High law firm retainers present substantial barriers for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

SMBs generally don't have enough of a need to justify hiring a lawyer as a full-time employee, but they still require access to resources that will help them avoid fines and lawsuits while managing evolving HR and employment requirements. This forces SMBs to pay exorbitant fees to keep external law firms on retainer, which explains why over 3 million small businesses per year risk not hiring an attorney even when they need one.

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Top Legal Challenges Faced by Small Businesses*

Legal issues - when not if: More than 13 million, or nearly 60%, of all small businesses have experienced legal events in the past two years and reported not hiring an attorney to help them.

Cost as a barrier to access: SMB owners reported spending an average of $7,600 in legal expenses per year with 20% saying they spend $10,000 or more per year for legal help. 

Access to legal advice: The most sought-after reasons for seeking legal help by small businesses were debt collection and the review of contracts and other business documents.

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*The Legal Needs of Small Businesses: A Research Study Conducted by Decision Analyst Commissioned by LegalShield, 2013