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4 Sources for Prewritten Legal Documents

legal-documentWhen you are in business, there will be times that you need to prepare a legal document. Depending on the industry you are in, these can include employment forms, sales documents, business plans, non-disclosure agreements, or rental contracts. While having an attorney on retainer to complete these forms for you is a nice idea, it can also be very costly. In many cases, there is no need to re-invent the wheel- you can find many prewritten legal documents online that you can use for your business. There are some sites that offer free documents, and others that require a subscription or allow you to purchase documents on an as needed basis. While either type of site may work for you, understand that in business, you usually get what you pay for. The following are four sources for prewritten legal documents that you can use to get you started.

• Docstoc is a free, community-based document sharing service that offers users a wide range of business document templates. The site offers legal documents, forms, and many other tools that business owners find useful. The site covers business, legal, financial, technology, and education related areas. While the site offers a large number of documents, you should be aware that the documents are created by users and may need review by a professional (attorney) before you incorporate them into your business.

• Gazhoo offers users the ability to purchase legal, business and financial documents as well as research papers and case studies. In essence, Gazhoo is a marketplace for legal documents allowing people to buy and sell the documents they need. However, the site also offers a large number of free and almost free documents that business people can use.

• Digital Work Tools ( is focused on business documents, and provides an easy to browse library of forms that can be downloaded instantly. The site is broken up into sections such as "human resources", "entrepreneurial", "operations", "sales", and more, making it easy to find exactly what you need. There are a few free documents on the site, but the majority of documents are sold for a reasonable fee. Documents are fully customizable, and are designed to work with Microsoft Office and other office suite software programs so you can easily add your logo, change wording, or add information as needed.

• Contract Edge ( offers a large number of documents designed specifically for people who work with in the software, web development, and technical consulting fields. For those who have a business that they run primarily online, these templates are idea for helping you navigate the often tricky world of intellectual property.

Another source to keep in mind for basic needs is Microsoft's template library, accessible through your MS Office suite programs. Using prewritten legal documents can save you time and money, and often these forms can spare you the expense of having an attorney draft documents for you. However, if you are going into a field that requires a lot of specific documentation, you may want to consider having your legal counsel look over any forms you want to use before you begin using them. Prewritten legal documents are available from a number of other sources, but you will want to ensure that the documents you use are of sufficient quality to represent your business in the right way.


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