The prospects of setting up your practice can be intimidating and scary. You will be responsible for making numerous decisions such as choosing an office location, deciding the area of expertise, taking care of staff demands, and many more. Depending on your area of expertise, staffing, and individual needs, the checklist for starting a law firm will differ. However, below is a list of five essential things you require to set up your firm:
Build a Good Website
In today’s world, businesses can barely survive without technology. Most people looking for great lawyers no longer call their friends for word-of-mouth referrals or look for lawyer contacts on their phone books. They let the internet do the work for them. A business website works as the initial and most crucial point of reference for people looking for representation. A website also proves the firm’s credibility through past customer reviews. Ensure that your website is user friendly and has your company’s theme colors.
Find a Reliable Outsourced Service Company
Outsourcing services offer firms an improved flexibility of business processes and significantly reduced costs. Law firms big and small rely on outside services such as court reporting services, paralegal services, and bookkeeping to help them optimize their resource utilization.
With most law firms under pressure, they must find more efficient ways to maximize the time their billable staff is working on a case while using the least amount of money. Outsourcing helps law firms increase revenue by improving their billable staff’s performance, thus giving them more time to concentrate on client cases.
Select an Ideal Location for Your Law Firm
Look through several locations before settling on your practice area. Find an office space that fits your needs. Choose a place where your firm can stay for several years as moving locations often may affect your clients and online marketing.
Choose an Appropriate Name for Your Firm
Choosing a name for your business can be quite a hustle. You can center the name of your firm based on your area of proficiency and expertise. You can also name the firm after yourself. However, do not use misleading words such as “and associates” if your firm doesn’t have associates or the use of ‘Group’ if your firm is a sole proprietor.
Plan the Finances
The financial side of running a business can be stressful and complicated, especially if you are running your account books. Below are the steps you need to take to organize your finances before starting a law firm.
- Set aside your budget for advertising and marketing such as brochures, business cards, and website management
- You must arrange for insurance for property, workers’ compensation, and casualty insurance.
- You should institute a single way to bill your client- be it hourly, fixed rates, payment terms, and billing cycle.
- Open a separate bank account for your business to pay expenses or deposit payments from your customers.
- While planning your finances, you should ensure you put enough money aside for business registration fees, taxes, and other licensing fees.
Working in a large firm comes with certain advantages such as great setup for customer relations, accounting, and marketing teams. However, if you decide to start your firm, all these responsibilities fall on your lap. If you are a business-minded person with an entrepreneurial spirit, take the risk and start your own business.