By Rieva Lesonsky
Having a good attorney on your side can get you out of a lot of small business hassles you never imagined you’d experience, but attorney costs can also drain your business of a lot of precious working capital. If you don’t want to use seed capital to get the answers to your legal questions, here are seven resources that can help cut down on some of your legal expenses.
1. Before you call an attorney with a legal question, try searching for the answer on FindLaw’s Small Business Center. You can get information such as what kind of legal structure you should form or how worker’s compensation laws in your state work. Also check FindLaw’s state guides for legal information specific to your state.
2. How you structure your business not only affects your taxes, it also protects your personal financial and legal assets. The Company Corporation website contains lots of helpful information to help you decide the right business structure for you. You’ll also find industry-specific information. Once you’ve done your research, you can purchase the appropriate business licenses and permits for your business, register your business name and more.
3. A division of the Federal Trade Commission, the Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center enforces the laws that protect consumers against unfair or deceptive practices. Check here to find tools and information you’ll need to understand and comply with FTC laws and regulations. Download the guidelines to read, and discuss with the regulations with your employees.
4. Confused as to which contractors get a 1099 one and which don’t? Legal Data Research, a software developer that aims to streamline government data processes, launched Track1099.com to help small businesses owners manage their 1099 procedures. Your business can use the online tool to interact with the IRS; it helps with recordkeeping and filing. Track1099.com electronically files relevant forms with the IRS and also sends a copy to the independent contractor.
5. Need a legal document? Download Biztree’s Business in a Box, which contains more than 1,800 business and legal document templates including contracts, business plans, letters, proposals and spreadsheets. All the templates are professionally written, pre-formatted and ready to customize. The price includes updates to documents for one year.
6. Rocket Lawyer can help you create legal documents, and when you can’t find what you need online, the site can hook you up with a lawyer. If you’re not sure what kind of assistance you need, the site can help you with that, too. Ask your question and you’ll be guided through your options.
7. If you do business in more than one state, it can difficult to stay in compliance with all federal and state regulations. Services offered by CSC Global for Small Businesses include legal and compliance assistance, such as filing required documents and acquiring the correct business licenses. You can also get help with domain names and trademarks.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports