Small business owners and solo entrepreneurs deal with legal issues all the time. Whether it’s conflict cases with clients or employees or something as simple as legal documents, many of a business’s operations have legal implications.
However, not all business owners are free to play “CEO” and “main legal counsel” at all times. There are many instances where they need to streamline their legal affairs. The most common legality they need to deal with is legal forms and documents.
Solo entrepreneurs, also called solopreneurs, are business owners who run a whole business by themselves. They don’t employ staff either because they don’t have the cash flow necessary to start a payroll or are in no need of it. These people usually need a lawyer to handle legal document management.
SMB owners, or small to medium-sized business owners, are entrepreneurs who employ a handful of staff. In most cases, these small or medium-sized businesses have between one and fifty employees.
Legal forms of business owners eat up a lot of an entrepreneur’s time. That’s why our first advice is to utilize legal document management systems. Some examples of legal documents that they need to deal with include the following:
Business license and permits;
Employer Identification Number (EIN);
Non-disclosure and non-compete agreements;
Purchase or lease agreements;
Lease rental agreements.
There are various use cases for legal documents for small businesses or solo-run enterprises. But some of the most common are the following:
Protection of assets and personal liability. Legal documents, like operating agreements and buy-sell agreements, help protect small business owners’ personal assets and properties and limit their personal liability. That way, they won’t lose their personal property or belongings to legal cases.
Compliance with laws and regulations. Small businesses and solopreneurs worldwide must comply with various laws and regulations of their respective countries and cities of residence. These include employment laws and consumer protection laws. Legal documents can help ensure compliance with these laws and regulations.
Establishing a professional image. Legal documents, such as non-disclosure agreements and terms of service agreements, help small business owners develop a more professional image and credibility with their customers, vendors, and partners.
Contractual relationships. There are also legal documents that help manage expectations and outline the terms of the relationships between businesses and their clients, suppliers, or partners.
Resolving disputes. Legal documents help avoid conflicts and provide a mechanism for resolving disputes if they do arise.
Now, we are approaching the most crucial question: “How and why do people use legal templates for business?”
And if you’re a business owner wondering if you can streamline legal document management, yes, you can. In fact, here are seven compelling reasons why you should use legal templates and simplify your legal document management process.
Legal counsel provides deep protection for your business. Legal help costs a lot of money, and for a good reason. Without the help of lawyers you can run to for advice, your business could get into problems that could cost you exponentially more money than you’re paying them.
But there are aspects of legal services that you can cut back on. One of them is legal template creation and management. By saving these templates, you can cut back on billable hours and save significant cash in the short term. You can also take free legal templates and have your lawyer read through them so they don’t spend too much time creating new and new legal documents for you.
Contrary to popular belief, many— if not most— business owners don’t just sit by the pool or play golf all day. Many small business owners work long hours to keep their businesses running. That’s why 24% of business owners say they are currently experiencing burnout.
Using legal templates or legal document management systems, you can save a lot of time as a business owner, allowing you more freedom to step out of some manual processes. Recently, some business owners have even relied on AI for contracts and saved them as templates. But make sure to run a legal document with a legal professional before using it to ensure it’s reliable.
Having a template, especially in soft copy format, keeps it readily available and handy in case you need it. Take, for instance, how companies use templates for client contracts and save them in a cloud-based legal document management system like Dropbox for repeated use. You can save your client contracts and give your sales team access, so they can close deals autonomously and bring more business in for your business.
Dropbox isn’t the only place where you can store these templates. You can also use Dropbox alternatives as well.
When legal document templates are ready, you can customize and apply them for other use cases. The best example of this is how efficiently small business owners have an employment contract ready to be customized to every onboarded employee and sent for signing.
You can leave parts like job roles, work hours, compensation, agreed benefits, and more blank. Once you hire a new person, you can fill out the missing parts and send them for signing. There is no need to create documents entirely from scratch, but there is a need to have one legal document management system.
By having legal templates ready, you can run a contract management system for your team or clients. That way, your company looks more streamlined and, therefore, more professional. Nothing looks more unprofessional from the outside (or even the inside) than a company that’s all over the place, even with their contracts and legal documents for business.
Put order and system to your legal processes by keeping templates, signed copies, and other papers in one place for you or anyone else to access as needed.
How often has a small business faced legal trouble because it didn’t have a contract ready? Sometimes, it’s out of negligence. But other times, it’s because they didn’t have the tools to protect their business affairs from the get-go.
With legal templates in place, you’re ready to sign contracts and protect your business as needed. The same goes for any legal documents for government policies that ensure you don’t face hefty fines and penalties.
When a solo entrepreneur or business owner enjoys all the benefits above, it’s only natural that their venture will flourish. With legal protection and better systems, business owners have peace of mind and focus on putting their best efforts into activities that grow their businesses.
Business owners and entrepreneurs don’t always pay attention to the small things. But as the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” The beauty is that having legal templates for business and maintaining them is a minimal effort that goes a long way. Take care of this once and for all, and your business should have the legal environment needed to go to the next level.
The world is evolving before our very eyes. We now rely on digital tools like legal document management software all the time to run our businesses. So if your company doesn’t have a system to handle legal templates and documents, it’s about time you started doing so.
Inna Chumachenko is the Content Lead at Lawrina. She is responsible for managing all the content found on the blog, guides, and other website pages. Inna has a degree in philology and a vast interest in law. In her role at Lawrina, Inna oversees the content team, establishes collaborations with writers, and curates content from various contributors.