One of the hardest parts about launching your startup is getting all of your related legal affairs in order. Contracts for customers, leases for property, and employment contracts for your employees are all things that you will need to consider.
All of the background legal work can be difficult to understand and can be a significant hurdle in the early days of your startup. Because of this, we have decided to create a list of seven legal resources and tools that can be used to take the legal headache away from your startup.
Rocket Lawyer is a subscription-based, online legal technology company that is currently based in San Francisco, California. The services provided by Rocket Lawyer are tailored to be effective and affordable for both a single person and small-medium-enterprises.
Firstly, they offer an array of online services. If you have a subscription you will be given access to an array of informative articles on the law, the ability to can create legal documents online by completing online forms where all you have to do is fill in the blanks and you will have a custom-created legal document that is ready to use and is legally sound.
If you’re not overly comfortable with doing this yourself, Rocket Lawyer also offers the services of a specialist group of legal professionals to their customers. These lawyers will be able to answer queries and provide assistance with a wide range of other legal tasks, including document review.
Finally, they also offer the use of their Legal Health Score service. This is a service that helps to assess your business for any potential vulnerabilities you have that could result in legal issues in the future. You will be scored from 1 to 100 and based on your score, you will be given guidance on how to improve and better protect your startup.
In regards to pricing, it is heavily recommended that you get a subscription. This is because as a non-member, you will be paying $39.99 per document and you will be paying even more for other services, which is not entirely cost-effective. However, if you pay $39.99 per month for a subscription you will get most of their services for free and large discounts on other services.
Rocket Lawyer helps to make getting legal assistance for your startup easier and much more affordable. You can also get a seven-day free trial, so have a look for yourself.
SeedLawyers are a legal technology company, centered in New York. They, as a company are on a mission to assist startups which are in their early stages, providing them with legal assistance through models which are easy for the layman to understand, as well as providing flexibility and maintaining a clear pricing structure so that there are no hidden costs to worry about.
It should be noted that they are not a law firm themselves and the attorney-client relationships you have will be with independent lawyers.
SeedLawyers offer a variety of services, including “Ask a Lawyer” where you can get in touch with an independent lawyer who is a specialist in your industry, you can schedule a call with them too.
Furthermore, they go into great depth in a number of different areas, meaning no matter what your issue, they will be able to help. They currently advertise assistance with intellectual property law, raising funds for your startup, employment law for your team, agreements between you and other businesses, internal legal agreements for your co-founders, and much more. They have everything your startup should need in the modern business environment.
For $49.99 per month, you will be given unlimited access to speaking with their partnered lawyers, the ability to ask as many legal questions as you want, access to a plethora of legal documents, and customer service that is available 24 hours per day.
Shake is a legal technology startup, that is currently situated in New York. The main product that they are currently offering is their app, “Forms by LegalShield”. Currently, the app is available on IOS, Android, and web-based devices. Their mission is to simplify legal documents, making them more accessible to the average business owner or freelancer.
The primary target market for Shake is freelancers and smaller companies who may need legal assistance, but wouldn’t be able to support the cost of more formal legal assistance.
The app allows its users to generate, sign, and send documents that are legally binding from their devices. Within the app, is a repository of legal document templates that are written in a way that is easy to understand. To create their document, users will be required to fill out a questionnaire that will auto-populate their document for them.
As it stands, the templates that are supported by Shake relate to Independent Contractors, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Buying and Selling, Renting Goods, and the provision of personal loans.
Currently, the app is free to use for limited functionality, however, to gain full access to the more premium features and templates, you will have to pay for a membership. Membership costs less than $20 per month.
LawGeex is a revolutionary legal technology company based both in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and New York. They aim to make the process of reviewing contracts easier and less time consuming so that your legal team can divert their attention to your startup’s more pressing matters.
They use a sophisticated Artificial Intelligence asset which will automatically review and process all of the contracts that pass through your business. The AI has a complex understanding of language that is used in the legal sector and also has understandings of the context that the language is being used in.
The system can then identify if any contract clauses are missing and if any part of the contract isn’t compliant. It will then offer suggestions for improvement, which can be implemented in a single click. The contracts that are processed using LawGeex are then automatically exported into a Word document with annotations of any changes.
Once this has all done, you can send the contract to the intended recipient. It makes the process much more rapid and efficient.
You can visit their website to request a demo, so you can see how their system works yourself.
Binded is the provider of a great tool to protect the intellectual property of your startup. Based in San Francisco, California, their service can be used to protect images such as logos, and other important visual company media.
They are seeking to make the copyrighting of company assets much easier and affordable than it is currently.
It works by making use of blockchain technology to protect your images. First, you upload your image to your own individual copyright vault, this can be uploaded from your computer, phone or through integrations with other apps like Instagram. Then, whenever you upload content to your vault it becomes permanently saved on the blockchain platform in the form of a “digital fingerprint”.
Binded will then present you with a copyright certificate, which will serve as evidence of your copyright. This will help to keep your startup protected from anyone infringing on your copyright.
The simplicity and the fact that the process is so quick makes it a useful tool for your startup. If you are spending much less time trying to get your copyright sorted out, you can then focus more of your time and attention on the smooth operation of your startup, so you can grow quicker.
Binded is also a free service.
Clerky is an American legal technology firm based in Burlingame, California. They mainly market themselves to startups, saying they offer the simplest way for startup companies to safely finish legal paperwork.
They have a team of paralegals and attorneys who are experts in their field and will be able to answer any questions that you may have.
They offer the completion of a number of different legal documents for your startup. They can handle the incorporation of your business, leaving you to get off the ground running, rather than running for paperwork, they can provide internal legal documents relating to your co-founders, intellectual property and company bylaws.
They also offer legal documents pertaining to the employment of your team, which includes employment contracts, offer letters and employee stock option documents. They also have the capacity to provide non-disclosure agreements, so that you can protect the intellectual property of your company.
Clerky also provide the documents that can help you to secure seed funding from investors, including securities compliance documents, checklists for financing, and board consents.
Clerky advertises a variety of different prices, that can all be found on their website.
TrademarkNow is a legal technology company based in New York that exclusively specializes in intellectual property law. They offer a variety of services that aim to save the time of intellectual property lawyers and therefore, saving the money of your startup.
Namecheck is one of their services and allows you to create a quick and comprehensive search of similar trademarks across a number of regions. It will also create a comprehensive breakdown of any risk factors that may appear through the trademark. It will also provide you with information relating to how the trademarks are used, their owners, and how quick they are to litigate.
Their Namewatch service offers the ability to track applications that are a potential threat to your startup. Their tracking tools also integrate with the other tools on their platform to help you to get a comprehensive report on risk. You are also able to find out whenever a competitor registers a new trademark, this will help you to stay up to date with new developments in your market.
One of the services they offer involves the searching of logos against their massive database, this will allow you to check whether your logo has any conflict over a wide number of regions. The results of your search and any conflicts will be made into a gallery that can be exported to a number of different formats.
They operate on a subscription basis and do not advertise their prices online, because of this, you will need to get a tailored quote from them.
These tools help your intellectual property lawyer to spend less time doing leg work and more time doing the tasks that matter for your startup.