Do I Need a Lawyer ‘On Retainer’ for My Business?

February 7, 2024by Robert M. Bovarnick

Starting your own business, no matter the industry, comes with a long list of questions. Some of those questions you will be able to figure out on your own.

After all, you chose to begin this business, so chances are you have some experience or interest in its facets, rules, and practices. However, some of those questions will have you puzzled and unsure of where to turn.

When it comes to legal questions, it is best to consult an expert. You don’t want your blood, sweat, and tears poured into a new venture only to find you forgot some crucial legal steps to establishing it. Such oversights could spell the end for your entrepreneurial attempt.  But, you may be thinking “lawyers are so expensive, I am a start up and have limited funds.”

There is a solution.  Hire an attorney on a retainer.

What Is a Retainer?

In this case, we are not talking about that painful plastic dental device of your nightmares, but instead a legal retainer is a way of “reserving” a lawyer’s time. A business (or even an individual) puts up a fee, for an agreed upon amount of time.

In return for this pre-paid fee, a lawyer or firm agrees to be accessible to the client. In today’s business world, it can make sense to have a plan in place. You certainly do not want to be scrambling for legal representation after you discover a problem.

The Downside of a Legal Retainer

While the upside of having a lawyer pre-selected and all arrangements made ahead of any lawsuits or trouble is clear, the downsides may not be as obvious. As a newly formed business, or to be honest, even as a long-standing pillar of a community, it can be difficult to put a large sum of money down, up-front. Funds are not always readily available. And, even if they are, do you want your investment money tied up in a service you “might” someday need? Probably not.

Such high costs can be prohibitive in nature, meaning you may put off deciding on a legal service at all, which is also a dangerous move. Don’t let the fear of use hold you back from making a sensible decision.

Lastly, depending on the firm, some retainers only cover a baseline of service. Be sure to work out with your legal firm the full details on any extra fees or charges you may incur along the way. For example, many special cases such as criminal representation may change the terms of your retainer fee, costing you more out-of-pocket money in addition to that prepaid retainer.

Bovarnick & Associates ‘Legal Access’ Program

Thankfully there are more choices on today’s market. At Bovarnick & Associates, we’ve developed a program entitled “Legal Access.” Not every business or individual can afford a high-quality lawyer. But with Legal Access, you can create the feel of an in-house legal firm without the added costs.

From asking a quick question, to reviewing documents on your behalf, having our firm at your fingertips, without nickel and diming you when it comes time for a bill. Instead, you know ahead of time the cost and can have access to our team whenever you may need.

Benefits of the Legal Access Program

  • Flexibility to use legal services as needed
  • Fewer legal emergencies and costly crises
  • Constant legal preparedness
  • Controlled and budgeted legal costs
  • Increased legal protection for your business

Additionally, catching small issues or answering what may seem like minor legal questions from the get-go can also prevent the chance that they’ll escalate into bigger problems.

Knowing your costs up-front can help you budget accordingly. We also sell the program at different pricing levels, so you can buy the package that fits your needs best.

Starting a business comes with a lot of choices one where to wisely spend your money. A lawyer is a good use of money, but how to acquire one should be done wisely

For more information on the Bovarnick & Associates Legal Access program, visit our site here or call 215-568-4480.

by Robert M. Bovarnick

Rob Bovarnick is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law. Prior to starting his firm, he was Vice Chair of the Bankruptcy Group at a 170 lawyer firm and head of the Creditor’s Rights practice at a 20 lawyer firm. He is the former Chair of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference.