Paralegal business plan
Defining your practice office space computer systems for your practice setting up your office business structure or practice arrangement business registrations bank accounts, accounting and other financial issues insuring you and your practice building your support team marketing your practice networking mentoring administrative requirements practice management contingency planning for your practice office manual preparing a business plan list of resourcesappendices appendix 1 - letter to law society of upper canada appendix 2 - office inventory checklist appendix 3 - office list of contacts appendix 4 - developing a paralegal firm business plan appendix 5 - fee projections worksheet appendix 6 - cash flow worksheet appendix 7 - profit and loss uction to the law society of upper canada created the guide to opening your paralegal practice to inform paralegals of the steps involved in opening a legal services practice and to assist them to prepare a business plan. 1 intended for paralegals interested in operating as either sole practitioners or in a small firm, the guide will be helpful if you are considering or have decided to open your own e of the wealth of information available, researching how to open your professional business can be overwhelming. If you have already begun your research, the guide will help you to complete a business plan for the legal services practice you wish to create. Once you have completed your review, you may return to the guide and use it as a roadmap to assist you to complete your business possible, sample documents,2 references, links and/or contact information have been included. The information and resources contained in the guide may not be applicable to other professional businesses and references to relevant government ministries are accurate at the date listed on this a paralegal practice means both providing legal services and operating a business. If you take the time to determine for yourself why opening your own professional business is attractive to you and to write a business plan that creates the professional business you desire, your chance for success will be greatly i open my own practice? And operating your own legal services practice makes you the owner of a business as well as a paralegal. The concerns of a self-employed business owner are different than those of an employee so the decision to open a practice should be well-informed. Before opening your own practice, you should first evaluate whether you have or need to develop the necessary skills and attitudes to do exist to test your suitability to open and operate your own business, some of which have been included in the resources section of this guide. These self-assessment tools can provide you with a snapshot analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, as compared with those of successful business owners. Use the test results to determine what skills you lack to either augment those skills or to tailor your business and business plan accordingly. You will always be the most important part of your legal services ality and er whether you your problem-solving te your planning and organizational whether you have the management and interpersonal skills to be an effective leader and to manage er whether you have the necessary health, energy and drive to open and maintain a legal services te whether you have the “people skills” necessary to establish and maintain business relationships, both internal and whether you can make decisions easily, either autonomously or with outside er whether you are flexible and can adapt to changing conditions, financial or otherwise, as your practice er whether you are able to handle stress well and how you deal with the time needed to focus on your practice and whether you have competing commitments (e. How you will separate your business and personal lives, considering health benefits, insurance, vacation and retirement planning. However, to prepare an adequate business plan, you may need to further define your practice. To ensure that you are successful in the long term, you will require a strategy that defines your practice area and target market at the beginning and during the evolution of your paralegal ine your target ain what services your target client wants and te how your target client would like to receive those services (e. That you are competent to provide legal services in your chosen area(s) of law, and take appropriate steps to build and maintain your competence, in accordance with the paralegal rules of conduct [rule 3. Review the commissioners for taking affidavits act and the notaries act, as the ability to commission affidavits or notarize documents is not regulated by the law er doing contract work for other paralegals or lawyers, within the permitted scope of practice. See the law society’s contract lawyers and paralegals er becoming the protégé for a paralegal who is developing his or her succession plan (i. There are other legal service providers in the geographical area, consider whether the market will support your business initially and as your practice er population, demographics and future growth areas of the community where you would like to open your professional ch available demographic and market statistics by province or metropolitan ng office space for your practice involves a number of considerations. Having knowledge of your home address may pose a risk to personal safety, both to you and anyone who resides with may be any tax implications for setting up or operating a home that a home office allows you to meet your obligations under the paralegal rules of conductand the by-laws to the law society act, ining client confidentiality [rule 3. Your home office offers limited space, consider using a business centre for “boardroom tenancy” of temporary or occasional use e office one and facsimile strative a contingency plan to address all issues associated with relocating your legal services practice (e. See the contingency planning for your practice section of this guide and the contingency planning guide for paralegals for more g or leasing office looking for office space, footage ty of for growth or ties and services included (e. Paralegal’s letterhead), and who will be responsible for joint expenses will be allocated among the parties to the arrangement (e. Will happen if there is a dispute or one or all of the parties involved choose to end the space sharing that the office sharing arrangement allows you to meet your obligations under the paralegal rules of conduct and the by-laws to the law society act, including the requirements e your trust account(s) appropriately [section 7(1) of by-law 9]. Where the office sharing arrangement is with a non-licensee, consider informing him or her of the importance of your professional obligations and including terms for compliance in your office sharing a contingency plan to address all issues associated with relocating your legal services practice (e. See the contingency planning for your practice section of this guide and the contingency planning guide for paralegals for more sing office you are in the rare position of being able to purchase a commercial property to house your practice, ensure that you consult with the appropriate professionals for advice and guidance in the transaction, which may include. Ensure that your choice of computer system meets your obligations under the paralegal rules of conduct and consider consulting with an information technology (it) or information systems (is) consultant to ensure that your decisions are well ine your software needs first to ensure that your hardware selections will effectively