Founded in 2001, LawDepot is an online legal service aimed at providing every possible document you will need to not only start your business, but also continue to manage it for years to come. They offer over 150 document templates for use in all 50 states, but are they right for your business? In this LawDepot review, we’ll explore the features, cost, pros, cons, and alternatives to consider.
LawDepot has a thorough list of documents and contracts, and not just for retail businesses, but also for bands, catering services, and child care businesses. They also offer legal advice through a third party called JustAnswer, so you’ll be able to be connected with real attorneys to answer any questions you might have. It’s important to note, though, that since those attorneys are not associated with LawDepot, they have not been vetted by them.
Here are all of the areas in which LawDepot can assist your business, including a sampling of what kind of documents you can expect to find in each category:
- Confidentiality and intellectual property forms
- Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
- Trademark assignment
- Cease and desist letter
- Non-compete agreement
- Director forms
- Directors’ resolution
- Consent to be director and officer
- Directors’ organizational meeting
- Shareholder forms
- Shareholder proxy
- Shareholder loan agreement
- Share purchase agreement
- Shareholder’s consent to action without meeting
- Partnership and joint venture forms
- Assignment of partnership interest
- Partnership amendment
- Notice of withdrawal from partnership
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) forms
- Employment and human resource (HR) forms
- Employment contract
- Resume/cover letter
- Resignation letter
- Employment offer letter
- Employee evaluation
- Business plan
- Corporate bylaws
- Articles of incorporation
- Certificate of incumbency
- Buying and selling a business
- Purchase of business agreement
- Letter of intent
- Modifying a business
- Termination agreement
- Contract addendum
- Certificate of proof of execution by a subscribing witness
- Protecting your business
- Liability waiver
- Personal/corporate guarantee
- Hold-harmless (indemnity) agreement
- Service forms
- Freelance contract
- Catering contract
- Cleaning services contract
- Computer services agreement
- Music/entertainment forms
- Band partnership agreement
- Model and entertainment release
- Performance contract
- Music recording contract
While attorneys have prepared all of the document templates available, users will not be assigned an attorney directly through LawDepot to help them with the process like some other online legal services. However, LawDepot does offer JustAnswer, which is a lawyer chatbot, that can help find you an attorney based on the question you submit. You will need to sign up for a JustAnswer membership to connect with a verified attorney, but once you do that, you’ll be able to text, email, or call your attorney to discuss legal matters. You will get unlimited conversation and the team of lawyers is on-call 24/7.
The pricing structure for LawDepot documents is interesting, in that there are technically two membership options, but one is clearly a better deal than the other. You can also pay for documents on an individual basis, as detailed below.
|Package Type||Price||Features||Best For|
Free for one week, then $33 per month
Access to all documents
Small businesses looking for a document or two and will cancel after the free week is up
$95.88 per year ($7.99 per month)
Create and print as many documents as you need for one full year
A small business that wants the backing of an online legal service long-term to help with ongoing or unexpected legal document needs
$7.50 to $68
Access to all documents on a pay-per-document basis
Any small business that doesn’t have much need for continuous document creation, but things come up here and there
LawDepot doesn’t provide pricing for JustAnswer, and JustAnswer is not super upfront with their pricing either. Once you’re redirected to JustAnswer from LawDepot, you won’t be prompted with any type of payment options until you start asking the chatbot questions. Before connecting you to an attorney, it will take you to a page where you are supposed to input your information, including email address and credit card information.
You start with a $1 trial for seven days and then are charged $50 per month. You can cancel any time, so if you only have one of two questions, be mindful to cancel your membership before it automatically renews.
LawDepot Pros and Cons
Just like with any company, there are going to be upsides and downsides of working with LawDepot, but deciding which are deal makers and breakers really comes down to what you and your business needs. Take a closer look at the pros and cons detailed below to get a better idea of what LawDepot can really do for your business.
One of the biggest benefits of LawDepot is their pricing. They are able to keep prices low since they outsource for legal help, meaning they don’t have the overhead of paying for lawyers’ time, and therefore, the customer doesn’t have to pay for that in their monthly membership. Being able to pay for each document you need individually is also a plus, especially if you only need a handful of documents. If you need more than that, the yearly option is the most cost-effective.
In addition to cost, their comprehensive list of documents is impressive. Having documents to help with non-traditional businesses like bands, catering companies, cleaning services, etc., is something not many other online legal services directly help with as far as document templates go.
The law library offers many more resources that could potentially make up for the lack of attorney access. There, you’ll find articles like, “A Guide to New Employee Forms,” “How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter,” and “Employees vs. Independent Contractors.” In addition to these articles, you’ll also find a legal dictionary to help you understand terms on the legal documents that you may not understand fully.
No Attorney Assistance
Many will view that lack of access to an actual attorney a downside of this service. Having to go to more than one service to solve one issue, or even a continuance of issues throughout the course of running your business, could be less than convenient. Also, having to sign up for two separate memberships, LawDepot and JustAsnwer, to accomplish the same goal could be more hoops than small business owners want to jump through.
