While one of the nice things about a small business can be the avoidance of much of the overhead, bureaucracy, and paperwork ubiquitous in the corporate world, at some point, even the smallest business is likely to require a foray into the legal realm. When such measures become necessary, Rocket Lawyer is a one-stop-shop for all things legal. Rocket Lawyer's main focus (the one for which you pay, anyway), is the automatic generation of a wide variety of legal documents that are tailored to your specific needs through a series of questions. In addition, the site has a section for finding a real live lawyer that fits your needs. Finally, Rocket Lawyer also has a reasonably extensive help section that contains information about a number of legal questions and areas.
Knowing when you need to handle various legal aspects of your business more formally can be a challenging task, but it's made significantly easier if you don't have to worry about the generally large fees it would take to get advice or documents from a lawyer. To this end, the recurring fees for document generation on Rocket Lawyer ($40/month or $300/year for the business service) provide unlimited access while your account is active, allowing you to not worry about the marginal cost of creating a new document.
Business Legal Forms
Rocket Lawyer has forms available for a wide variety of business uses, including simple things like "video release" and "request to link to website" (really?) as well as more advanced items like incorporation documents. In all cases, after choosing a form, you'll have the chance to customize it by answering a series of questions. The prices listed above let you generate an unlimited number of forms, and you can also generate your first one through a free trial, so it's easy to try things out to see how they work. If you're not sure exactly what you need, they also have a nice wizard as a way to get started.
Legal Help and Information
In addition to the form generation that is the main selling point of Rocket Lawyer, there is also a pretty extensive help and information section that addresses questions about a number of legal issues. The topics are rather varied, ranging from issues such as how to get funding for a small business to a number of intellectual property considerations. For the most part, the help section is geared at getting you to generate one of their forms, but it's nice to have a little direction when getting into such legal issues.
If all else fails, or if you need to do something a little more complicated than just making your own legal document, Rocket Lawyer also has a section that lets you browse lawyers in your area, ask specific questions, or request that a lawyer contact you. At the very least, these listings give you a chance to find lawyers in a particular specialty, and to get a sense of their hourly rates before wading in to deeper waters.
Overall, Rocket Lawyer looks like a pretty decent service as a way to identify and explore legal issues relevant to your small business. As your business starts to grow, a subscription is likely to pay for itself in no time (as the site points out, the yearly fee costs about the same as two hours of the average lawyer's time). Tyler and I haven't had occasion to wade too far into the legal waters with Less Annoying Software yet, but as we do, I definitely think we'll keep Rocket Lawyer in mind.
Oh yeah, and while we're at it, this wouldn't be a proper legal-themed article if I didn't disclaim that I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to legal matters, so listen to me at your own risk.