Why Using DIY Legal Documents Create Major Risks.
It's awfully easy to search and find almost anything you need on the internet these days. There are multiple businesses out there that offer click and print legal documents for individuals and business owners which seemingly are to make the process of creating legal documents more affordable and easier to obtain.
However, when you choose to click and print a DIY legal document from one of these online companies, you're undoubtedly asking yourself for major issues.
You simply get what you pay for.
When it comes to legally binding contracts, the details of each agreement are very important as the language of each will vary based on the deal. From years of representing business owners when disputes arise or representing business owners in court after a case has been filed, it turns out they have created a small mistake or omitted something that has seriously injured their contract position and it's enforcement.
Most business owners are simply reaching out to these DIY companies for legal documents but do not understand the terms far beyond the parties signing the agreement, and maybe any price terms because they do not have a legal degree to fully understand. Therefore, many mistakes will be made as certain terms will be missed or misunderstood. I always explain to businesses, would you prefer to pay a few hundred to a lawyer to help you build out the right agreement or pay thousands more in the end for not doing it right the first time? You'd want to do the former. In their own words.
Although these DIY documents will give you a good start into some of the issues you may want to think about, these DIY companies have said in their products that it's inferior to the advice of a counsel because they know that everyone's legal issues are unique and vary from case to case.
Take a look at the two most popular DIY service websites, LegalZoom® and Rocket Lawyer®, and check out their disclaimers:
1. LegalZoom®, its services, and its forms or templates are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. ...The legal information contained on the Site and Applications is not legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date.
2. The Rocket Lawyer® disclaimer:
The information, software, products, and services made available through Rocket Lawyer® may include inaccuracies or typographical errors. Information received via Rocket Lawyer® should not be relied upon for personal, medical, legal, or financial decisions.
Neither Rocket Lawyer® nor any legal information provided by Rocket Lawyer® is a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed to practice in an appropriate jurisdiction.
Keep this in mind when you opt out for a DIY online legal service. You should always have a counsel to review that document and give you great insight into what will and won't work based on the agreement you hope to gain.
A false sense of security Legal documents are put in place to help protect you, your business relationships, and your business. However, using DIY documents can give you a false sense of security in believing that you no longer need to pay the expense and time of consulting with a real lawyer. This is very dangerous because many business owners are often challenging the agreements they received from DIY online platforms as a result of being damaged in some way or another. When it comes to protecting some of your business's most essential elements like personal liability, Intellectual protection, trade secrets and tax liability, you should want more than a simple "fill-in-the blank" form your found online. When it comes to implementing such a critically important element of your business, you should always consult with a licensed and experienced professional like us. As your Innovative Business Lawyer, our mission is to guide you through the complexities of the law and legal processes to ensure your company has the most robust legal protections possible. Whether you have legal documents in place that need reviewing, or you need to create your foundational legal systems from scratch, we can offer trusted guidance and advice.
Contact us today to learn how we can support you in establishing truly trustworthy legal documents and systems for your business.
This article is a service of Sivonnia DeBarros, your Innovative Business Lawyer. We offer a wide array of business legal services and can help you make the wisest business choices throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a Business Protection Start-Up Session or a Business Planning Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.