As a business owner, you may be considering getting help with a legal issue and have questions about working with a lawyer or you may already be involved in a lawsuit. Business owners work with attorneys for many reasons. These include the purchase or lease of property, the establishment of a legal structure, compliance with labor and employment laws, tax preparation, and other matters vital to a well-functioning business.
However, choosing an attorney is an important move. Therefore, you should not rush to retain the first business tax lawyer you meet. It is better to interview several attorneys carefully in order to find someone that makes you feel comfortable and has the qualifications you require. It is best to treat hiring a tax attorney as an investment and perform a cost-benefit analysis.
Keep in mind that the same way that you have the right to legal representation in a regular court of law, you have the right to one in tax court, as well and there is a reason for that. If you find yourself there, you will need it. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the IRS had a conviction rate of over 95 percent in 2015 and eight out 10 of those cases resulted in prison sentences with the average sentence being just under three and a half years.
If you are not sure where to look for someone who specializes in business law, you can ask other local business owners whom they use or others in your field. In addition, you can also enquire with the state bar association for a list of professionals. However, you must not construe this type of referral as a recommendation or certification of competence. Be sure to check each and every one out online and see if you can find any unbiased reviews otherwise, you can ask for references when you have your consultation.
When looking for a business lawyer, be sure that he or she is licensed to practice law in your state as this is not the same as admission to a state bar. In addition, your attorney should have specialization and experience in the field, as well as admission to the federal courts. Also be sure that he or she states clearly and specifically what they can and cannot do, what is required of you, and the expected outcome. Also be sure to enquire into an estimate of the overall cost, including upfront payments, payment options, and a payment schedule.
As you go through the selection process, be sure to ask yourself if the person you are speaking with gives you a feeling of confidence, seems knowledgeable, and appears to be able to go to bat for you in front of the IRS as you should be able to feel comfortable working with him or her. Additionally, it is best to try and hire one during the off-season and not between January and May when everyone is doing their taxes.