support er whether the various software applications available are compatible or can be integrated to work in conjunction with each er applications specific to a legal services practice and for use in any business and whether these programs can be selecting programs specifically for use in a legal services practice, ms mandatory for the area of law in which you provide legal services, if ms commonly used for the area of law in which you provide legal services (e. Using the expertise of a er whether the advice you require is initial or ine whether he or she can advise on software, hardware or that he or she understands your obligations under the paralegal rules of conduct (e. Required for you and your staff, if tant consumer reports or surveys to determine most commonly used software and hardware in business and in a legal services to colleagues in similar practice environments to discuss the pros and cons of various software, hardware and system t vendors to arrange demonstrations or obtain samples to test the options available and to evaluate their suitability for use in a paralegal third-party service providers (e. Consultants, technicians) agree (in writing) not to disclose any confidential information they may er preparing a chart or something similar to compare the suitability of different software and hardware options available to that the technology you choose for your practice is used in a way that complies with the paralegal rules of conduct. Ensure that your office space can accommodate these the layout of your selected office equipment and furniture to ensure efficient use of the space, including proximity to electrical outlets, light sources and telephone your office layout will allow you to meet your obligations under the paralegal rules of conduct concerning confidentiality [rule 3. This is the simplest structure for a legal services practice and may be the least costly as there are few formal business registrations required. This structure may be appropriate for you if you plan to provide legal services alone or to employ paralegals to provide legal services under your name or your trade name, as employees of your practice. Your choice of partnership structure will determine the business registration and regulatory requirements that you must meet. A partnership, either general or llp, may be appropriate for you if you wish to provide legal services with another paralegal or paralegals and are not in a employee-employer relationship. Professional corporation is a type of corporation whose business is limited to providing professional services. Providing legal services through a professional corporation does not limit your professional liability but this business structure may offer tax deferral benefits. However, these benefits may only be realized after the business has generated income for which the tax may be deferred. There are also specific requirements that apply to professional corporations that do not apply to other business corporations. Paralegals who choose to provide legal services in association with other paralegals usually operate their separate practices from the same location, with an agreement to share the overhead costs. Because the term “association” can mean various arrangements, paralegals choosing to provide legal services in association are obliged to clearly identify the nature of the relationship between the associated parties to clients and the public at large. Multi-discipline practice (mdp) is an association or partnership (that is not a corporation) between a paralegal and an individual who is not a licensee who practises a profession, trade or occupation that supports or supplements the provision of legal services (e. If the paralegal and non-licensee have entered into a partnership agreement, it may also be referred to as a multi-discipline affiliation can be defined as "a paralegal or a group of paralegals who has or have an affiliation with a non-legal entity (e. An arbitration and mediation firm) which regularly joins the paralegal(s) for the promotion and delivery of their respective services to the public. The definition of an affiliation is very broad and captures arrangements that range from the informal to the structured and comprehensive arrangements of a legal services firm with a non-legal professional services determine the most appropriate structure or arrangement for your practice, you should consider a variety of factors, hip and control of the business and its ities and potential for negligence sional liability insurance for the business structure or practice -up and operational costs for the business, , transferability and estate planning er consulting with an accountant, tax lawyer or corporate lawyer to discuss potential benefits or drawbacks of each business structure or practice arrangement to ensure that you select the best structure or arrangement for erations when comparing practice structure or business r the terms of the business structure or practice arrangement must be contained in a written agreement to be recognized (i.
An llp) or whether it would just be prudent to document the terms of the legislation that may govern the business structure (e. The partnerships act if a general partnership or llp, business corporations act (ontario) if a professional corporation, the business names act if operating under a trade name, as a general partnership or llp). The employment standards act if employing staff or other paralegals, the personal property security act if leasing equipment, etc. Has the ability to enter into and will be responsible for contractual relationships with third parties, on behalf of the business owns and controls the assets of the business entity and in what is responsible for the non-professional liabilities of the business entity (e. The assets of the business entity are insufficient to meet the professional and non-professional liabilities of the business entity, whether personal assets will be at r the business structure allows the paralegal(s) or others to enter into an employment relationship with the business entity (i. To receive a pay cheque that has the typical source deductions for income tax, employment insurance, and the canada pension plan). The financial year-end for the business entity will be december 31st unless the sole practitioner, partnership or professional corporation applies for permission to do is the taxpayer of the business entity and how taxes are paid. Whether the business structure will require the paralegal(s) involved to file a tax return for the business in addition to a personal tax return that reports income from all sources, including the business entity. Salary, shareholder dividends, management bonus) will be taxed r, how and to whom the business entity, or interests or shares in the entity, may be transferred or sold by the paralegal(s) involved (e. Happens to the business entity, or interests or shares in the entity, upon the involved paralegal(s)’s death or insolvency (e. There are specific law society requirements for the business structure, practice arrangement or the individual paralegals providing legal services within the specific structure or arrangement [by-law 7 under the law society act]. These may ements related to cation requirements and ations for certificates, renewals or surrendering of r the law society imposes any administrative, filing or reporting requirements for the business structure or practice arrangement. For assistance, contact the law society’s administrative compliance department via the resource centre at 416-947-3315 or toll-free at 1-800-668-7380 extension r there are other registration or filing requirements for the business