Are you an attorney deciding whether now is the time to open your own law firm? There are over 437,000 private law firms in the United States alone!
While these firms vary in size, you can choose to open your practice as a solo practitioner. Being an entrepreneur and small business owner can be challenging but rewarding at the same time.
Read on to learn how to hang your shingle and open your practice today!
Develop a Business Plan and Practice Area
A smart business owner in any profession will develop a business plan before they open their doors. As an attorney, you will also need to decide about what area(s) of the law you will practice in.
Your business plan is like a road map for your law practice. It should guide you from your first day serving clients to realizing your dreams as a law firm decades later.
You should also identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your practice. The areas of the law you practice are crucial to your business because they will govern how you market your services to potential clients.
Firm Name and Registration
Your law firm will need a firm name and you’ll have to register your business with the state where you are practicing so that you are doing things by the book.
Your firm name can be as simple as your first and last name or one that will be used to market your legal services and build your brand. Before you register your business with the state, you must consider how an entity will impact your business opportunities now and in the future.
For example, what benefits are there to establishing a limited liability company have over an S corporation? The kind of entity you start for your law firm can also have a big impact on your firm’s tax structure.
Speak with a tax professional if you are not sure about the pros and cons of each kind of entity.
Decide About Office Space
Your firm’s location list won’t be found on an office supply list but that it is crucial to your success. Just like when you are buying your own home, you can’t change the location where your office is located.
Consider where your clients will be coming from for office visits. Also evaluate how far your drives will be to and from work, as well as the proximity of each prospective office from the local courthouse or court reporter’s office.
Buy Billing Software and Other Systems
You will need good billing software and other internal systems to ensure you are operating efficiently and serving the best interests of your client. Shop around for affordable billing software to input your time and print out monthly invoices for your clients.
You should look for software and other systems that are easy to use. This will help you minimize your time getting used to using them and focus on the legal services your clients need.
Opening a Law Firm Today
The best law firm can be the one you open on your owner! By taking time to consider starting your practice and how you can differentiate it from others in the area, you can be on your way to making your firm a reality.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, check out our other great content for the best advice on travel, hobbies, money management, and more!