Reasons Why We Don’t Recommend LegalZoom, IncFile & Others…
Going to one of these “get your legal stuff done quick” websites probably sounds great, huh? We truly believe that when you invest in something people want “quick, cheap and easy” but you can’t really get all three and it be worth anything…especially for legal.
#1 Disclaims Responsibility
Many of these sites disclaim responsibility for any errors, ommissions or otherwise dangerous activity lurking within the services they provide. Yes, this may be a standard legal disclaimer – but it is important to note that lawyers and their firms can’t disclaim responsibility. This means that you will have recourse should you ever have an issue with a contract, trademark filing or even a business formation. By hiring someone outside of a computer, you then have someone to pass the buck to – and yes, we also mean more money!
#2 Basic and Generic
Most legal actions, such as contract drafting and business formation, have minimum legal requirements, which are fairly defined as basic and generic. These contents may be the legal minimum that is needed, however, there may be stuff that off the bat you, as the photography business owner, want to have included but the services contract you downloaded doesn’t hardly even touch on these industry-specific items.
#3 Attorney Review is Redundant
Due to reason number 2, where we have established that many of these “photography services contracts” are generic leads to a relative waste of attorney review because you are having an attorney review general boilerplate.
And at that point – you’ve spent money without many, if any, substantial revisions to the document.
#4 Attorney Clean Up Is More Expensive
This section is basically telling y’all to keep money out of lawyer pockets…well at least the difference between what your clean-up cost would be compared to going to an attorney in the first place. We see these first hand specifically with trademark applications and business formations.
Cleaning up these type of messes causes a higher bill a majority of the time, than if you had sought one out initially. And then, you’re also out the monies paid online.
#5 No Strategy Advice
If we haven’t convinced you yet, this whole idea of grab and go isn’t always the best. Even though this website provides similar services we recognize that there are facets of the legal protection and business growth missing. This is the idea of strategy. For example, one should never simply file for an LLC because they think they need one. They need to know why, their options and what the best longterm plan for their business is. These companies are relatively inequipped or do not provide this service.
So..how is TheLawTog® different?
Sure, it may seem like this site is not different…but it truly is. Listen on to why.
We don’t draft contracts for you, do business formations or do legal filings. We do all of that with our respective law firms that are separate from TLT. But since we get the question a lot – let us address the major difference between our contracts and what you can find out there.
First, ours are specially written for a specific niche, photography and creative. Many that are found on these “big box” legal sites do not provide legal tools with much more than basic and general legal content. Yes – that may be good for a start- but you’re still going to need an enhanced level of legal review and drafting from a local attorney.
The combination of redundancy, plus attorney research into specific industry and drafting will inevitably end up being a bigger bill than had you started with an attorney to begin with because the document you brought to the attorney isn’t any more than standard boilerplate and baseline language. (It certainly isn’t niched to the photography industry!)
Yes, TheLawTog® contracts come with a disclaimer to have a local lawyer to review, however, we have included specific and niched information in these contracts. This information is due to our immense understanding and practice in the photography industry as lawyers AND photographers. Documents from TheLawTog® are templates from which to start from and have reviewed and maybe customized saving on a lot of attorney time and expense working from scratch for a whole contract or other docs. Repeating it again, yes we recommend local review as the contracts are drafting on general contract principles and state laws may vary – but let me ask you – how many lawyers do you know have worked as photographers and truly understand industry specifics?
These can include:
- how payments are done
- standard on industry terms
- client perception and reception to contracts
Finally, we are a legal resource to give you enough information to be equipped to go ask the right questions outside of your computer. You know..to a real living and breathing attorney in your state. Our goal is that this will help you be able to keep them on task, know what is going on and hopefully reduce your overall bill.
But we will still ALWAYS tell you to go to a local attorney, even if it means losing us a sale, because it is to help you and the industry succeed.
It is important to do it right the first time. You never have an issue, until you have an issue. And often then, it is too late to fix it (if you even can!)