structure or practice arrangement, which are discussed in the business registrations section of this r the business structure or practice arrangement will allow you to continue to meet your professional conduct obligations, as outlined in the paralegal rules of conduct [rule 3. You should clearly state the association relationship on your letterhead, business cards, signage and advertising and should consider confirming this for clients in your retainer gals who provide legal services in association may not share trust accounts. Considerations when entering into an arrangement with r there are requirements to be met by the non-licensee before the paralegal may enter into a practice arrangement, non-licensee’s “good character” (i. Control of the non-licensee’s practice of his or her profession, trade or non-licensee’s provision of services to clients of the practice non-licensee’s provision of services to clients outside the practice non-licensee’s compliance with the law society act, its by-laws and the paralegal rules of mation of compliance with these requirements, in r the paralegal is required to carry additional professional liability insurance for the non-licensee(s) in the practice arrangement. Consult by-law 7 and contact your chosen professional liability insurer(s) to discuss coverage professional liability insurance coverage required for each business structure or practice arrangement. Should consider the necessary steps to ensure that your practice complies with the laws and regulations applicable to your selected business structure. You should also confirm the cost associated with any required application, registration or l – business ine whether you require a business number (bn). See the cra website to ascertain whether you will need to cial – business ss name searches, registrations and renewals are administered by service ontario. For more information, see the on-e source for business section of the service ontario ine whether you are required to register your business name under the business names act. Individuals or professional corporations who identify their practice to the public or carry on business using a name other than their own name (e. General and limited liability partnership (llp) names must also be you register a business name, ensure that you receive your provincial business identification number (bin) from service ontario. You require this number to renew the business name you have registered with service that your selected firm name complies with the paralegal rules of conduct that apply to marketing [rules 8. See the law society’s paralegal firm name application to register for a business name also includes sections for a retail sales tax (rst) number, workplace safety and insurance board (wsib) number, and an employer health tax (eht) number. If you incorporate, you must comply with the business corporations act(ontario), the law society act and by-law you apply for incorporation through service ontario, consider completing the voluntary application to the law society for a corporate name certificate to ensure that the firm name you have selected complies with the paralegal rules of conduct that apply to marketing [rules 8. See the law society’s paralegal firm name incorporated, ensure that you apply for and obtain a certificate of authorization from the law society to provide legal services through your new professional corporation. Your financial institution is part of the network you should build to help your business succeed and your financial advisor can be a source of information, networking contacts and advice. Each mixed trust account you open,The account must be clearly designated as a paralegal’s trust account must be in your name or the name of your firm, partnership, professional corporation or trade account must bear interest at a rate approved by the trustees of the law foundation of ontario, per section 57. Using a mortgage broker or financial consultant to help you determine the financing product that is right for you and to locate a ine what collateral (personal or business) will be required by the financial institution or lender to secure a ine whether the financial institution or lender will require a personal guarantee from you (i. If operating through a professional corporation), or from a spouse or ine whether the financial institution or lender will require a general security agreement on the assets of the professional business (i. On accounts receivable and equipment owned by the business) or on any personal assets (e. That your financing needs may change as your legal services practice becomes established and it e yourself as to what criteria the financial institution will use to evaluate your suitability for financing or er tailoring your business plan to meet the financial institution or lender’s criteria, to better secure the financing you require to start your legal services practice and to help it ial ine the financial institutions available in your area, such cial savings ered trust whether a financial institution offers other services that you may want, such ient location(s). Or debit imprint or point-of-sale ied cheques, bank drafts, money transfer or electronic funds onic or internet banking l and other merchant al or business financing and ial advice or access to financial planning m that the financial institution will allow you to operate your general and/or trust accounts in compliance with the requirements of by-law 9 and the law society act (e. The financial institution you select for your trust account(s) requires from you confirmation that you are paralegal who is licensed by the law society and is eligible to provide legal services law in ontario, this may be provided by way of a photo identification card or a status letter issued by the law society. Visit the law society’s status letter information sheet for details about the er whether one financial institution can meet your banking needs or whether you will require multiple service er whether the financial institution has a specialized department or staff to deal with small business owners or other professionals, for your convenience. If not, evaluate if you can build a direct relationship with the branch or account manager who may be able to provide personalized service and the cost of doing business with the financial institution (e. Leasing or renting office space, ensure that your chosen policy meets any obligations contained in your commercial using a home office, ensure that you still obtain appropriate business insurance. Whether the policy can serve as an investment vehicle that is sheltered from taxes or from creditors or for retirement planning or disability your individual disability and critical illness needs, considering the needs of any dependents not covered by another plan and your practice er whom you will designate as a beneficiary (e. Benefits will be paid via lump sum or multiple r partial payments are available for partial ine whether you may change the policy’s coverage or premiums at a later date and whether premiums can be paid monthly or ed health care your individual medical and dental coverage needs, considering the needs of any dependents not covered by another te whether you can afford to set up and offer a private health services plan to your er joining an existing group benefit plan with your employees. These may be available through local business associations or your chamber of ine whether premiums can be paid monthly or ng your support the start of your practice you may be able to do every task yourself, both legal and administrative. However, you should plan to hire support staff as your legal services practice is established, to allow you to make more efficient use of your own time. Paying for the services of non-paralegal support staff may be one of the highest costs you will incur when operating your practice. Therefore, preparing a plan to find, hire and effectively use support staff is very tment and you are unable to hire full-time staff but still require assistance, consider alternatives such ndent contractors (e. Training and development replacement during vacation or unplanned you are ready to hire support staff, you a job description for the position that outlines the skills, education and designations ine what salary you are prepared to pay, reviewing the range of pay for similar positions (e.
