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The law is complex, often confusing, and frequently intimidating for those who aren’t familiar with it. Still, as a small business owner, you’re going to need legal advice sooner or later.
From setting up the right kind of structure for your business to dealing with legal disputes, having some basic knowledge of the law is essential.
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However, finding reliable—and comprehensible—sources of legal advice can be tricky. Unfortunately, much of the advice circulating online wasn’t written by professionals.
To help you out, we’ve compiled five fantastic sources of legal information for small businesses—and four of them are free.
First off, the Federal Trade Commission is a fantastic source of a wide spectrum of information for small business owners.
The FTC is an official government agency. This means that any information it provides is officially sanctioned and reliable. Moreover, the agency’s scope encompasses issues related to business and advertising, including consumer protection.
The information it offers to small business owners ranges from how to start a small business, to trademarks and e-commerce, to copyright, credit, and finance. In short, this is legal advice that you should definitely take advantage of.
The Internal Revenue Service is best known for featuring prominently in many peoples’ tax nightmares.
However, beyond that, it offers a wealth of information that can be useful for small businesses.
In fact, the IRS provides a comprehensive tax center page for small businesses and self-employed people. Here, you can find extensive, legally reliable information on the complexities of filing tax returns, online filing systems, and tax reforms.
Next up, there is the Small Business Association. Many areas’ local SBAs provide members free access to legal specialists. These are laser-focused and incredibly experienced when it comes to legal questions affecting small businesses, such as dissolving your business.
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To access this service, you have to be a member of the SBA, however. In most cases, though, membership is worth it. Additional benefits include discounts on various business products, mentorship programs, workshops, and employee training.
A fourth amazing source of reliable legal advice is your local Chamber of Commerce.
Like SBAs, many Chambers of Commerce offer members access to lawyers free of charge. Again, the advantage here is that these legal professionals specialize both in small business matters and your local legal framework.
Once again, though, you have to be a member to benefit from these services. However, many local Chambers of Commerce offer free membership to people who are just launching their businesses.
Finally, you can go the direct route and contact a small business attorney in your area.
Small business attorneys specialize in the legal world of small businesses. Any question you have, they’ve probably seen before. And they know how to deal with it quickly and efficiently.
Usually, local directories and a quick internet search are all you need to find a small business attorney to go to for information. Reviews and an initial call can then help you decide which candidate to go with.
In addition, many small business attorneys offer an initial consultation for free. That way, you can check whether you get along with them on a personal level and whether you feel they can be trusted with your small business’ legal matters.
Finding reliable legal information for your business can be a challenge. The sources above are fantastic places to turn to for any legal advice related to small businesses. With just a little time and effort, you’ll be sure to find the answers you need.
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