Sussex Business Times introduces LawEasier, a new business that is disrupting the legal market and helping small business get affordable access to legal services
Last year the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) released a report that showed some worrying facts about businesses in the UK.
There are around five million small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK that make up 99 per cent of the private sector. On average, SMEs experience eight legal issues every year, which costs the sector more than £13.6 billion per year. However, the report suggests that when small businesses need legal advice only one in ten will go to a solicitor for help.
With nine out of ten not seeking professional legal advice when they need it, what are small business owners doing?
It will probably come as no surprise that 83 per cent of small businesses regard legal services as unaffordable and consequently over half of those that have a problem trying to resolve it on their own.
Some resort to search engines for a solution, others will copy and paste from other documents, some will seek advice from colleagues or friends and others will ignore the issue in the hope it will be OK.
With no affordable access to legal services nine out of ten businesses could be relying on incorrect sources of advice which could leave them at risk or, even worse, in breach of UK business law.
In light of these worrying facts a new legal service for small businesses called LawEasier was launched late last year to address this unmet need for affordable and accessible legal support. LawEasier is considered a market disrupter, changing the way the legal market operates. It is a small business with big plans to make the law more affordable through technology for small businesses.
The LawEasier system uses AI-like legal document automation backed up by real solicitors and is nothing like any other law firm in the UK. LawEasier has members, rather than clients, who subscribe to the service from less than the cost of a mobile phone contract. Membership entitles the users to access an online encyclopaedic guide to business law in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which provides answers, insights and guidance in plain English.
Members also get access to hundreds of bespoke letters, forms and legally binding documents which they can create for themselves through a guided process. The system asks all the questions that a lawyer would ask, creating the document as you input your answers. It is simple to use. There are no limits to how many documents a member can make or how often they use the system which means that SMEs can address most of their legal needs affordably and without engaging a traditional law firm.
One of the areas of law that many small business owners are worried about is around employing people. LawEasier takes care of this from the job description and offer letter through to the employment contract, employee handbook and even the review forms. Data can be copied from one document to another to save re-keying information and the system does not allow you to input anything that would breach the relevant laws and regulations.
Employment is only one of the areas covered, in fact LawEasier covers almost everything a business would need including; health & safety, intellectual property, ecommerce, sales & purchase agreements, property, debt recovery, business start-ups and lots more besides.
If you are not sure what documents you need, they have created a free ‘legal healthcheck’ that you can do online, and they provide a 14-day free trial too, so it is worth visiting www.laweasier.co.uk if you are one of the nine out of ten businesses possibly at risk.