One of my least favorite parts of a business is the legal process whether it's incorporating a company, devising the operating agreement, filing a provisional patent, trademarking a name or phrase, compiling the terms and conditions, and the list goes on and on. It's necessary and much-needed but I find it numbing to read the documents not to mention how time-consuming the process can be.
It's also expensive and the fees can quickly add up depending on what your needs are. Luckily, there are more resources today than ever from free templates, discounted services, and legal resources. Below is a list of our favorites.
Online Legal Services:
- LegalMatch.com and LawTrades.com - search engines to find a lawyer near your location.
- LegalZoom.com - Perhaps one of the most popular services. LegalZoom can help with everything from forming a business, to managing tax license and permit documents, identifying business compliance related issues, assisting with corporate changes and more.
General Legal Documents:
- Start-Up Forms Library - Startup legal forms by Orrick include corporate formation documents for incorporating in DE, founders' stock purchase documents, director-and officer-related documents, employment and consultant documents, technology related documents and equity compensation documents.
- Nolo.com - Business forms for protecting trademarks, filing a provisional patent, forming an LLC, as well as using an NDA. They also have employment/HR forms such as creating employee handbooks, consultant agreements, noncompetes, nondisclosures and more. They also have IP and nonprofit resources.
- MyCorporation - Focused on incorporating new businesses, filing trademarks and copyrights, and filing a DBA (Doing Business As).
- YCombinator Documents - A set of open-sourced financing documents.
- Free legal docs from 500 Startups - Free legal docus you can use to raise money.
- Techstars documents - Free open sourced model seed financing documents.
- Model Series A Docs - Free legal templates created by the National Venture Capital Association including documents such as term sheets, stock purchase agreements, investor rights agreements, and voting agreement.
- WSGR Term Sheet Generator - This free tool will generate a venture financing term sheet based on your responses to an online questionnaire.
- Orrick Term Sheet Creator - Free founders, bridge financing, and preferred stock term sheets.
Startup Legal Blogs:
- Venture Deals - #1 recommended book on financing co-written by investors Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.
- Venture Capital: The Definitive Guide for Entrepreneurs, Investors and Practitioners - An excellent overview of the key issues with insights from industry insiders.
There you have it - a list of cheaper resources you can utilize so you can spend less time on the administrative stuff and more time building.
Have a legal resource we haven't mentioned? Let us know in the comments.