“Get it in writing.” How to create simple legal documents for your home business.
As a home business owner, you know the importance of proper documentation for your transactions. Whether you are putting together a landlord/tenant agreement for rental property business, or whether you want to create a service agreement, you want to make sure the right language is used.
I'm fortunate because there is no shortage of lawyers in my family. I can get help anytime I need it — and usually get that help for free. But not everyone is so lucky.
“We offer an online solution for folks to take care of their legal needs,” says Mark Kaufman, Head of Attorney Services for Rocket Lawyer. “You can ask questions and get legal advice at discounted rates.”
Rocket Lawyer?works on a monthly subscription basis. You can try a one-week free trial, and then you are charged $39.95 per month. Rocket Lawyer allows you to get access to real lawyers, as well as unlimited legal documents. It's possible to cancel your membership at any time.
What Issues Might Require More In-Depth Legal Help?
There are issues that might require more in-depth legal help. As a home business owner, it makes sense to understand these issues, and do what you can to address them. “You need an agreement in your business arrangement before the problems start,” says Kaufman. “Your agreement needs to include a mechanism for handling disputes, as well as spelling out the terms of your interaction with the other party.”
Kaufman says that landlord/tenant agreements are especially tricky. Sometimes, a template lease agreement just doesn't do the trick. He says that there are two main issues that tend to crop up regularly among those who don't carefully consider the type of lease agreement they offer as landlords.
“Issues over repairs, and how the security deposit is handled often pop up,” says Kaufman. “These items are often left out of the lease, and it can create headaches for you as a landlord and a business owner down the road.”
He also suggests that more in-depth help can be of service when organizing a business. I remember the questions I faced when I was organizing my home business and making it “official.” It was very nice to have an accountant help me understand my options, and make recommendations, based on my needs. “We have a dedicated business specialist,” says Kaufman, “who can provide you with information and resources, and help you make your own decisions, as well as help with the paperwork.”
Included in the legal aspects of the business are also issues related to succession. Many business owners don't think about succession, but it's an important part of a growing business. It can get complex, and the right legal help can guide you through the messier parts.
For some business owners, free templates online are sufficient. However, if you are looking into thorny issues, and if you want to make sure that everything is done right with your home business, a discount site like Rocket Lawyer can help. You can receive guidance at an affordable rate.
When it comes to more serious situations, such as actually going to court, or dealing with technicalities of an eviction, or breach of contract, it makes sense to forgo the discount services and hire your own lawyer.