What prepaid legal service would you recommend for business matters?
August 7, 2005 1:33 PM   Subscribe

What prepaid legal service would you recommend for business matters?

I'm starting a new business and need legal help on various matters, most importantly the contracts that are starting to flood over my desk.

I've done some research on various companies which provide small business legal advice but its hard to tell which ones would provide more services or which ones would be more responsive.

So I'd like to hear about your experiences with these companies and which ones you would recommend.
posted by newgrl to Law & Government (6 answers total)
From the state which is the home to Prepaid Legal Services, don't use them. If you do a Google search, you'll find hundreds if not thousands of dissatisfied customers. We signed up for them some years ago and found it seriously wanting in both scope and cost.

As a small business owner who recently went through your current phase, I'd recommend you find a local attorney who can take a quick look at your contracts to ensure there aren't any landmines. It won't take him/her very long (an hour at the most) and you won't be tied into any long term prepaid services.
posted by lambchop1 at 3:38 PM on August 7, 2005

Newgrl, is there a reason you specifically want to go with prepaid? The ABA's American Prepaid Legal Services Institute has a listing of different sorts of legal plans including prepaid and, for the really curious, they have a book available online about it. I would also shy away from prepaid legal, haivng had friends who it flat out did not work for, but YMMV of course. Have you talked to your local SCORE group? I've always found them very helpful when I was dealing with similar issues starting a small business.
posted by jessamyn at 3:58 PM on August 7, 2005

Response by poster: "Newgrl, is there a reason you specifically want to go with prepaid?" -

I was actually just trying to save a little money. I don't think I will be flush enough to keep a lawyer on retainer for a while. And for the minor things I am needing right now, look over a contract or two, make sure I'm not getting in over my head, tax questions, how many stock holders can I have at this point, etc... I thought maybe pre-paid would be easiest and cheapest.

Perhaps I was wrong, however.

I was not familiar with SCORE. Thanks for the link.
posted by newgrl at 5:29 PM on August 7, 2005

The university I attended (Arizona State) had a small business program that worked with small business owners in the community. Maybe your local university has something similar?

Also, the SBA's local office should at least be able to refer you to a decent provider of the services you seek.
posted by mullacc at 6:41 PM on August 7, 2005

PPLS is one step short of a scam. (Others are much less kind.) Do yourself a big favor and hire an attorney the good-old-fashioned way.
posted by waldo at 7:14 PM on August 7, 2005

What everyone said above about pre-paid legal being a scam. However, that doesn't mean you have to ruin your budget on lawyers. Lots of lawyers will work out arrangements with new businesses. When I was practicing I know that I moved heaven and earth to work with those kinds of clients -- it's not only most satisfying in the short term, it has the most long-term potential of generating the loyal, big clients that would be the core of a practice years later.
posted by MattD at 8:59 AM on August 8, 2005

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