Get legal advice without breaking the bank.
There are times when small business owners require legal help for routine matters such as forming a new LLC or drafting a commercial lease, and dealing with matters of far more serious concern such as contract disputes, employees filing ADA complaints and customer lawsuits.
However, hiring a lawyer can be a significant expense. According to the results of a survey conducted by CEB Inc. and TyMetrix Legal Analytics, the average hourly billing rate for law firm partners and associates in 2012 was about $536 and $370, respectively. Thankfully, there are a number of resources offering free and low-cost legal forms, information and advice for small business owners. Here are some of them.
This invaluable website offers articles and tutorials, and allows you to submit a question and receive multiple answers from top rated lawyers ? all for free. It also includes a feature that allows users to search for lawyers by their area of law and location, and provides useful customer reviews of each attorney listed.
Get your legal questions answered by browsing through the website?s extensive archives. You can also choose to use the ?Ask a Lawyer? page to get your questions answered by a lawyer for free.
This website has over 8,800 specialized attorneys in all legal areas. You can use the site to ask a legal question and get answers in minutes, or search answers from its extensive archive of articles and past answers. It also allows you to search for an attorney based on areas of law and location.?
SCORE is a non-profit organization that provides free advice and education to small businesses. While most SCORE volunteers are not lawyers, they are experienced business people who have probably faced the same issue or know someone who has. These volunteers usually provide counseling by phone, email, or in person. SCORE also provides guides on a variety of legal topics to help you understand the risks and avoid the most common legal mistakes.
Small Business Administration
The official SBA website offers a wealth of information on handling legal concerns and provides links to useful resources. Use the search box to read articles and advice on specific issues of interest.
Internal Revenue Service
Business owners who are looking for legal answers to their tax concerns should visit the Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center page of the official IRS website. This page provides useful information on a variety of business topics including small business forms and publications, filing and paying taxes, post-filing issues, tax planning and other tax information related to the various stages of owning a business.
Aside from these free resources, you can also get low-cost legal advice from websites such as Rocket Lawyer, Avvo, LegalZoom, and FindLaw.