What’s in a name? Not long ago, choosing a law firm name was easy. Take your name, stick “Law Offices of” at the beginning, and voila – you’re in business. But nowadays, with the legal market saturated as it is, you might want to think twice before going with the old standby. Your name says a lot about your firm. It is the first thing that people see when they find you, whether it’s on the internet, in the phone book or walking by your door. So why not take the time to make a good first impression?
Location, location, location. Where you open up shop is just as important as what you call your firm. If you are a litigator, open up next to the courthouse. If you are a real estate lawyer, rent space in a building where there is a large broker. You want to open your law firm in a location that gives you the most opportunity to create business and get clients.
Entity or bust. Choose the correct business entity for your firm. Do you want the freedom of a sole proprietor? Or do you need the liability protection allowed by a corporation? What if you want the tax benefits of a partnership? These are only a few of the many questions that you need to answer, which brings me to the next consideration.
Taking care of business law. Consult with an attorney. A business lawyer knows more than you do. Even if you are a business attorney, an outsider provides unbiased perspective. In any event, it is always a good idea to have your questions answered and to talk out your business plan with someone else.
Go for it. There is a tendency to try and learn everything about something before trying it. But it’s impossible to know everything about starting a law firm, and running a business. So do your planning, trust your instinct and make the leap of faith. If you don’t, then you will always regret it.