Creating a business can be very complicated – especially when it comes to legal issues. Failure to cross your t's and dot your i's could lead to lawsuits, intellectual property theft, personal liability for business expenses, and much more.
Considering the average person is not trained in business law, it's best to seek legal counsel when launching your own business venture. Based on quality and affordability, we have compiled a list of eight online legal resources for small businesses that will help you and your business stay properly protected.
1. Law Guru
Law Guru states it has a "network of over 8,800 specialized attorneys in all legal areas." Here you can ask legal questions free of charge that are answered by an attorney or multiple attorneys that specialize in the area that your question concerns (e.g., business law, consumer law, bankruptcy, etc.). You can also use Law Guru to find an attorney for hire.
Lawyers.com has several free articles and tutorials on several topics. The site's "Ask a Lawyer" function allows you ask a specific question and get answers from several lawyers. Using the "Find a Lawyer" feature, you can search by area of specialty and location for a lawyer to hire; it also provides customer reviews for all of the attorneys listed.
3. Legal Services Link
Legal Services Link connects you with lawyers in your desired specialty. You can post your legal needs for free, and lawyers who are interested in helping you will contact you by email. From there, simply review the emails and respond to the lawyer that is best for you.
If you're looking for a law firm, LegalShield makes it easy to locate a reliable, on-call attorney near you. With a monthly membership, a business owner can get legal help for general or specific matters, contract and document review, debt collection assistance and more. Additionally, you'll get access to emergency legal help whenever you need it. Small business plans start at $39 per month.
LegalZoom offers prepaid legal plans starting as low as $31.25 per month as well as easy-to-follow service packages that allow you to accomplish a wide range of legal tasks, from forming a business to creating a will. LegalZoom has nearly four million customers and has helped start almost two million businesses.
Nolo is home to a vast amount of do-it-yourself legal advice in the form of books and business forms. It also has page that will help you find a specialty lawyer in the field of your choice. You can find free articles offering legal advice as well as ebooks for purchase on very detailed and specific topics, such as Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy.
7. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer offers assistance on a wide range of legal matters (including business formation), at both member and non-member price points. Rocket Lawyer's membership plan costs $39.95 per month after a one-week free trial. With this plan, you can create an unlimited amount of legal documents, get answers to legal questions from an attorney and have that attorney review your completed documents. There is also a discount for members who need to hire an attorney.
SCORE is a nonprofit that provides business consultation and mentorship free of charge via phone, email or in person. Not all volunteers are lawyers, but they will likely have experienced your same problem before, and may be able to offer insight into how they handled a specific legal issue. In addition, SCORE hosts workshops and webinars offering general advice about how to run your business more effectively. They have more than 320 locations around the United States.
For more tips on finding a business attorney online, visit this Business News Daily guide.