With the advanced technology of the Internet, more and more business services are being offered online. This includes legal document preparation. For many new business owners this sounds like a dream come true.
However, online services are not as helpful as they may seem. Although online legal document assembly companies like Legalzoom.com and Rocketlawyer.com are preeminent in marketing their products online, they advise you in their legal terms and conditions that they are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. Online legal sites are not law firms. They cannot offer all the services that a real attorney can provide. They are document preparation services only.
For a modest fee, these online sites can assemble the basic documents to incorporate your business and some can file initial documents with the state that are required of your company upon incorporation. However, their work stops there. Once you receive your documents, these online sites leave it to you to decide which forms should be used and to interpret those documents, along with other online forms and software that is included with most packages. You may think you are getting some legal help from these sites but you are really only paying for self-help legal services. You are on your own.
What you many new entrepreneurs do not realize is that these sites only do part of the work. Since these sites are not permitted to engage in the practice of law, they are prohibited from providing any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation to a consumer about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies that are the foundation of getting any business started right. If you think you are going to get any answers to any legal questions you may have in the future, think again. If you choose any of these online solutions you will be representing yourself in any legal matter you undertake through these online document assembly programs.
Corporate lawyers know that our clients’ businesses are unique. Each corporation has its own requirements and personalities. Corporate lawyers create personal attorney-client relationships and encourage questions and discussions regarding all legal matters of the business. The differences between an online service and a lawyer are evident right from the start. Instead of dealing with an online questionnaire to be reviewed who knows where, by who knows who, an attorney will have a personal interview to discuss the needs of the business to guide the start up in the right direction from the beginning.
During this process you will review not only the current aspects of your company, but also your goals for the future of the business. Without this basic knowledge, it is impossible to determine what the best type of business entity is for your specific enterprise. Only after understanding the nature of the business are your legal documents prepared to suit the needs of your particular company. Your corporate records are tailored to you and your company. Once the company is incorporated, business owners will have an ongoing relationship with their lawyer to help them avoid the potential legal pitfalls of carrying out their business enterprise.
Every year, the corporation is required to update its corporate records. A thorough corporate attorney will have your corporation on an annual tickler system. Every year you should be notified that your company records are in need of review and updates. Another meeting will be scheduled with your attorney to review the meeting agenda. Corporate records are from that point, updated correctly with the State in which your business resides and the internal formalities are maintained.
Only corporate attorneys who have a thorough knowledge of business law can make such a process easy, efficient and worry-free for you. Think about it this way. If you were going to jump out of an airplane, would you select the parachute packed by someone other than a professional? My guess is not. So why would you place the responsibility of selecting and assembling the most important documents regarding your corporation on any other shoulders than those of a trained, legal professional? Skip the headaches and worry which will surely come. Contact a corporate attorney from the start.