For your interview(s) by developing questions that may be used for all candidates so that you can easily compare responses; ensure that your questions are appropriate and meet the requirements of the paralegal rules of conduct [rule 2. Consider including a provision to ensure that the employee understands your obligations to maintain confidentiality as outlined by the paralegal rules of conduct [rule 3. Your staff on your professional responsibility requirements under the paralegal rules of conduct, the law society act, and the by-laws that must also be upheld by your employees (e. 3) and (4) of the paralegal rules of conduct and by-law ize that proper training, delegation and supervision is not possible without clear and open communication between you and your staff expectations by providing clear instructions in advance for particular tasks (e. You should complete market research to assess the viability of your business in the market you have chosen to serve. This information is especially important if you will be applying for financing to start your paralegal practice. You will also need to devise a budget to implement your marketing develop an effective marketing plan you should first identify your target client, and the services you wish to offer, discussed further in the defining your practice section of this guide. Your marketing plan should be tailored to your practice and should allow you to gain exposure to your target market at the start and throughout the evolution of your business. You should monitor your activities with respect to meeting the goals and budget of the marketing plan to determine what methods have worked well, and those that should be changed or ize that rule 8. Of the paralegal rules of conduct defines “marketing” to include advertisements and other similar communications in various media, such name, including trade e, business cards and head (both paper and electronic versions). And other internet er designing and obtaining business cards as a first step, which can be used while you devise your marketing er the available means to market your practice to your target client, ment in a paralegal or legal services referral ising in a directory, in print or electronic marketing via pamphlets, leaflets, mail, facsimile or king by participation in civic or community events, local business or trade fairs or speaking engagements (see the networking section of this guide for details). Of the paralegal rules of you use technology to market your services, ensure it is used in a manner that meets your professional obligations under the paralegal rules of conduct. A budget for the cost of using various marketing ine what benchmarks you will use to measure whether your marketing plan is succeeding (e. A timeframe to measure progress against those e a marketing plan that includes a description type of client who is likely to use your potential size of the target market in your geographical direct and indirect competition, if major trends presently affecting your makes your services unique (i. Networking may lead to increased business for your legal services practice and can help you avoid isolating yourself to the detriment of your health and your business. Networking can also provide broader benefits, which may include the opportunity to connect s, to assist or to guide you in your s, to share the benefits of your own professionals, to exchange services or ctive employees, to help support your ctive employers or clients, to engage your community, to build friendships and the benefits of any particular networking relationship may not be immediate, any paralegal opening a legal services practice should consider networking to increase his or her visibility both professionally and er prospective contacts for your network, uing legal education or professional development initiatives, as a speaker or s, family and eer, association and religious professors and team and health club gues of personal and other and existing er using the goods and services offered by those in your network and referring others to do the -evaluate your methods as you become more comfortable with le time to develop and maintain your ize that there are concerns that relate to the personal and professional use of social media sites. Though this article was created for lawyers, the information it contains may also be useful for ing is an integral part of the paralegal profession. The benefits of a relationship with a mentor can be immediate and enduring, and any paralegal opening a legal services practice should consider connecting with a ine what assistance you would like from a er that multiple needs may require more than one er sources of prospective mentors, instructors or field placement supervisor(s). Information about mentoring for ontario paralegals is available in the resources section of this te what type of mentor relationship will best suit your need(s), considering formal and informal arrangements that may span a ntive or procedural er initially meeting with a prospective mentor in person to ensure that your respective personalities and mentoring styles are establishing a mentor relationship, set boundaries by scope of the goals or expectations of the to deal with confidential to avoid conflicts of s of interaction and time available for the to deal with obstacles or to evaluate the to provide feedback about the and how the relationship will participating in a mentor relationship ensure independently verify any advice, suggestions or recommendations offered to mentor does not communicate with your clients in any way that might form a paralegal-client or lawyer-client ize that a mentor relationship may evolve or become er outlining the terms of your mentoring relationship in a written agreement. Where there are multiple changes to report or there are other paralegals affected by the change (e. See the notice of change of information for paralegal licensees and letter to law society of upper of any changes in status (e. Enrolling in the law society’s pre-authorized payment plan to spread the payment of your annual fee over the calendar year. Note that there is an additional administrative fee to use this payment society annual that the law society has your current contact information, including telephone/fax numbers and mailing/email addresses for your business and that you e-file your completed paralegal annual report via the law society portal by march 31st each year. Accountant or bookkeeper), ensure that the information you provide on the paralegal annual report is complete, true and accurate. For details, see the paralegal insurance page of the law society’s ine the type of mandatory and additional insurance coverage you require (e. This may depend on your chosen business structure, your area(s) of practice and whether you provide legal services er whether the insurer offers additional coverage options, for non-professional liabilities (e. See letter to the law society of upper that you