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Using the Web to Get Legal Information

5 online resources to help you with some of your common legal needs
July 14, 2003

Q: My partner and I need to develop documents establishing our business, contracts between ourselves, living wills, contract forms, etc. We have financial constraints, so we don't want to hire a lawyer until we've done our own research and developed some interim documents of our own. Do you have any recommendations for models we can peruse?

A: Whether you face the particular legal challenges entering into a partnership presents or you have needs for other legal documents and information, you will discover an amazing amount of legal material on the Web, a significant portion of it for free. Partnerships carry greater risks than other forms of business organization, so your care in establishing a solid legal foundation is wise. These risks include:

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As you can see, your motivation to set up clear contracts right from the start is well-founded. Here are some places to look for everything from basic information to actual legal documents created by the nation's leading law firms:

While these sites are among the most relevant to what you want to do, they're just the beginning of the legal resources available on the Web.

Paul and Sarah Edwards are the authors of several homebased business books, including Working From Home. Their latest book is Why Aren't You Your Own Boss?