How much does it cost to hire a Florida business lawyer? If you run a business in Florida, at some point you may need an attorney to represent your business interests. Before hiring a lawyer, a common question to ask is how much legal representation will cost. Let us explore this question and some basic information about business lawyers.
Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a Florida business lawyer is $100.00 - $400.00 per hour.
How Much Does a Florida Business Lawyer Cost?
A business lawyer, sometimes called a corporate lawyer or a commercial lawyer, is an attorney that specializes in legal matters that affect businesses and corporations. The primary purpose of a business lawyer is to provide legal guidance to business owners to ensure the company is run legally and effectively.
Before hiring an attorney, it is important to find out how you will be charged for legal services and how much the legal services will cost. Business lawyers in Florida work with different types of billing structures which can also affect the overall price of their services. Some lawyers bill by the hour for their work, while others quote a flat fee rate, contingency rate, or use retainer fees.
What Legal Services do Florida Business Lawyers Provide?
Business lawyers provide an array of legal services to companies ranging from small sole proprietorships to multi-national corporations. Some common services that a business lawyer provides include:
- Business formation. Business lawyers can help clients establish new businesses by assisting with business structure, drafting formation documents like articles of incorporation, and filing the documents with the appropriate government office. Hiring a lawyer to assist with business formation can avoid mistakes that could cost the company time and money.
- Contracts and agreements. One of the primary roles of a business lawyer is to draft and review business contracts and agreements. This can include service agreements to use with clients, employment agreements, and vendor agreements. Hiring an experienced attorney to draft and review contracts ensures that the contract is legally enforceable and will protect the business from unwanted litigation.
- Compliance with laws. Laws that govern businesses are constantly changing and a business lawyer can ensure that their clients are up to date on the latest rules and regulations. A business lawyer will advise business owners of changes in employment law, tax law, and any other laws or regulations that affect the specific industry.
- Mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring. Restructuring a corporation due to a merger or acquisition can be a complicated process. A business lawyer will guide clients through this process and draft and review any necessary documents to facilitate corporate changes.
- Intellectual property rights. Most businesses have an interest in protecting their intellectual property. This can include trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. A business lawyer will know how to register intellectual property with the correct government agencies and protect the business’s interests.
- Dispute resolution. Disputes are bound to arise during business operations whether it is with customers, employees, shareholders, or competitors. A business lawyer will represent their client throughout any business disputes that may arise.
- General legal advice. In addition to the specific services listed above, business lawyers can serve as a trusted advisor to their clients to provide guidance and answers to legal questions that may arise during the day-to-day operations of a business.
Do Florida Business Lawyers Go to Court?
Most business lawyers focus primarily on transactional work, but some business lawyers do appear in court if necessary. Business lawyers are primarily hired for drafting and reviewing contracts and providing legal guidance on business matters. However, if a business is involved in a lawsuit like a breach of contract dispute, a business lawyer may go to court on behalf of the business to litigate the issue.
Some other scenarios that may require a business lawyer to make a court appearance include:
- Representing a client in an alternative dispute resolution proceeding like arbitration.
- Representing a client in regulatory proceedings for investigations into the company or enforcement actions.
- Litigation for a claim against the business by a client, customer, employee, or vendor.
If a business lawyer does not do court appearances and a business is in need of a lawyer to litigate an issue, it is common for business lawyers to collaborate with a litigator to ensure that the business has the best courtroom representation possible.
How Do Florida Business Lawyers Charge for Legal Services?
Hourly Rates for Florida Business Lawyers
An hourly rate pay structure is one of the most common way attorneys bill their clients. In an hourly rate agreement, the lawyer will keep track of the time they spend on their client’s case. Lawyers generally track their time by the 10 th of an hour in six-minute increments. Then, the lawyer will bill their client for the time spent working on their case.
In addition to the lawyer's time on the case, most business law firms will also bill for paralegal fees (at a lower hourly rate), and other case-related expenses like office expenses or travel time.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average hourly rate for Florida business lawyers is $100 - $400 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Florida Business Lawyers
A flat fee rate is a pre-arranged total fee for legal services. This fee is most commonly used by lawyers who are hired to perform a specific task like drafting a contract, not for lawyers retained for ongoing work.
Flat fee rates are usually paid upfront before the lawyer begins work on your case. While most flat fees cover the entire cost of legal services, a client should always make sure they understand what services are included in the rate. Additional legal services could result in more legal fees.
Florida Business Lawyer Retainer Agreements
A retainer fee cost structure combines the hourly rate and flat fee rate payment structures. Retainer fees require the client to make a lump sum deposit with the attorney from which the attorney will then deduct hourly fees. The client will be required to deposit more money as their balance decreases.
For example, a business lawyer may require a $5,000 retainer fee to begin working with a company. The attorney will keep this deposit in a trust account and deduct their hourly rate from the account as they perform tasks and legal services. Once the account reaches a certain balance, the attorney will require an additional deposit from the company.
What are Typical Attorney Fees for Florida Lawyers?
Throughout Florida, typical attorney fees in all legal areas usually range from about $100 an hour to $400 an hour. These hourly rates will increase with experience and practice area specialization.
Attorneys may consider different factors when setting their fee rate and payment structure, like their experience, how many court appearances a case will require, and the rates of other similar attorneys in the area.
Get Help with Hiring an Attorney
Do you need help with hiring a business attorney for a project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive bids from business lawyers who are licensed to practice law in Florida and can handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top-tier service.