Template and automated legal documents are increasing in popularity.
For years there have been many websites offering standard contracts for download. Most of these have a US/European law focus, but the past couple of years have seen some similar services launched in Asia.
Some of these websites offer a very comprehensive collection of legal documents which address the needs of startups and small businesses in particular — everything from NDAs to equity investment agreements are available for download, usually with a fee.
My cover slide for this part of the workshop reads: “Be very very very very careful when using standard contracts” — I’m not sure whether I should have added a few more ‘very’s to statement.
Business owners should be extremely cautious when using these legal documents.
As with any business venture, startups need to get good professional advice from experts. Typically these advisors will cover legal, financial, and tax advice.
Lawyers have a bad reputation
Most people would prefer if they could avoid dealing with lawyers. When there’s a negotiation or discussion and people say get the lawyers involved, suddenly everyone gets a bit more serious and defensive.