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Using Online Legal Forms Safely for Your Small Business

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This month, we explained to you how it can be a mistake to download and use generic legal forms from the internet—in fact, using these forms and filling in the blanks yourself can lead to legal problems instead of protecting against them. 

However, there are some circumstances in which you can safely use an online legal form. Here are some tips on how to precede with caution: 

  • Review why, legally, you need the form. There’s a big difference between downloading a generic non-discloser agreement (NDA) and a complex business contract. If you need the form for a simple, common, and straightforward reason, you may be more likely to get away with an online form.  
  • Think about the unique legal issues faced by your industry. Online legal forms are very simplified and do not take your specific business into consideration. Before using a legal form, think about the legal issues unique to your industry and how you need to protect yourself from them. Chances are, they are not covered in your generic form. 
  • Read the form very, very closely. Far too many people download a form, fill in the blanks, and sign it without ever taking a closer look at what it says—or how what it says could have consequences. Even though legal talk makes most people’s eyes glaze over, it is imperative that you fully understand what the document says and what it means for you legally. 
  • Get your lawyer to review the final form. Yes, you’ve downloaded a form to save on legal fees, but that doesn’t mean that you still don’t need the assistance of your small business attorney. Let your lawyer look over the form, make sure everything looks good, and that you are well protected. It will give you peace of mind and ensure that the document accomplishes what it should. 

Does your small business need assistance with a contract or other legal document? Call our Texas small business attorneys today to get the help you need: 888-269-1962. 

Category: Small Business General Counsel Services

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