What are the Best Online Legal Resources?
Accurate information and an eye for details is a must when it comes to law and its interpretation. It’s not possible for everyone to memorize all the legal stuff, even the most studious people. We need reliable resources to quickly find accurate legal information, including contracts, forms and other legal papers. Such legal resources are even more helpful for small businesses that don’t have the financial resources to get lawyers involved in routine legal stuff. Online legal resources for small businesses and freelancers can be very helpful as they are instantly accessible and mostly available for free.
However, with so many online legal resources to choose from and each claiming to be the best, it can become difficult to find the ones that provide accurate, up-to-date and reliable information. This post discusses some of the best online legal resources with a focus on small businesses and freelancers. It’s strongly recommended to seek legal counsel especially when starting a new business as entrepreneurs are usually not well trained in business law.
Let’s jump straight to the top online legal resources that have been carefully selected keeping affordability and quality in mind.
Lawyers.com offers a wealth of information about small business law, business litigation, business formation, buying and selling, franchising, business planning, business finance, business enterprises and eCommerce. The site also offers services such as Find a Lawyer and Ask a Lawyer. In addition to many free articles about various business spheres, the site also allows you to ask questions specific to your business via the Ask a Lawyer service.
You can view customer reviews of attorneys listed on the site before hiring services of a lawyer via the Find a Lawyer service. Business law questions section allows filtering common legal questions by state or searching by keyboard. I you are looking for a one-stop solution for all your legal needs, Lawyers.com is an excellent and reliable option.
With a network of more than 8,800 specialized attorneys, LawGuru.com offers legal advice in all legal domains. While you can ask legal questions directly on the site free of cost, the site also allows you to hire services of an attorney in just a few clicks. The questions you ask are answered by attorney(s) specialized in areas related to your question. The site also provides the option of searching old questions/answers.
LegalShield is an excellent option if you want simple monthly legal coverage. Instead of paying huge amounts of money for just a few days of legal assistance, the site allows paying a monthly subscription and getting reliable coverage for your small business. LegalShield offers services for a variety of purposes, including consumer finance, real estate, employment, collection and landlord tenant. Pricing for the Small Business Plan starts from $39/month and provides entrepreneurs and business owners with the confidence of being backed by a dedicated legal team.
In addition to connecting you with specialized lawyers, LegalServicesLink also allows you to post legal needs without any charge. Lawyers interested in helping you can contact via email, which makes it easier for you to select the lawyer that can serve you the best. It’s essentially a hire-a-lawyer service that allows hiring one in three simple steps. You can find lawyers by their practice area or by city, which saves you from having to call around searching for legal help. You just have to post your legal needs and a lawyer will contact you in no time.
Nolo is a great option if you are looking for do-it-yourself legal assistance available as business forms and books. You can also hire a specialized lawyer and download ebooks, while free articles on various legal tops are also available. In addition to free advice and paid services, you can also purchase legal software designed to make stuff like writing a will easier.
LegalZoom offers prepaid legal plans designed to help businesses as well as families. The site provides 100% satisfaction guarantee and is confident about its network of independent and experienced attorneys. It covers a variety of legal services including starting and running a business, tax, licensing, permits, trademarks, business compliance and other legal business services. Pricing for legal plans start from around $31/month and users can also opt for service packages that are easy to follow.
Score is especially a great resource for non-profits and offers free business mentorship and consultation services via email, phone as well as in person. Although all mentors/volunteers are not necessarily experienced lawyers, they are willing to help and have likely faced a similar problem. This allows them to provide insightful information about handling specific legal issues. The site also hosts webinars and workshops and offers general legal advice about different business topics.
RocketLawyer offers free legal advice and documents as well as affordable legal services to individuals and small businesses. Users can browse through and read a variety of topics related to business, including starting a business and making contracts. The site aims to make legal simple and easier for users and helps them quickly find answers. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial before deciding to for the paid plan that costs $39.99/month.
The legal services offered during the trial include instant access to the library of legal documents, contract protection, secure cloud storage, quick legal advice, 30-minute consultations on each matter and discounted rates for incorporation.
LawInfo makes searching for a local lawyer easier and allows finding an experienced attorney by legal issue. All users need to find a qualified attorney is to click a common legal issue. The site covers a variety of legal matters, including business law, labor and employment and real estate. The legal resource library also covers all the common business legal issues and provides a wealth of information in form of videos, articles, FAQs and infographics.
FindLaw offers free legal information, online legal documents and a convenient and easy platform to create legal forms without having to pay for a lawyer. Whether you are looking for specific legal information of facing a legal issue, FindLaw has got you covered. Users can learn about various legal topics related to business and get themselves familiar with the legal framework. Legal topics include small business law, real estate law, consumer protection, healthcare law and education law.
Online Legal Resources for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs
Online legal resources mentioned above cover almost all business entities such as sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations. However, you’d want something more specialized if you are a freelancer/entrepreneur and are seeking legal assistance for specific legal topics. Such resources can save people a lot of time and money and are just a few clicks away. Here are some great online resources that are particularly useful for freelancers, independent contractors and entrepreneurs.
ShakeLaw is an online tool for generating contracts that makes it easier for users to send contracts for e-signatures. Users can have their contracts reviewed by professional lawyers, saving them from the hassle of having to find one themselves. The site allows creating, signing and sending legally binding contracts in no time. The first step involves answering a few simple questions that help specify important contract terms after which users can email their agreement or sign in-person. Users can send invites right from the Android and iOS apps, while the other party can sign the contract using any device.
Docracy is a collection of legal documents that can be customized and sent for digital signatures. The site offers a large collection of documents for a variety of professionals, including designers, photographers, developers, freelancers and writers. The documents are mostly provided by other people who already have been through the legal stuff in their areas of expertise.
Myows makes it easier for photographers and graphic designers to register and protect their work and manage copyrights. It helps showcase and protect your pictures by registering work to prove authorship. Users can upload any file they have created or even sync their Instagram/Facebook accounts.
The best thing about Myows is that the services are available for free for up to 100 files after which users can upgrade to a Pro account that costs $9/month. The Pro upgrade also includes the option to sell pictures. Advanced website templates are available in the Premium package ($19/month), while the Elite package costs $29/month and includes the option to sell .psd files, PDFs, vector illustrations, videos, eBooks and other zippable files.
As the name suggests, Trademarkia is primarily a trademark search engine that makes it easier to find and register trademarks, domains, patents, logos and more. Users can search millions of trademarks for free that have been filed since 1870, including trademarks in the European Union, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Canada, Australia, UK and many other countries.
TermsFeed can be very helpful for a wide range of legal needs, including people who collect email addresses, use geolocation, sell products/services, create an account, publish content, copyright infringement notices and more. Although the agreements and policies are free, the site also offers premium agreements (optional) that include additional clauses (for a one-time fee). This means users only have to pay one-time for what they need as there are no monthly subscriptions involved.