The person writing this book is an attorney, which means I’m biased. So when it comes to the question of whether you need an attorney, I’ll just give you your options and let you choose.
No attorney. Figure things out on your own. There are lots of self-help books that will save you money.
Online services/no attorney. You can go online and find plenty of companies who will give you the forms you need. They’re all over the place. Some might even have an attorney on call to answer your questions.
A local attorney. You can look through you phone book or ask around and find an attorney.
Vellum LLC. Vellum’s Inside-out legal services are unlike any other law firm or attorney that I’m aware of.
My opinion: Many people are very capable of teaching themselves, but I’ve seen too many instances when someone tried to do things on their own and their lack of experience cost them dearly in the long run. It’s not good to be penny-wise and pound foolish. The other problem is that there is a lot to learn. To learn everything you need to know about LLCs, trademarks, employment law, and selling a business, takes a long time. The biggest cost is your time. But some people have done it on their own just fine.
The online systems do a fine job for some people. But they’re mostly national companies who don’t have experience with Alaska and its laws. They mostly provide a one-size-fits all approach. It’s like walking into JC Penny to buy a suit and finding out that they only have one size. The suit will fit a small part of the population, but the rest get a suit that’s either too big or too small.
Local attorneys are familiar with Alaska, but they are expensive. Most attorneys cut and paste old documents and take a long time to do it, so you’re paying for their inefficiency. There are a couple of attorneys who have tried to automate things, but their efforts involve a paralegal whose salary is worked into the price you pay. I’ve yet to meet an attorney or law firm who has created any sort of full-fledged automated system.
That’s where Vellum LLC and Inside-out Legal Services comes into play. Vellum’s system allows you to do most of the work on your own, but with attorney oversight. And Vellum passes the cost savings to you.
You get the peace and comfort of knowing that an attorney reviewed your work, caught any errors, and has optimized things for your situation. And it all comes from a local attorney that you can meet with personally. It’s like having your very own legal department without the cost.