OCTOBER 26, 2023 – Anytime the courts are involved, most people run to find a lawyer. Your attorney understands the legal process and is sworn to protect your rights. However, technology may be changing how often people hire an attorney.
Thanks to the availability of free legal templates, you may be able to skip paying attorney fees. Here’s a look at when you may want to use a legal template instead of hiring an attorney.
Creating an LLC Agreement
Limited Liability Companies (LLC) need an operating agreement outlining the rules members must follow. The operating agreement includes the management structure, operations, and ownership shares.
As long as all members of an LLC agree with the rules, you can use a legal template to create a legally binding agreement. Don’t forget to have everyone sign the agreement. Missing even one signature may mean it’s not binding, and members cannot be held accountable for their actions.
Most service agreements are relatively simple. The agreement outlines the relationship between a business and a vendor. Both parties have specific responsibilities. For example, the vendor agrees to provide a specific type, quality, and number of products, and the business pays a preset amount for the service.
A legal template can easily cover all of the necessary points of the agreement, along with a few extras you may throw in.
Some things to include on the template are:
- The scope of the service
- Delivery schedule
- Payment schedule
- A starting and ending date for the contract
A non-disclosure agreement covers your proprietary rights, which can include product designs or operating methods, to name a couple of examples. Since most NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) are relatively self-explanatory, you can easily create one using a free legal template.
The NDA prevents either party from discussing the details of sensitive/private information. You can use an NDA during the hiring process when bringing on a new business partner or for protecting your company’s operations when you’re exploring a possible joint venture with a competitor.
Employment Termination Letter
Not every business will need to worry about the potential legal ramifications associated with firing an employee. Small businesses with only a few employees might be able to skip this, but larger corporations will want to have legal protection. Even if your company has an in-house lawyer, you can still use a free legal template to create the termination letter.
Why do you want to use a termination letter? The document indicates the reason for terminating the employee, and it also notes that you’re following all associated labor laws. To protect yourself from a wrongful termination lawsuit, have the former employee sign the letter and keep a copy in your files.
You Don’t Always Need an Attorney, But You Should Still Consult with One
Even when you’re using free legal templates to create binding documents, it never hurts to get an attorney’s opinion to help guide you.
You may be missing some crucial information in the document that can have significant legal repercussions at a later date. If nothing else, talking to an attorney gives you another layer of protection.