Online legal-ese?
October 1, 2005 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Is there a good online source for generic legal-ese? I am starting a business and I need to draft corporate bylaws, stock certificates, and a terms of service agreement. I would like to do this without involving a lawyer, if possible.

The entity will be a New York state S corporation, I need the TOS for a subscription-based online newsletter to be distributed worldwide.
posted by nyterrant to Law & Government (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Nolo Press?
posted by al_fresco at 2:42 PM on October 1, 2005


Nolo Press is a good resource for this purpose. It would be good if you could have a lawyer review the documents you put together before you use them. You may be surprised how little it would cost to do so.

I would note that you don't want "generic legal-ese", but rather model legal documents. "Legal-ese" is something that the law profession is trying to get rid of - arcane and stilted language in legal documents. We are gravitating toward a plain language culture.
posted by megatherium at 2:46 PM on October 1, 2005


megatherium - indeed, model legal documents is more precise.
posted by nyterrant at 2:58 PM on October 1, 2005


If you want to incorporate without using a lawyer your best bet is "foolish.com". You might be okay doing it on your own but is it really worth the risk?
posted by Carbolic at 5:01 PM on October 1, 2005


Paul Graham suggested that what many startups do is best: begin quasi-legal, formalize or increase formality as things pick up speed (or don't formalize if they fall flat). This makes sense to me.
posted by weston at 5:31 PM on October 1, 2005


I might also suggest perusing The Business Owner's Toolkit. You'll find all the legal beagle stuff you need here, plus it's a good first-stop for any business question you may have.

And if you're doing it right, you will have many.
posted by Kibbutz at 8:04 AM on October 2, 2005


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