Nearly 75 percent of all entrepreneurs in the burgeoning St. Louis co-working spaces rely on Google searches for legal advice. This leads to countless avoidable legal mistakes. How can entrepreneurs be confident that they understand their legal issues and then do something about them—quickly and cost effectively? St. Louis-based start-up Legal GPS is the answer.
The company, founded by attorney, U.S. Army veteran and Washington University alumnus Chris Daming, has completed extensive user testing following a successful 2017 beta launch and, after getting positive feedback from the testers, is now ready to launch to the public at an event on Friday, April 6, 2018.
In 2014, Daming, an attorney himself, began representing entrepreneurs and saw first-hand how many of them were using internet search bars for legal advice. “This approach costs time and money, and in some cases it can cost the whole company,” he said. So Daming interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs in coworking spaces to find out the type of product they wanted. He developed a legal app based on the end-user experience the customers wanted, Legal GPS. Legal GPS uses innovative, proactive technology to anticipate legal pitfalls before users tumble into them. Legal GPS helps users understand the consequences of the pitfalls ahead, whether big or small. Finally, Legal GPS enables users to act, preventing avoidable and costly mistakes. Best of all, a full year of Legal GPS costs less than one afternoon with a traditional lawyer.
The Legal GPS system uses a unique Legal Checkup to determine users’ needs and look for problems ahead. Users can perform a number of legal checkups, look for a specific topic, obtain contract documents, or search the legal library on their own. Each selection generates an Intelligent Questionnaire designed to anticipate avoidable problems, understand the dangers and opportunities and enable prompt action. The system is also designed to notify users when an issue requires the assistance of a specialist attorney.
“One of the biggest problems for early stage companies is simply not knowing their avoidable legal issues,” says Nadja Cajic, a Legal GPS beta client. “It’s like trying to walk 1,000 miles with just a compass and being off a few degrees from the start. You won’t know you’re on the wrong track until it’s way too late. The difference may seem small at first, if you notice it at all. But missing these small errors and potential easy corrections can take you off course completely. Legal GPS helped steer me and my company back on track.”
Daming added, “What’s worse, Google and other contract-based legal platforms give entrepreneurs a false sense of security on legal issues. They often don’t think to make sure they truly understand the legal environment until it’s too late.”
Daming noted that Legal GPS is especially needed in a thriving entrepreneurial environment like the St. Louis coworking sector. Coworking involves a shared workplace, often with offices and open, independent or collaborative spaces where people are employed by many different organizations, many of which are start-ups.
“From our beta testing, we quickly learned that it wasn’t just individual entrepreneurs who desired our product. Larger organizations like coworking spaces are interested in offering our app as a benefit to members,” Daming said.
Because of the rapid growth of the coworking sector in St. Louis, Legal GPS is offering a 50 percent discount for the first year to member companies in the 8 coworking spaces in the region. For less than $20 per month, coworking entrepreneurs can get full access to Legal GPS, and enjoy peace of mind that lets them focus on growing their companies.