We know that access to the current legal system is daunting and expensive. This is particularly true for startups and small businesses, many of whom don’t actually get the help they need because of the perceived cost of legal fees and complexity involved. The failure of the legal industry to modernise and move with the times has meant that many new companies have fallen at the first legal hurdle when starting up.
But the legal landscape is changing fast, especially with the introduction of technology to the industry by innovators like Rocket Lawyer, an online legal service providing businesses with easy-to-use legal documents and affordable access to specialist lawyers. Originating from San Francisco, Rocket Lawyer are the most widely used legal service in the world, with tens of millions of users around the globe, and they have been helping small businesses with their legal issues in the UK since 2012 from their base in Shoreditch, London.
Such online legal services are exactly what entrepreneurs and small businesses have been waiting for, and bring legal services in line at last with other service industries that have been providing online access for a number of years. We know about half of people looking for legal help and advice go online first, so where better to provide a one-stop legal solution than via the web.
The great news about online legal services is that they are able to reduce legal costs significantly whilst simplifying the law in the process, and they help the busy business owner manage legal affairs much more efficiently and conveniently.
But it is important to spend a bit of time doing your research to make sure your choice of online legal service provider is both credible and trustworthy. Look at the types of legal documents they allow you to create, are they sufficient for the growing needs of your business? Have all the legal documents available actually been drafted initially by fully qualified lawyers who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority? If not, you are putting your business at great risk. Additionally, does the service offer direct contact with a lawyer should you require further legal advice, or a customer service team member for technical support? These are the types of questions you should be asking.
A company like Rocket Lawyer that specialises in legal help for start-ups and small businesses is a great place to start. Not only is there independent online guidance and advice to take both first-time and seasoned entrepreneurs through the basics with confidence, but also the breadth of legal documents available to create are vast yet tailored to the needs of a small business. You can create everything from shareholder and partnership agreements to employment contracts and health and safety policies. Making sure you have solid legal footing from the start will prevent you from falling into common legal issues later down the line, and ensure that you are complying with the latest laws. You can also easily ask an On Call lawyer a question at any time if you need further advice.
Membership costs £25 per month and includes unlimited legal documents, 30 minute free consultations with specialist lawyers and up to 33% off additional legal fees. The monthly fee is clearly good value when compared to the potential hundreds or thousands you might be expected to pay to outsource legal tasks. Better still, in order to make their service even more affordable (and you can’t get more affordable than free), the company is offering businesses a free trial so entrepreneurs can road-test the service to ensure it’s what they need.
We all know that business and finances are tough but at least it is reassuring to know that legal issues need not be a concern for your business, or your finances for that matter.
Mark Edwards, General Manager at Rocket Lawyer, an online legal service providing businesses and families with easy-to-use legal documents and affordable access to specialist lawyers.