comply with additional yearly filing requirements if you provide legal services through a professional corporation, a multi-discipline practice or if you choose to affiliate with that you meet additional reporting requirements in the event that you become bankrupt or insolvent, or are charged with and/or convicted of an this guide was designed to assist paralegals to open a legal services practice, paralegals should also recognize what is required to operate that practice successfully on an ongoing basis. Proper practice management can help you fulfill your service obligations and responsibilities, and assist you to avoid future complaints and open and operate a successful practice you should set up systems to effectively service, relationships, expectations and files, including checking for conflicts, organization and storage of ial obligations, cash flow, bookkeeping and financial time, including time planning, docketing and reminder use of technology in your law society’s practice management guidelines were developed to provide guidance on the areas of ongoing practice management outlined above. Of the paralegal rules of storage system that separates active files from closed files, both for electronic and paper files, in a secure details, review the file management information on managing closed client files can be found in the paralegal guide to retention and destruction of closed client ial ent financial management systems to assist you financial obligations, those incurred on behalf of clients and your the cash flow of your practice (e. In writing, when you will not be responsible for payment of financial obligations incurred on behalf of the ine how you may assist to make satisfactory arrangements for payment of the client’s outstanding financial obligations, where the client has failed to fulfill se to any successor paralegal or lawyer the details of any outstanding financial obligations relating to the and fulfill the financial obligations related to your practice (e. Will advance funds be provided by the client or will the paralegal front the cost). Clearance periods for funds received in trust prior to handling of unclaimed trust funds or funds that are in s for detecting and correcting errors in your general account(s) and trust account(s), and in your books and al controls for you to supervise and review the application of your financial transactions and record keeping processes, to reduce the risk of errors or must use systems and procedures that allow you to satisfy other reporting and compliance requirements related to proper financial management, which include reporting to society of upper canada (via the annual report) details regarding the operation of and records maintained for your trust and general accounts, among other revenue agency (cra) any income (personally or through a professional corporation) and remitting to them any income tax payable and any harmonized sales tax (hst) collected on your fees and disbursements on behalf of the details, review the financial management information on books and records requirements can be found in the bookkeeping guide for ent time management systems, including planning system to allocate blocks of time to specific tasks for each day, week, month and year and to record your plans using “to do” lists, diaries and lized reminder or “tickler” system to flag limitation periods or other deadlines, to alert you to review them and to remind you of upcoming steps in any client recording or docketing system to record the services and tasks completed for each file, the time spent for those, to produce interim and final statements of account and to produce time data to help you manage time spent on your details, review the time management ent policies and procedures regarding the use of technology in your practice, which may include tools used k with colleagues and other available, market and provide legal services (e. Should create additional policies technology is used in a manner that complies with the paralegal rules of conduct (e. Back-up and disaster recovery plans to prevent or deal with the loss, theft or destruction of electronic data related to any e for the regular review of any technology used in your practice, to ensure efficiency and avoid e internal controls for you to supervise and review the use of any technology in your practice, to reduce the risk of data loss and other details, review the technology the sample online activity and social media implementing systems for your practice, consider how they will interact and whether one system can integrate multiple practice management needs (e. Creating contingency plans to address planned and unplanned absences from practice and other practice interruptions (see the contingency planning for your practice section of this guide and the contingency planning guide for paralegals). Planning for your duty of competent representation includes the obligation to take appropriate steps to safeguard your clients’ interests in all circumstances. Failure to properly plan or prepare for both anticipated and unexpected absences from your practice or other practice interruptions may expose your clients to significant legal consequences or prejudice, and may subject colleagues or family members to financial and emotional stresses associated with preserving, transferring or closing your y, you should have in place contingency plans to help you manage your practice during unforeseen business interruptions, planned and unplanned absences. Such plans should enable you to protect your client’s interests by ensuring continuity during a business interruption or your absence. You should also have plans that allow for others to oversee the sale, transfer or closure of your practice, in the event you are unable to return to the provision of legal contingency plans should be put in place as soon as possible after opening your practice, and should be reviewed regularly to ensure their continued utility. For guidance on how to properly assess your practice vulnerabilities and to anticipate and plan for events that may disrupt your practice, review the contingency planning guide for paralegals prepared by the law society. The guide provides detailed information about key steps to be taken in planning for the disability, death, or other unexpected absence of a paralegal in private practice. The guide also provides several practical resources to encourage and assist paralegals to prepare contingency plans, including checklists of issues to consider, sample power of attorney documents, and sample last will and testament clauses. Though written for lawyers, the much of the information the lawpro® resources contain may also be useful to paralegals. An introduction to the information contained in these resources has been provided er creating plans to assist you to manage your practice during any planned absence, leave of er having a limited power of attorney drafted for your practice that grants another named paralegal or lawyer the authority to act on your behalf and to access your general and trust account(s) to continue with your practice during your planned absence. See the contingency planning guide for paralegals for more detailed information, including the checklist of issues to consider when preparing continuing power of attorney for property documents and the sample continuing power of attorney for property for paralegal er whether the power of attorney document should include specific terms that clearly outline the attorney’s authority and responsibility regarding your m with your financial institution(s) whether a power of attorney for your general and trust accounts must be in any particular form, or if additional or different documentation is er including in your retainer agreement or engagement letter a clause that confirms arrangements have been made for another paralegal or lawyer to assist during a planned absence from your practice, and that the client’s signature is deemed to be consent to permit the assisting paralegal or lawyer to access, accept or transfer the client’s you do not have arrangement for another paralegal or lawyer to assist you during a planned absence, consider contracting with a lawyer or paralegal through the law society’s contract lawyers and paralegals er creating plans to assist you to manage your practice during an unplanned absence or departure from your practice, including al you are experiencing personal difficulties (e.
