A practising lawyer in Singapore has to deal with certain mandatory professional fees and charges. In addition, expanding your business may bring on greater financial challenges and costs. We have listed some of the costs that you can’t avoid as a lawyer in Singapore.
Costs That Advocates in Singapore Have to Worry About
- Practising license: Starting a legal practice in Singapore requires you to fulfil certain conditions. Whether you want to be a solicitor or a barrister, you’ll need to apply for a license from the Legal Services Regulatory Authority to be a registered practitioner. Your license or practising certificate has to be renewed every practice year. During license renewal, you’ll have to pay an annual subscription fee. It could be as high as S$1,000 or more.
- Professional indemnity insurance plan: Getting a professional indemnity insurance plan is mandatory when applying for a practicing license. An indemnity cover would pay for legal services when faced with a litigation or claim. This could also go upwards S$1,000 on an average.
- For goods or services from the Law Society: The law society keeps lawyers updated with the latest developments in the field of law by publishing books and designing teaching modules. You may have to subscribe for these services and products to stay abreast of the latest verdicts passed, legislations formed, and strategies used to win legal battles. You can also get guidance on practice risk management and client relationships. All these are available for the right charge.
- Incorporation: If you’re planning to start an incorporated law firm, you’ll have to pay fees for registration and incorporation. Expenses involved may include registration of your office space and appointing employees to key positions. Expenses could go up to S$2,000 or beyond.
- Capital investments: To buy capital assets, hire employees, and to expand your business, you’ll have to make a substantial investment. Financing your venture from your own reserves could be difficult. External funding/borrowing can certainly help.
- Working on a contingency-fee basis: If you or your firm decides to take up a case on a contingency-fee basis, you won’t be paid for your services immediately. A contingency fee is a concept where a lawyer gets paid only if the plaintiff he/she is representing wins the case and gets compensated. The lawyer can then claim a portion of the total compensation as per the predetermined agreement. As per the deal, you may even have to bear other legal expenses on behalf of your client. Strictly speaking, this will show up as a liability on your balance sheet till the time you have been compensated.
- Working on pro bono cases: Sometimes, you may have to work on cases without a fee to improve the public image of your firm. This can again put a strain on your cash reserve.
There could be other expenses, too. If you haven’t managed to build up a stable cash flow, you could look at personal loans as a funding option.
A personal loan application is usually easy and the approval process is quick and hassle-free. You can easily apply for these loans online. Your loan application may get approved within a day or two.A personal loan could address both your short-term as well as long-term cash crunch concerns and pay for your expenses without making you break a sweat.