Nobody ever said running your own business would be easy - but many business owners underestimate just how challenging it can be. Keeping clients and customers satisfied is a full-time job in itself. With any spare time taken up with necessary admin, it's no wonder that grappling with business law doesn't come top of your average SME's agenda.


There are very few small business owners who can afford to consult a solicitor on every little legal problem or question that comes their way, which means that many end up unable to bring the law to bear when problems arise.


The long and the short of it is that a lack of the necessary legal knowledge can easily create significant problems for small businesses which don't have a solution in place - and a little low-cost preventative action can work wonders.


A recent survey has shown that few even dare to seek legal advice when potential problems loom large, which can cost them dearly in the long run. Research earlier this year from the Legal Services Board - the independent regulatory body for lawyers in England and Wales - showed that just 12% of small businesses which encounter legal problems consult a solicitor over them.


The survey showed that few of the remaining 88% of businesses had any backup plan, with in-house expertise obviously a luxury that few can afford when trying to stay afloat in today's economy. In fact, 45% of businesses say they have actually lost money thanks to unresolved legal problems, choosing to absorb a financial hit rather than try to run the gauntlet of a legal remedy.


So whether it comes down to cost restrictions, concerns over inflexibility, or a fear that a legal worry isn't "important enough" for a solicitor to deal with, the facts are clear - small businesses aren't using solicitors, and are suffering financially from the resulting lack of legal assistance.


Could there be room for a different approach? We certainly thought it was time to give it a try. For those who don't have the time or the money to consult a solicitor for every legal question that comes to mind, we thought a telephone advice line that gets you through to the lawyers at Bristol-based law firm DAS Law could prove to be the ideal solution.


Offering advice to SMEs on a fixed fee basis, our telephone law service, known as Instant Law Line, allows business owners to pay a set amount for answers to as many legal questions as spring to mind. You can call any time to put your mind at rest over any worrying legal concerns that could have a negative effect on your business.

Innovative solutions like Instant Law Line means that business owners can take a preventative approach and take steps to ward off legal troubles before they happen, meaning that those little molehills of doubt can be dealt with before they blow up into mountainous legal issues. Instant Law Line is available from just £14.99 a month, and with the potential savings to be made from dodging those troublesome legal issues that pop up from time to time, you can be certain of a good investment for the future of your business.

Research shows that those who lead SMEs need to make more use of legal advice. The question is whether a more innovative solution than a local solicitor might work better for them in terms of cost, convenience and peace of mind.



Bob Screen


head of marketing, DAS Group