Stress or depression, mental health and wellness, addiction issues), consider contacting the members’ assistance program online or at 1-855-403-8922 for er having a power of attorney drafted for your practice that grants another named paralegal or lawyer the authority to act on your behalf and to access your general and trust account(s) to continue with your practice during in the event of your illness, incapacity or disability, with terms that allow that paralegal or lawyer to arrange for and oversee the sale, transfer or closure of your practice in the event you are unable to return to the provision of legal services. See the contingency planning guide for paralegals for more detailed information, including the checklist of issues to consider when preparing continuing power of attorney for property documents and the sample continuing power of attorney for property for paralegal er whether the power of attorney document should include specific terms that clearly outline the attorney’s authority and responsibility regarding your m with your financial institution(s) whether a power of attorney for your general and trust accounts must be in any particular form, or if additional or different documentation is er including in your will a clause that addresses how your practice should be sold, transferred or closed in the event of your death. Consider appointing a paralegal or lawyer as the estate trustee or a co-estate trustee to oversee the closure or transfer of your practice. See the contingency planning guide for paralegals for more detailed information, including the checklist of issues to consider when preparing wills and the sample last will and testament er including in your retainer agreement or engagement letter a clause that confirms arrangements have been made for another paralegal or lawyer to assist during an unplanned absence from your practice, and that the client’s signature is deemed to be consent to permit the assisting paralegal or lawyer to access, accept or transfer the client’s ements with replacement paralegal(s) or lawyer(s). Entering into a reciprocal arrangement with another paralegal or lawyer, wherein you will act as each other’s attorney, estate trustee or co-estate trustee, for purposes of continuing or concluding the legal services practice. Note that, though a lawyer may be able to fulfill the responsibilities of continuing, transferring or closing your legal services practice, the paralegal’s limited scope of practice may restrict your ability to reciprocate and fulfill these responsibilities for the lawyer and his or her law practice, depending on the lawyer’s area(s) of find a replacement paralegal or lawyer for your contingency plans, t and former employers, partners or t and former mentors, colleagues or gals or lawyers with whom you provide(d) legal services in “association”. Or lawyers with whom you share(d) office replacement paralegal or be informed and familiar with your practice, staff and management be entitled to provide legal services or practice law (e. Check for conflicts of interest prior to taking on matters from your ensure that a replacement paralegal or lawyer has all the necessary resources to take your place, consider taking the following employees, family, and other relevant persons know of your arrangement with the replacement paralegal or practice is organized at all t information is readily files, funds and property are secure and files are organized and contain a summary of tasks completed and next aring, reminder and docketing records are current and g and financial records are current and onal finances are available to continue, transfer or close your er confirming the arrangement(s) with any replacement paralegal(s) or lawyer(s) by way of an agreement signed by the participants. See the contingency planning guide for paralegals for more detailed information, including the sample paralegal practice coverage agreement between the planning paralegal and replacement ce er drafting plans that outline how your practice will be managed if disrupted l disaster (e. Office search or that deal with practice interruptions may include information emergency response team, evacuation plans, drills and first aid ary or alternate office ate communications ing inventory or equipment, on a temporary or permanent basis (see office inventory checklist). Partnership agreement or minute book, power of attorney, lease, business insurance policy, inventory list, blank general and trust cheques, etc. Contact your professional liability insurer(s) to determine if a change is required and you are eligible for a pro-rated refund of any overpayment of devising your contingency plans, consider whether one comprehensive plan can integrate multiple needs (e. Documenting the contingency plans for your legal services practice in or as an appendix to your office manual (see the office manual section of this guide). Where appropriate, store a backup copy of your contingency plans plan in advance for the eventual sale or transfer of your practice, consider reviewing the succession planning toolkit. An office manual may be used to train new employees and support staff, may help ensure consistency in your processes and may assist another paralegal or lawyer to manage your practice during both expected and unexpected absences. Statement of purpose or a “mission statement” for the ce area(s) and the legal services you business goals for the practice (e. Practice structure, including satellite offices or “associations” with ment and supervisory structure, if ng and e policies and procedures for staffing and employment issues related to paralegal and non-paralegal staff, job tment policies (e. Telephone calls, messages, voice mail and return t or long distance telephone one system and ce website and office et and social media the practice management section of this guide for more information on the policies, processes and procedures to implement and include in an office e your policies for communicating with clients, as well ng or involved paralegals, lawyers or legal entatives of the courts or ss contacts, service providers and law society of upper chosen professional liability insurer(s). Policies and procedures that relate to time management, such as the proper use of time calendaring, reminder and recording be policies and procedures for the proper and prohibited use of technology in your practice, including e-mail and internet policies, security, backup and disaster recovery, and internal er documenting the contingency plans for your legal services practice in or as an appendix to your office sional er including policies that relate to your professional responsibilities outlined in the paralegal rules of conduct and the by-laws, such identification and verification of identity [by-law 7. Including procedures that relate to your administrative responsibilities to the law society and others, including