Small Business Legal Services Subscription Plan
Legal services have been offered on the subscription plan business model for some time now with varying degrees of success. If the attorney offers a plan that includes unlimited legal services it’s easy to loose money when bigger projects arise but if you limit the legal services too much the client ends up worrying about how much they are using the service, which is exactly what the subscription model is supposed to eliminate. There is a sweet spot for a legal services subscription plan for small business owners who generally do things on their own because they don’t want to involve an attorney and end up paying expensive fees. There is a certain cost to just getting an attorney involved, which when covered by the subscription plan, will not hinder the business owner’s desire for assistance.
Small business owners are already familiar with the subscription plan business model and likely use such a plan for their phone, internet, television, IT support, document signing, accounting programs, marketing services, and now legal services. When looking at your budget it is more manageable to take on $50 per month than to receive a bill for $600 several times a year. The subscriber often enjoys access to more content, products, etc. than they would receive if those things were purchased individually and the business enjoys a steady revenue stream so it is easy to see why so many businesses have adopted this model. It's a win win.
Small business owners have to wear many different hats and so when legal issues come across their desk, they frequently don’t have the time or money to hire an attorney to assist them. It takes some time to find the right attorney who practices in the area of law they need, then sign a retainer agreement, and then complete the project. In a fast paced business world where you need answers now and results tomorrow, the business owner tends to just do the best they can to review the legal issue and proceed. Then down the road when an issue arises, they are forced to hire an attorney who has to charge them quite a bit to clean up the mess. A legal services subscription plan allows the attorney to practice preventatively. You will pay less now to avoid paying more later.
Large businesses already have a built in subscription plan of sorts with their inside general counsel. They pay an attorney a yearly salary to consult on the legal issues the company faces and to manage outside counsel when bigger issues arise. On Tuesday when a partner company provides them with a contract, they just print it out and walk over to the general counsel’s desk and within 24 hours they have the advice to move forward. But what if your business isn’t big enough to afford hiring a general counsel?
A legal services subscription plan allows the small business owner to obtain an outside general counsel. The attorney is retained to provide advice on legal issues when they arise, provide basic services and can manage bigger projects when they arise. At the beginning of the year the small business owner signs up for the plan. Then on Tuesday, when a partner company provides them with a contract, they just email it over to their attorney and within 24 hours they have the advice they need to move forward.
If you own a business and you aren’t already on a legal services subscription plan, you are either paying too much for basic legal assistance, or you are doing things that your attorney should be handling and exposing your business to unnecessary risks.