Signing up for a free trial right off the bat could result in you spending much more money than you wanted to, as the automatic charge after the free trial is over four times as much as just going with the pro option from the start. So while a free trial is usually the way to go when testing out a service, with LawDepot, that may not be the case.
LawDepot Customer Reviews
There are thousands of customer reviews available online for LawDepot, and the good news for prospective customers is that the majority are positive. Let’s look at the general themes of the good, as well as the bad.
Users who gave LawDepot an above-average rating noted how easy it is to use LawDepot. The documents are easy to understand and fill out, and they cater to almost every type of business and need. Nearly every positive review mentions the ease of use, which is great news for business owners who have no legal experience.
To give a full and fair review, we also must consider the not-so-great things users had to say about LawDepot. While those reviews make up a smaller percentage, they are out there.
One of the clear disappointments for users was the lack of access to legal advice, as some other online legal services have this feature. While they do partner with JustAnswer for legal advice, that comes with an extra cost, which isn’t good news for the users who commented that the LawDepot services were too expensive.
Top LawDepot Alternatives
Whether you think LawDepot is the right choice for your business or not, you should always consider the alternatives before making a decision. Luckily, there are plenty of other options out there for online legal services, some with similar offerings to LawDepot and some with additional services, so a proper alternative will really depend on your business needs.
LegalZoom offers very similar services as LawDepot, including documents like independent contractor agreements, NDAs and trademarking services. LegalZoom will not only have attorneys draft the documents for you, but the service will also file them on your behalf.
Each document or service offered will have its own pricing options. For example, if you need a trademark search done, pricing starts at $199 for a federal search and will go up to $499 for an international search. That’s just one of the ways LegalZoom is different from LawDepot.
They also offer access to attorneys, which could be a huge plus for your business, and something that LawDepot doesn’t directly offer. If you need a more hands-on approach when it comes to business legal proceedings, LegalZoom might be the better option for you.
Another viable option for those looking to incorporate a business is Rocket Lawyer. Rocket Lawyer’s packages are a little bit different, as they offer a premium membership that includes things like free incorporation filing for new members, 25% off registered agent services and free legal documents. However, it is similar to LawDepot in that they also have an à-la-carte pricing structure.
The per-document pricing is going to be best for businesses that only need a few documents or services here and there and don’t have something coming up often enough where paying a monthly fee would be worth it for them, but if you’re looking for more than just document creation, like access to lawyers and document filings, Rocket Lawyer is a good alternative.
While Incfile focuses on incorporating businesses as opposed to just creation of legal documents, they do offer everything you need to help manage your business, including those important documents and contracts.
You will have access to documents for company changes (amendments, dissolutions, etc.), compliance (trademark search, certificate of good standing, etc.), registered agent service, and IRS filings. Each document that you need for your business is priced separately, unless you are going to actually form your business with Incfile and sign up for one of their membership options. For example, an LLC in New York will run you $205 for the Silver package, $354 for the Gold, and $504 for the Platinum.
These extra services make Incfile a good alternative to LawDepot for someone who has never started a business before and is in the very early stages of doing so.
BizCounsel is another good LawDepot alternative because they offer very similar documents, like NDAs, cease and desist letters, employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, and more. There are two main differences between LawDepot and BizCounsel, one is pricing and the other is attorney access.
The package options for BizCounsel are the Basic package for $89 per month, Premium package for $129 per month, and the Pro package for $189 per month. While those prices are higher than LawDepot, it’s because they come with an attorney to review your documents and contracts on a varying basis depending on which package you choose.
With BizCounsel, you will also be assigned an attorney that is experienced in your industry and you’ll be able to schedule consultations with them, as well as upload your contracts or legal documents for the attorney to review. This level of attorney access is again included in the membership fee depending on the level of membership you choose. All memberships come with unlimited attorney consultations, however.
The Bottom Line
With LawDepot, you’ll have access to over 150 documents to suit almost any type of business need, whether you run a cleaning service or want to start a band. Whether you need three documents or 100 documents, LawDepot has a pricing option that will work best for whatever your needs are, and legal assistance is just a click (and another membership) away with JustAnswer. If you’re a small business without a designated legal department, LawDepot is worth checking out.
Jennifer Post is a freelance writer who has covered business topics including marketing, franchising, cybersecurity, health insurance, and hiring and retaining employees. She has also written about various finance topics such as startup funding, business bank accounts, retirement plans, and health insurance. Jennifer has specialized experience in social media management and knows the ins and outs of marketing a business through most social media platforms.
After briefly studying law at Widener University’s Delaware Law School, she went on to continue her small business writing career using her new legal knowledge to create content helping small businesses understand legal matters such as taxes, hiring and firing practices, harassment, and other company culture matters. You can find her work on Business.com, Business News Daily, and How Stuff Works.