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We love questions, and have done our best to anticipate yours. If you don't find the answers you're looking for here, we'd be delighted to discuss anything you'd like to know more about.


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What kind of things can a lawyer do for a small business?

Well for starters, we help you obtain the legal authority to be a business and to act on behalf of your business. This is important, because if you're going into business, you want to separate your personal liability from your business liabiltiy. The corporate form acts as a shield and protects you personally from many of the risks of the business. We also can structure your ownership and capital resources: for example, if you are going to enter into business with partners, it is essential that arrangements are clear from the beginning. Unfortunately, we've seen relationships go sour over business. We hope that your business doesn't have these problems, and the best way to avoid them is to anticipate them up front. We are here to guide that discussion, to bring up topics you may not have thought about, and to keep everybody involved on the same page.

Beyond that, you'll need contractual agreements with your customers, your vendors, your employees, and any other entity that you do business with, such as your landlord. We can handle all of these for you. You also may have intellectual property to protect and a brand to build. We'll help you address all of these issues early and thoroughly.

How do I get started?

When you pick out the right package, we’ll get in touch via your preferred contact method. We can discuss your particular needs in a free and confidential initial consultation. During this consultation we will also screen for conflicts of interest to ensure that we can represent you. If all goes well, we’ll email you an engagement letter, marking the beginning of our attorney-client relationship. In an hourly arrangement, this is when we would begin to bill for time we spend on your behalf. We understand that you appreciate knowing how much your bill will be, which is why we offer some services as flat fee bundles.

How do I know you are the best lawyers for me?

You don't. But if you’re still reading, we hope it's because you like our approach. Orr & Reno's lawyers have worked with all types and sizes of businesses, from family businesses to large corporations on the verge of going public. We've guided startups through venture capital rounds, and through selling stock to outside investors. Our firm has deep experience in business, and we can use it to help you succeed.

Do I need to come in for an appointment?

No. We strive for convenience. If you don’t have time to come to our offices, we understand. We do hope to meet you at least once or twice in person or talk on the phone a few times over the course of the relationship. However, we know that you may not be able to come to our office for an appointment. That's okay.

Can I connect with you in other ways?

Sure. We are happy to have video calls with you, talk via chat, come to your place of business, catch you during our open office hours, or talk on the phone. And, we're always available via email or in-person. We are here to work with you, in any way that's convenient.

Why do I need an engagement letter?

As lawyers, our ethical guidelines encourage a well-defined client relationship. An engagement letter sets out the terms of our lawyer-client relationship so that all parties know what to expect. This letter explains billing, confidentiality, and document retention.

How does lawyer-client confidentiality work?

One of the foundational principles of the legal profession is confidentiality. From the moment you contact us, all communication relating to your legal matters is completely confidential. We cannot disclose what you tell us without your permission. This continues after our lawyer-client relationship concludes too.

Who will I work with?

You will work with an O2 Attorney. O2's attorneys are associates in Orr & Reno's business group. We may also involve other lawyers and professionals in our firm, but we will be your main point of contact.

Can you still help me if my business grows quickly?

We'll be right here next to you. We've seen businesses take off, and we want that for you too! Rest assured that we will work night and day if necessary to have you prepared to move forward quickly.

Can you offer services similar to those at larger firms?

In many cases we can, and Orr & Reno may offer you advantages in cost and accessibility. Lawyers here have worked at big firms all over the country. We believe that we offer outstanding value and personal service that you may not find at other firms.

Don’t lawyers just say “no”?

No.

We're kidding. We understand that lawyers usually stand in the way of innovative small businesses that need to adapt on a moment’s notice. We’re here to help you, not hinder you; if we really think you should do something, we will tell you that. We are counselors and advisers. Our job is to lay out your options, not to stand in your way. We are not here to tell you “no”.

Is an LLC the best way to start a company? Can’t I just do that on my own?

You can, but remember that even seemingly simple arrangements can quickly become complex. You may have partners that you will need to get along with, or you may want to issue stock. Each company is different, and we approach each startup with an eye towards its specific needs. In many cases an LLC is the best option because it allows you to protect yourself from many liabilities and to take advantage of favorable tax treatment. You can probably file your registration with the state on your own, but you may quickly outgrow such a simple structure. We can get you up and running with a detailed company agreement that anticipates and solves many problems before they arise. As our client, our job is to protect you.

I’m not starting a tech company, can you still help me?

Absolutely! Many startups aren’t tech companies. You may be starting a farm, or a retail store, or a clothing company, or a brewery, or something no-one’s even thought of yet. We can help you! Tech companies have some specific needs, but most startups have the same concerns. We can help you start just about any kind of business you can think of because our help is custom-tailored for you and your business.

I’m not a startup at all, can you help me?

Again, absolutely! We work with companies of all sizes and we are here to help you take the next step, whatever it may be. Many companies do not seek legal help until they come across a problem they can’t solve on their own. While we think you should have a lawyer involved from day one, we understand why companies hesitate. We can help you, even if you just to tighten up your operation now that you’ve grown a bit.

How does hiring a firm compare to hiring an in-house lawyer?

In-house lawyers and law firms both help businesses in different ways. Many smaller companies can’t afford to have a lawyer on their payroll, and we can help these companies “outsource” their legal needs. We are a full service firm and we have lawyers that can help with almost any issue that your company might have. If all goes well, your company may be able to hire an in-house lawyer to handle the day-to-day, but we’ll always be ready to help if you need us.

How does legal billing usually work?

Lawyers generally charge by the hour. This ensures that what we charge reflects the time we spend. There could be different billing rates for different matters. For example, in especially complex matters we may charge a higher hourly rate, for others we might enter into a retainer arrangement, where we are available for all of your needs at a fixed monthly rate. O2 is built to give you options because we know each business is different.

Are you open to a flat fee billing?

Yes, we offer many services at flat rates. We understand that unpredictable pricing can create anxiety, so O2's up-front pricing helps your businesses plan cash flow and costs. We do want to give you an accurate quote, so please don’t expect an unrealistically low flat fee just to get you in the door. We believe in our services and we believe in fair and transparent pricing.


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