Keeping the costs of business legal services under control

legal business documentsEmploying lawyers can be costly, but no business can operate safely without at least some basic and well-drafted legal documents.

These should include the Terms and Conditions under which the business operates with both suppliers and customers and good quality employment contracts.

This way, a business and its suppliers and customers will have clearly-stated, written details to support any transactions and to minimise disputes.

How to get the best legal deal

Small businesses cannot normally afford to buy bespoke documents but a lot of free legal help is available to businesses such as to those who are members of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) or the Institute of Directors (IoD).

But it is foolish to operate without any legal protection so if cost is an issue, it is worth trying to agree a fixed price deal with a lawyer, at least to review your current documents.

Lawyers generally charge for consultations by units of time. Their standard unit is just six minutes long so it can become very expensive to have a meeting where a lot of time is spent on irrelevant conversation, some of which may not be pertinent to the documents being discussed.

It is far more efficient and cost effective to arrive for a meeting having given requirements some real thought and done some research to find a template that can be used as the basis of the contract the business needs.  There are plenty of template forms online to give a business a start. The template can be used to produce a draft covering all the relevant points the business wants to include.

Businesses should beware using a template without amendment and without ensuring that it covers precisely the conditions relevant their specific circumstances. As a result, legal input is often necessary.

Doing the research, defining clearly what any contract needs to cover and producing a draft will greatly reduce the amount of time spent in discussion and will enable the lawyer to produce a final document much more quickly, and therefore affordably for the client.

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