companies are often best served by legal experts who regularly handle matters relating to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), as they understand the challenges facing a small business owner.

Similarly, a larger organisation may require the help of a law firm with significant resources and an extensive track record in handling corporate matters.

This is often a key consideration for businesses seeking legal representation. However, it is important that affordability is not confused with value for money. Never opt for a legal service provider just because they are cheap; instead, opt for help from a firm able to handle a matter swiftly and to a high standard. This will often represent greater value for money and avoid wasted in-house time and resources.

It is also important to pay close attention to the pricing model offered by a legal service provider. On The Law Superstore, legal service providers may charge in four different ways: fixed fee, hourly rate, capped and no win, no fee.

The Law Superstore is the best way to compare legal service providers side-by-side. By answering a few short questions and utilising the advanced filters it is possible to assess costs on a like-for-like basis.


Steve Clark

Steve creates helpful guides for The Law Superstore. He enjoys digging deep into new areas of the law, supporting partners, and translating legalese and jargon into plain English everyone can understand.