There is a natural instinct among many competitive small business owners to reduce their legal expense by handling their own legal issues without an attorney. There are plenty of self-help books and websites available to find bits and pieces of information and template forms and agreements. This path can save dollars in the short term, but it can also be loaded with traps. The trick for the small business owner is to determine which sites are good, which tools are good, which resources are going to be accurate, and which are not as useful.

And of course, if you commit the time to do the legal research and use the various online legal tools, it may not be the most effective use of your time. As a small business owner, you’re probably better served using your time to find a customer or hire a new salesperson. Consider finding an attorney, asking those legal questions, and spending your time focusing on further developing your business.