A contract dispute, a lawsuit from a customer, an employee filing an ADA complaint â€” these are a few of the legal issues you could face as a small business owner. Then there are the more routine matters, like forming a new LLC or putting together a commercial lease. One way or another there will be times when you need legal help. Of course a lawyer can be expensive. Here are some suggestions on where you can find free legal help for your business.
Rocket LawyerÂ is one of the leaders of online legal help. You can make one document for free to start, which you can print or download as a PDF. After that you can sign up for aÂ Rocket Lawyer membershipÂ free for a week. That lets you create unlimited legal documents and comes with advanced tools like their e-signature service and online sharing. You can also ask a lawyer legal questions and have your completed documents reviewed.
On itsÂ websiteÂ you can find a wealth of free legal advice for business, as well as books and business forms available for purchase. If you open a free account first, you can create, save and edit your legal formÂ beforeÂ you pay to download or print it.
TheÂ business section of Lawyers.comÂ has free articles and tutorials on many topics, but there are two other features that make this site worth a visit. First, the â€œAsk a Lawyerâ€ form lets you submit a question for free and â€œreceive multiple answers from top rated lawyers.â€ Second, itsÂ â€œFind a Lawyerâ€ tool not only lets you search by area of law and location, but provides customer reviews of the attorneys listed (Nolo, for example, does not have reviews as part of itsÂ directory).
Like many legal websites, there is a large collection of articles here, which may answer your questions. On the â€œAsk a Lawyerâ€ page you can get your questions answered by an attorney for free.
LawGuruÂ says itÂ has a â€œnetwork of over 7,700 specialized attorneys in all legal areas.â€ You can either type your question into the box on the homepage or search their past answers.
Small Business Forums
Online discussion forums for small business owners can be full of questionable legal advice, since participants are not attorneys. But sometimes youâ€™ll find people who have faced the same issues youâ€™re facing, and you can read about or ask how they resolved them. Then you can run the solution past an attorney to verify that it will work in your case.
SCORE is a non-profit association that helps small businesses with advice, mentoring, and education. ItsÂ volunteers are experienced business people who provide free counseling by phone, email, and in person. The particular counselor or mentor you get will probably not be a lawyer, but it is possible that he or she will have had some experiences with the same legal issues you face, or can refer you to someone who has.Â