What are prepaid legal services? What benefits do pre-paid legal services hold for small business owners? Well, this article will answer these questions in detail.
If you are running your own business, then there’s every possibility that you cannot go it alone especially when it comes to legal issues. The enormous intricacies of law, the ever rising costs of lawsuits and the ever increasing number of government red tapes can land you in a lot of trouble. In fact, there are a lot of issues and matters you need to know as an entrepreneur; with respect to business law. But how are we to dedicate time to knowing every single law when we have more intricate business issues to handle? Well, the answer might be to hire an attorney, lawyer or legal adviser.
But in reality, hiring a lawyer can be expensive and many small businesses and entrepreneurs cannot afford it or maintain it over a period of time. In fact, attorneys and lawyers charge a minimum of $200 per hour when it comes to handling issues regarding “business law” and this can get very expensive if you are involved in lengthy legal procedures, complicated contracts or business transactions. This is where pre-paid legal plans and services come to the rescue.
What are Pre-paid Legal Services for Small Business Owners?
Legal advice for small businesses does not have to be expensive. For a fixed monthly or annual fee, some legal providers are now offering a variety of legal services especially tailored to the needs of small-businesses. With pre-paid legal plans, you can access a wide array of legal services outlined specifically to attend to the needs of small businesses; and such services can be available for a fixed yearly fee ranging from $125 to $300 or more.
Although the legal plans vary across each law firm, most pre-paid plans provide unlimited telephone consultation with a lawyer, a valuable service that is sufficient to resolve many small business legal problems. This promotes “preventive law”: which is the process whereby you spot legal problems that may affect your business negative; then you contact your lawyer and get advice on how to minimize them.
Whether you need phone consultation on the legal complexities of a lease contract, or require legal representation during tax audits, a pre-paid legal plan can aid you cope with legal costs. Several ranges of legal services is included as “standard coverage” at no cost to you in the plan, and any legal matter not covered in the plan can be offered with a discount on fees.
Basic plans offer coverage for simple contracts and the drafting of simple legal documents, like a power of attorney or a bill of sale. More comprehensive plans will deal with more complex matters like equipment lease and accounts-receivable collection work. However, before choosing a pre-paid legal plan or services for your business; there are some facts you must know.
3 Facts you must know Before Choosing a Pre-paid Legal Services Company or Vendor
What quality of services do they offer and at what cost?
Before subscribing to a plan from prepaid legal companies; you need to know more about the quality of service you are likely to get. While low fees do not essentially mean poor quality of work, it is important to you know that legal specialization plays a crucial role and lawyers are not interchangeable for each role.
So it is advisable you ask for references from previous clients or entrepreneurs that have used the services of the firm you are about to contract work to. Inquire about the quality of work they have received from them. You should also consult your state bar association, service organizations in your locale and your local Better Business Bureau to research information about the law firms and the background of the attorneys in the network before you sign up with them.
How competent is the law firm?
When researching about the competence of the law firm you want to work with, you should consider to the number of years they have been in operation, complaints from previous customers, educational background of attorneys, professional track record and so forth.
How do they handle dispute?
With the increasing amount of small businesses involved in litigation and fee disputes with their legal providers, I will advise you consider some other courses of actions when handling disputes. Also, ensure that you ask your prospective legal service provider about the way they settle disputes or complaints. Do they have an in-house procedure to deal with complaints? Do they appoint a senior attorney to deal with such things or do you simply have to settle out of court? These are some of the facts you must know before subscribing to a legal plan.
3 Benefits of Pre-paid legal plan for your company
What are the benefits of a pre-paid legal plan for your company? This is one of the most important questions most business owners want an answer to. Below are some benefits your business stands to gain by subscribing to the services of pre-paid legal plans.
Pre-paid legal services are cost effective
Pre-paid legal plans can help you eliminate the stress of hiring a lawyer and keeping up with the recurring fees. Lawyers’ fees are too expensive, especially when you are a small business owner. With pre-paid plans, what you get charged is parallel with what you pay for your health or home insurance. Plans may start as low as $9 per month and usually don’t exceed the $30 mark.
Prepaid services are not complicated
When it comes to legal fees, there are quite a lot of charges to deal with that sometimes you get confused. Such fees range from: contingency fees, flat fees, statutory fees and hourly rates. But prepaid legal services are quite different because the process is simple and straightforward: you sign an agreement to pay a fixed monthly fee and that’s about it. If the exact service you are looking for is not covered, your plan provider will give you an advance notice of a different billing so that you know exactly how much you will be charged.
Pre-paid plans offer unlimited phone consultation and advice. This particular service can save you a lot of trouble, money and time in the future. Most legal problems you are likely to face in your day-to-day life can be solved if you take the necessary steps in line with the law. With the right legal advice and consultation with your lawyer, you can detect legal mistakes before they happen and hence avoid the risk of litigation and increase your legal protection.