Guide

Choose a solicitor for your business

Choose the right solicitor for your business needs

Most legal firms cover the majority of issues that your business might need advice about. If your needs are more complicated the Law Society of Northern Ireland can help you find a specialist in the areas you need.

Search the Law Society of Northern Ireland's solicitor directory.

You need to be sure your solicitor is qualified and has insurance to protect you if anything goes wrong. Solicitors must hold a practising certificate, unless they are only employed by your business. The practising certificate means they are licensed to practice by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – the independent regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales.

All Law Society-listed lawyers hold practising certificates. Use the Law Society's database to find out if a potential solicitor is listed.

In Northern Ireland, practising certificates are issued by the Law Society of Northern Ireland, the regulatory body for solicitors which also ensures that solicitors have insurance to protect their clients. This practicing certificate means they are licensed to practice in Northern Ireland.

It's a good idea to ask for quotes from a number of solicitors - just as you would from any other service supplier. Once you have gathered a shortlist of potential solicitors, meet them face to face to make sure they will be suitable for you.

Solicitors usually charge on an hourly rate, but it is possible to agree a fixed spending limit so that you don't go over budget. Once you have worked with a particular solicitor and are happy with the service they have provided, it's often wise to develop a long-term relationship with them. If they understand the needs of your business, they will be more effective.