21 MAY 2018


Legal services can cost a business a lot of money. In fact, most corporations in Asia are looking to expand their in-house legal counsel rather than spend costly dollars on external legal firms. A large percentage of external legal spend is split between settlements and court costs. However, a significant amount related simply to the day to day paperwork businesses file. Within your own business needs, you will find times when you need a contract or binding paperwork. The best place to look for help on these occasions may be legal templates. These paint by numbers forms can save your business money while offering top-notch protection. We'll go over exactly what templates are and why you should choose a template service for your business.

Understanding Legal Templates

In general, business form templates utilize non-negotiated and standardized provisions. That means they use well-understood legal language to establish simple and common concepts. You may be familiar with the concept of 'boilerplate' legal terms. These are terms so commonplace that partially every contract contains them. The idea behind such language is that some things just get established by virtue of an agreement. Paying a lawyer to write these types of terms annoys the lawyer as much as it costs you for something unneeded. In a list of 10 commonly needed legal documents, 8 rarely require specialized language. That leaves only Limited Liability Company agreements and business plans commonly requiring additional language.

Regional Differences

Pay attention to differences in jurisdictional language in business form templates. Every country and region will have local laws that differ slightly from country laws. For instance, in Malaysia itself, there are three separate jurisdictions, Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. When shopping for a good template, pay attention to if the service offer specifications for regions. This will help ensure you find the robust and exact language for your needs.

Simpler Is Better

Some types of legal documents benefit from fewer clauses, not more. While it may seem counterintuitive, the more language added to a document, the more likely a mistake or room for interpretation can sneak in. Medical documents, in particular, work best when kept simple. Bills of sale, a frequent business document are another.


Common sense language and forms that provide control. Look for optional or additional clauses over more rigid templates. Keep in mind the simplicity principle, but look for a longer list of legal documents. More templates being offered by a site show they have considered more options and have provided more thorough documents. A site offering only a few documents may not have what you need. Look for customer service backing and specialization to help you understand offerings. They can also direct you when a more specific contract may be needed. It is best if a site has some kind of document automation or assembly, which generates legal documents based on your personalized input.

Utilizing Templates Effectively

Engaging with online legal services takes work and stress away from you. However, using a template poorly will create legal problems which will create more work. Effectively using templates requires you to know what you want and how to get there. Searching through hundreds of documents will give you a more solid set of information, but takes time you don't need to spend. Look for the following pieces of information to make your searches quick and concise. It is also important to know not just when to utilize a template, but how.

Variety Means Specificity

As was mentioned with customization, more documents means getting a template that does what you need. Never aim for 'close enough' when dealing with legal templates. That will open you up to a lot of problems. Seeing a wide array of documents provides a secondary benefit to you, in patterns. Once you look through a set of templates you should get an idea of what language works for each situation. This lets you address specifics you may want in one document or another.

Legal Guides

Sites should provide legal document review. These help by having a set of professional eyes review the paperwork and spot-checked for obvious problems. Sometimes this service comes with the filing or processing fee, other times it may be additional. Look for resource links when dealing with online legal services. Legal guides give definitions and usage for lists of legal terms and help you to research your needs in regard to templates. This is another place where you may find thorough customer service rewarding. A quick turn around on email and phone calls matters. It can be the difference between getting a document completed and wasting a day wondering if you did it correctly.


Make certain that the types of legal documents you require are recently updated by the service provider. Outdated forms and templates may be missing key information regarding new regulations or law changes. You may also query the service provider thru their helpline or contact info on the dates their document templates were created or updated.

Know When Not to Use Them

Finally, the best way to utilize business form templates is to know when not to use them. Some elements of your business will be more secure with singular language. Professional advice and legal know-how comes at a cost, but a necessary one. Elements dealing with your business offering need to be airtight to keep you safe. This is especially if you deal with sales or services to contractors. Patents regarding products should be as thorough as possible to prevent knock-offs and copycats from cropping up.

More Resources

Templates provide a value to your business by saving timing and money in drafting fresh documents. The know-how and time-tested nature of the language gives confidence. Though not for everything, templates provide legitimate and valuable legal services. Look to online business legal services when you need help finding solid legal templates. Such services come at a fraction of the cost of legal counsel and offer great protection in document creation and walk through.

We know that running a business takes a lot of careful decision making and harsh choices. Taking the legal paperwork off your desk can provide a lot of time to focus on your business doing what it does.

Sign up for a trial subscription and gain access to our business document library absolutely free. Learn more about easily creating your own legal documents online at ShakeUp!

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