Blog 4 Published: Thursday, February 18, 2021
Flat Fees and Limited Deliverables
What to expect in exchange for the fee
Flat fee billing means that your lawyer will charge you one rate for every service provided to you. In a flat fee, there are no hidden costs or unexpected charges. Your lawyer will forecast the cost to perform the service, whether it be preparing your bylaws, articles of incorporation or another service, and charge you a fixed price.
How Attorneys Calculate Price for Flat Fees
While a client may question if a flat fee is an accurate estimate of the work required to complete a project, it is important to note that this fee has been carefully calculated. Many clients prefer a flat fee because it is what most people are used to. From purchasing cars to groceries or a home, consumers purchase their products at a flat rate. Clients prefer this option because it reduces the mystery and surprises that clients may experience with hourly billing.
Attorneys primarily consider experience when determining your flat fee. Your attorney will likely charge your flat fee based on their expertise on the service you are requesting. An experienced attorney will have a good gauge as to how long the assignment will take and know how to provide the services efficiently. A flat fee ensures that your attorney pursues the most efficient and effective strategy for the service, and places less of a focus on more expensive strategies.
Why You Should Ask if a Flat Fee is Right For You
In the case of a more complex assignment, your attorney may not be able to calculate exactly how long a project will take. If this is the case, an attorney may not be able to accurately calculate a flat fee for you. Therefore, your attorney may have to estimate the total amount of time they will have to spend on the project and may bill for time on the higher end of the estimate. For example, an attorney may estimate spending 6-10 hours on an assignment. The attorney may bill you for 10 hours because he or she, understandably, does not want to spend time doing work he or she is not getting paid for. Thus, as a client, it may be in your best interest to pay your attorney hourly so you don’t have to overpay and your attorney is not underpaid. Make sure you ask your attorney if this may be a good option before you agree to a flat fee for your case.
Make Sure to Ask Your Attorney What You Are Getting For The Fee
As a client, you should note that the flat fee you pay is for a limited deliverable. Therefore, if you would like your lawyer to perform other work, you should discuss the additional work with your attorney. This is because your attorney has to determine the scope of the new work before giving you another engagement agreement for the separate work. This provides a benefit to you, as the client, and your attorney, to make certain that there is a clear understanding so that no future disputes arise. Also, it ensures that you are getting the fee arrangement most beneficial to your needs. However, if you pay your lawyer hourly, you may have an agreement that your lawyer is to represent you in all matters will bill you accordingly. Even in this case, it is recommended to have a written understanding of the specific services the lawyer is expected to provide so you can expect what to be billed for. This will make for a smoother attorney-client relationship.
Another option that may be available to you is the hybrid-fixed fee. This hybrid fee calls for an hourly fee for time spent on more complex, unpredictable matters, and a fixed fee for more standard tasks. Hybrid fees are fees that firms negotiate with their clients and are based on each client’s unique situation. It is important to speak with your attorney regarding fees in the early stages of your case especially if you are seeking a flexible billing arrangement.
About CORPlaw. Headquartered in Miami, FL, CORPlaw is a boutique business law firm that helps modern entrepreneurs grow and protect their business. Founded in 2017, this minority and female-owned law firm has advised countless small business owners, startups, and creatives through the state of Florida, the national, and abroad. The CORPlaw team continues to grow and build a reputation of professional excellence and client satisfaction. Contact CORPlaw today at 1 (833) 545-7526, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on our website (www.corplaw.us).
This article is for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice. By using this blog site, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the blog site publisher. The blog site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.