Question: I received an email message that asked “Can your law firm provide the services that our business needs or should we should use Legal Zoom?”
Answer: We are a small business law firm, but unlike Legal Zoom, we are licensed attorneys. We can provide all of the legal services typically needed by small businesses. If you need legal advice you should hire an attorney. LegalZoom is not a law firm and does not employ attorneys to provide legal services. In fact, here is the disclaimer language I got from the bottom of LegalZoom’s home page on March 4, 2012:
“LegalZoom is not a law firm and is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. Communications between you and LegalZoom are not protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine. LegalZoom cannot provide legal advice“
Anybody who is considering using LegalZoom should ask: “Why does LegalZoom warn that it IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR AN ATTORNEY?” I found a page on LegalZoom’s website that inadvertently answered this question. If you click on the link above and then scroll to page three you will see this legally incorrect and misleading statement LegalZoom makes about an LLC Operating Agreement:
“Personalized operating agreement, including provisions protecting officers and managers from liability“
This statement illustrates perfectly why you do not want LegalZoom to be your lawyer or provider of your legal services. No language or provisions in an Operating Agreement can or will protect a member or manager from liability. People who sue the LLC and its members or managers NEVER SIGN and are NOT PARTIES TO the Operating Agreement so they are not bound by any provisions it may contain.
LLCs Must Comply with Applicable State LLC Laws
Members and managers of an LLC may be protected from liability by the LLC law of a state, but only if the LLC operates in compliance with applicable LLC laws. If you do not know what your state’s LLC laws are then it is unlikely your LLC will comply with those laws and your LLCs and members and managers may become personally liable when a court pierces the company veil and holds the members and/or managers liable for the debts of the LLC. For an example of this LLC nightmare read my article called “Colorado Court Pierces LLC Veil & Holds Single Member Liable for LLC’s Debt.” The reason I wrote and give all of my LLC client my book called the “Arizona Limited Liability Quick Start Guide” is educate my clients on Arizona’s LLC laws and what the LLC must do to comply with the laws and prevent a court from piercing the company veil and holding the members liable for the debts of the LLC.
KEYTLaw’s Legal Services
In addition to forming LLCs, KEYTLaw attorneys provide the following legal services:
1. Federal trademark law – preparing and filing trademark applications with the U.S. Patent & Trademark office and taking legal action for trademark holders against infringers.
2. Contract law - preparing and reviewing contracts of all types.
3. Entity administration – preparing Buy Sell Agreements and documents to add or remove members of LLCs, shareholders of corporations and partners of partnerships.
4. Real estate law – preparing or reviewing contracts to buy, sell or lease Arizona real estate of all types, including commercial leases for businesses.
5. Employment law – preparing employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, employee policies and procedures and employee manuals.
6. Copyright law – preparing and filing copyright registrations with the U.S. Copyright office, and taking legal action for copyright holders against infringers.
7. Patent law – preparing and filing patent applications with the U.S. Patent & Trademark office.
8. Nonprofit law – forming Arizona nonprofit corporations, including preparing IRS Form 1023 and applying for an obtaining income tax exemptions from the IRS for charitable organizations.
9. Commercial litigation representing plaintiffs and defendants in all types of typical business lawsuits.
10. Landlord tenant law – preparing and reviewing residential leases and representing landlords, including evicting residential and commercial tenants.
KEYTLaw is currently a six attorney firm. We will add another attorney when my son Richard C. Keyt, CPA, graduates from ASU’s law school in May of 2012 and passes the Arizona bar exam.
If you have any questions about legal needs for your business, please call me, Richard Keyt, at 602-906-4953, ext. 1. If I can’t answer the questions I will put you in touch with the KEYTLaw attorney who can.