your requirement to pay the annual fee, submit annual filings and maintain adequate professional liability er whether your manual will be maintained in electronic or paper form, or creating your office manual consider whether capable and have the time to draft the manual staff to whom you can delegate the creation of the procure an office manual hire a consultant to draft the manual for that the content of any office manual or handbook is consistent with the employment standards act, human rights code, the occupational health and safety act, the accessibility for ontarians with disabilities act, the paralegal rules of conduct [rule 2. Business plan is a document that contains a formal statement of business goals and the plan for reaching those goals. There is no fixed content for a business business plan for your legal services practice should be tailored for your intended audience. If the plan is for your purposes only it will contain less detailed information than if it is to be used by a bank for purposes of financing, or by another party for some other purpose. Where possible, your business plan should include a budget and estimated costs for starting your practice, and for maintaining your practice into the you are implementing your completed business plan, you should regularly review it to determine if you have met the goals outlined in your plan. If you are not meeting your goals, you may need to update the plan and amend your original strategies. The process of reviewing and updating your plan as your goals are met or change is one that will continue as long as you operate your own practice. See the developing a paralegal firm business plan sample document included in this preparing a business plan for third parties, such as a financial institution, ascertain whether they have a preferred format or template plain language and concise ideas to ensure that your business plan is easy to appendices if you include tables, charts, graphs, illustrations, financial statements, résumés, a professional document that is properly printed, indexed and e a cover page, of legal services s of the legal services contact people and contact a table of contents, for your audience’s ease of an executive summary that briefly outlines the most important points of your business plan. Description of your legal services goals and strategies for your rs, associates and other key unique characteristics of your types of clients your practice will ce economics and ing e the market for legal services, describing in detail for legal services in the local ing plan for your ce areas, specialties and ancillary services -up and growth strategies for your e a section for market research and analysis, that t and potential clients of your size and ition with other legal service practice a marketing plan, describing in detail l marketing strategy for the g rates and alternate billing service ising and solicitation e a section for firm economics that e a section on business environment and firm personnel, ounds, responsibilities, qualifications and résumés of the paralegals involved in managing the hip structure (e. Resource and staffing ate a financial plan, ted financial performance, including a pro forma income statement, pro forma balance sheet and cash flow statement (see fee projections worksheet, cash flow worksheet and profit and loss statement). Requirements (if any) and repayment proposal, including personal wealth statements of the business owner(s). A conclusion that restates your aims and objectives and, if your audience is a financial institution, explain why you are an excellent candidate for l guides and society of upper canadabookkeeping guide for identification and verification entiality gency planning guide for to closing your practice for gal guide to retention and destruction of closed client model policies*. Revenue society of upper s assistance e ontario, on-e source for revenue agency 1-800-959-5525 (for business-related inquiries). 3315 or ® 1-800-410-1013 or assistance program, , regulations and gal rules of -laws pursuant to the law society -law 6: professional liability insurance by-law 7: business entities by-law 7. For taking affidavits ations information ment standards tional health and safety al property security on opening or closing trust letter of direction regarding interest on mixed trust of change of information for paralegal licensees. The information contained in this guide is not a substitute for the paralegal’s own research, analysis and judgment. Smaby, opening and managing a law practice, 3rd edition, published by the texas center for legal ethics and gal alliance of ethics and our gal omments you are here:Paralegal alliance » blog » 8 must haves in a business plan for a paralegal business8 must haves in a business plan for a paralegal 12, 2014 by shelley riseden 1 comment 8 must haves in a business plan for a paralegal a living as a freelance or independent paralegal is essentially the same thing as running any small business. Being a professional in the legal field however, does not necessarily mean you will prosper as a small business owner. There is a completely different skill set that one must possess, or learn, to run a profitable freelance paralegal than half of all start-up businesses fail due to poor business planning or the failure to correctly identify and manage potential risks, making a business plan vital even to an already established business. In actuality, you should be reviewing and updating your business plan on an annual basis. No matter what you chose to call it, your freelance paralegal business cannot afford to not have should be included in your annual business plan? Executive summary is the first page of a business plan but it should always be written last. It sums up everything else and tells the reader what and where your company is, where you plan to take it, and why your company will be successful. It is the part of a business plan used to help investors, employees, advisors, and others quickly understand and support your elevator pitch is a brief description of your business. Your elevator pitch should include the nature of your business, your target audience, the need your services will meet, and what makes your freelance paralegal business unique. An ideal elevator pitch should be 20 to 30 seconds in length; lasting about as long as a short elevator your time when crafting an elevator pitch for your freelance paralegal business.
A mission statement may seem unimportant, however, it is an extremely significant element of any successful business. A good mission statement should convey the value of your business, lead employees in the right direction, and inspire potential clients. It should be an accurate representation of your company culture; a sense of your mission statement short and g and reaching short and long-term goals is the hallmark of any thriving business; making business goals and objectives a key element of an annual business plan. As short-term goals are achieved and new ones set, update this section of your annual business short-term goals that you can realistically reach within a period of both strategic and financial ths and ths and weaknesses are not included in a traditional, formal business plan. But analyzing your strengths and weaknesses each year and including them in an annual business plan will benefit your freelance paralegal business in several ways. Identifying your company’s strengths can help to determine which future opportunities to pursue and where improvement is performance performance indicators (“kpis”) are a type of performance measurement that can be used to evaluate the success of a particular