When you’re running a small business, you need legal advice just as much as a large, well established firm. It’s possible you need it even more so in the early days: established companies have well-worn procedures in place to deal with most easy to anticipate issues that may arise: as someone setting up a business for the first time you don’t have that luxury.
It’s equally true that you likely don’t have the resources necessary to keep a lawyer on staff ready for every situation that arises – even if you do, it would likely be a waste of your budget to hire your own corporate lawyer at such an early stage. You’ll require intense bursts of collaboration with a lawyer for limited periods of time rather than the ongoing engagement that a big company requires from its legal team.
What this means is finding a good corporate lawyer, and hoping you’ll be able to get an appointment with them when you need it, to go over your articles of incorporation, review some early contracts or pitch-proof your business plan. If they aren’t available, you’ll find yourself going into vital meetings with the unsettling feeling that you could have done more to prepare.
Enter online law firms
Over the last ten years, more and more law firms have opened up using the internet as a shopfront, rather than a traditional chambers or commercial office, like Lawbite. These give you much more flexibility, and free you from the obligation to cross town to visit a lawyer’s office at a time of their choosing.
When you use an online lawyer, you can see the fees you need to pay upfront and make a decision about how much budget you can allot to your upcoming contract review process, avoiding the risk with a traditional lawyer that your costs could balloon. When you are invoiced per billable hour of work, you could end up with a surprisingly stiff bill if a task takes longer than expected.
You can also choose packages where you pay varying amounts for different levels of access. This is a viable alternative for small firms who are beginning to need their own legal department, and come with some extra benefits. One major one is that most online lawyers offer secure data storage and sharing so, for example, you can share contracts for online signing and return, speeding up the rate you can make deals and move your business forward!
Hiring a lawyer is one of the most overlooked-but-important steps in running a business. It’s a must do, even when you’re just starting out and having a limited budget. Your best option is hiring an online law firm, which can offer you much-needed legal advices on a budget.