Legal Services on the Cheap

January 1, 1997

CHICAGO--Prepaid legal service or legal expense insurance plans that provide businesses with access to legal services for a monthly fee are becoming more common, says Crain's Small Business.

Such insurance typically covers incorporation and partnership agreements, debt collection, contract review, copyright and patents, interpretation of state and federal laws, IRS audits, and landlord-tenant disputes, Crain's reports. Premiums can be as low as $15-$20 a month, and businesses can tailor programs to involve more complex legal work, such as litigation.

In the past, companies provided employees with access to lawyers for personal services at a reduced rate. Today's plans offer small business owners both business and personal legal services.

Midwest Legal Services, Des Moines, Iowa, sells a plan to small businesses. And Signature Group in Schaumburg, Ill., offers a plan for companies with fewer than 50 employees and $10 million in revenue. The monthly charge is $19.95.

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