activity or overall success of the business. By identifying the kpis that you will track in your business and listing them in this section of your annual business plan, you will be able to see how your business is performing and fix potential problem areas before income is is recommended that you create a comprehensive marketing plan that explains your marketing strategy in detail. Summarize your marketing plan for inclusion in your annual business ial ial projections are required for small businesses to show to financial institutions and potential creditors when seeking funding. However, financial projections will also help you to understand more about your business and where it is month use real numbers from the previous month’s business to update and correct your financial ng an annual business plan will enable you to easily re-evaluate the most critical aspects of your freelance paralegal business. By reassessing these aspects of your business on a regular basis you will greatly increase the chances of its found at this 12, 2014 at 10:52 your mind cancel gal alliance of ethics and our might also likeclosemonday, 05/05/2014 9:52 amwhat is a real estate paralegal and what does one do? Firm business 'east law firm is an oregon corporation founded and run by richard bloom. In addition to richard, a part-time secretary and part-time paralegal will join wlf by month two. Recommend using liveplan as the easiest way to create automatic financials for your own business your own business your own business plan »your business plan can look as polished and professional as this sample plan. Just wrote my first business plan in 24 hours using liveplan and it's beautiful and complete. With 500 complete sample plans, easy financials, and access anywhere, liveplan turns your great idea into a great plan for more about research reports for legal services d business g consultant business planauto repair service business plantutoring service business services plansmore miscellaneous services 't bother with copy & can download this complete sample plan as a text document for ionist/ the #1 business planning software risk-free for 60 contract, no risk. Built for entrepreneurs like gal alliance of ethics and our gal omments you are here:Paralegal alliance » advance » 7 steps to start your own paralegal services? One way an attorney can reduce overhead is to use the services of a freelance paralegal. As the demand for paralegal services increase, the number of freelance paralegal businesses will you have considered opening your own paralegal business, there are certain details you should consider before opening your door and hanging out a shingle. As with any small business, a freelance paralegal should begin with a strong foundation for a successful business. Formulate a business plan – writing down your business plan helps you visualize how you will begin your paralegal business as well as the direction you want to take your business in the future. In your business plan, include the following sections:Company description – this should describe what paralegal services you will offer, the market you want to cover and what makes your business different from other paralegal service zation and management section – this should cover how you will organize and manage your business. If you intend to have employees, you must determine the management structure you will use and how you will delegate ing – in order to be successful, you must have a marketing plan. You should also include a growth strategy to build your g and financial projections – if you need to borrow money to begin your business, this section should lay out a plan for obtaining funding. Also, include a section with financial projections based on the amount of time you are committing to this business and the expected rate of pay for your paralegal services. Determine your business location – if you intend to work out of your home, you must set up your home office and equip it with the necessary furniture and office equipment required to operate your paralegal business. You must consider how your family life might encroach on your business and how to keep both separate within your home. Finance your business – until you can secure your first contract paralegal job, you will need to cover both business and personal costs. A smart business owner will have startup capital to cover expenses until the business begins to generate a profit. As a contract paralegal offering paralegal services, you may experience ebbs and flows in your business. Have a plan in place in case you must finance your business during slow periods. Meet with an attorney – unless you are a paralegal that has extensive experience in corporate law, it would be wise to meet with an attorney to discuss the type of legal structure for your paralegal business. In order to determine the best ownership structure for your business, you should consult an experienced addition to helping you determine the legal structure of your business, an attorney can also assist you with registering your business name and obtaining the proper local and state licenses and permits, if required, for your business. Consult with an accountant – before making a final decision about the legal structure for your paralegal business, consult a cpa to determine the tax advantages and disadvantages for business owners. You may be required to obtain a tax identification number depending on the type of business structure you choose. Furthermore, you should know in advance what type of self-employment taxes you may be required to pay for owning your own business. Write a list of services and costs – depending on your experience, you may offer a wide variety of paralegal services or you may choose to limit your services to specific practice areas. Before you open your doors for business, you need a detailed list of the paralegal services offered with a price for each service. Develop a website – with attorneys using technology more today than ever, it is important that your paralegal business has a website. Your website can also serve as a means of payment for clients that wish to make online payments for paralegal ng a paralegal service business is a good investment for the paralegal who desires to own her own business and be her own boss. With hard work and dedication, you can build a successful freelance paralegal business that provides paralegal services to attorneys within your area or even related to 7 steps to start your own paralegal services? Paralegal services- taxes and regulations that you need to know about as a business owner, a freelance paralegal must be knowledgeable about taxes and regulations that affect her business and her role as a paralegal. 8 must haves in a business plan for a paralegal businessmaking a living as a freelance or independent paralegal is essentially the same thing as running any small business. Paralegals, sometimes referred to as independent paralegals or contract paralegals, fill a special niche in the legal community for attorneys who need paralegal services but do not want to ... Under: advance, blog, how to about tonya has a bs in political science in addition to her paralegal degree. During her 23 years as a paralegal, she has worked in the areas of family law, real estate, probate law and bankruptcy law.
For the past 15 years, she has worked solely for bankruptcy attorneys including her time working for a bankruptcy your mind cancel gal alliance of ethics and our might also likeclosemonday, 15/09/2014 12:05 pmparalegal jobs- are they out there? Alliance of ethics and our gal omments you are here:Paralegal alliance » advance » 7 steps to start your own paralegal services?