Charles Brecque

Charles Brecque


February 26, 2023

Document automation for small businesses

This article explains how small businesses can save time and minimise their legal risk with document automation.

Document automation for small businesses

It might seem surprising but a small business will create hundreds of legal documents each year, even when they don’t have permanent legal counsel. The majority of these documents will be variations of the same templates such as for example employment contracts or privacy notices. In this article we discuss 5 areas where small business owners can save time and costs on their high volume, low value contracts with document management software.

1. Contract templates for small businesses

Generating a contract from a template is the riskiest part of the contracting process, especially if you are manually editing a Microsoft word or pdf version of the contract template. Typos can occur, sections can be accidentally removed and templates can contain out-of-date clauses if they are not regularly updated and versions not properly tracked with a version control system. Contract clauses are highly interconnected which also means that a change can have an impact further down the agreement which can cause unwanted knock on effects. Sourcing a new contract template every year is not economical and doesn’t solve the contract tailoring problem. Small businesses can save on average 3 hours per contract by using a platform like Legislate for legal document automation. Moreover, Legislate’s templates are up-to-date and lawyer reviewed which means that SMBs effectively save on template renewal costs. This is especially true for employment contract templates which are often changed due to updates in the law which are quite frequent. To find out how Legislate works and starting creating employment agreements, book a demo today.

2. Workflow automation

Business processes allow companies to scale successfully which is why contracts should have their own processes too. Creating and executing a contract takes on average 7 steps and even more if over 2 parties are involved. Not using document automation creates unnecessary friction which can cause errors and delay signatures. Errors can lead to time being wasted on restarting the execution process and delaying signatures increases the chances of parties changing their mind about the agreement. Legislate minimises the cost of an error by allowing users to make potential amendments to the terms of their agreement without needing to restart the whole process. Contract negotiations are centralised in the activity tab which means that all the involved parties can manage their contract conversations from the same place and have an audit trail of key changes.

3. Offer a professional experience to the other side

Contracts are one of the first impressions a party from the side will have of your business which means that it is important that the contract you provide is complete and professional. Using a platform like Legislate allows you to offer a professional and paperless experience to the parties from the other side both in terms of the contract itself and the contracting experience. Legislate contracts are user-friendly and responsive which means they are optimised to be read on mobile devices where a signature can use Legislate's integrated e-signature service to execute the contract. Legislate is a document management solution (DMS) which helps everyone avoid redlines and endless email threads by using neutral contract language and fair terms which can easily be configured from the Legislate terms tab. Legislate offers business document automation which helps you save time whilst offering a great experience to everyone involved in the contracting process.

4. Document storage and data management

Contracts contain valuable information which is largely untapped. Contract renewal events and monetary values can inform the strategy of a business if they are aggregated correctly. Pdf contracts are not machine readable or searchable and therefore require a human in the loop to manually extract its values. Storing executed docs on-premise in a filing cabinet or in a cloud storage solution like google drive or dropbox is not optimal for quickly accessing important documents and contract data. Making contracts machine readable is the first step for unlocking smart contracts. Legislate’s contracts are built on knowledge graph technology which means that the elements of the contract are natively machine readable as opposed to just the metadata in the case of pdfs. Moreover, the flexibility of the knowledge graph means that it can automatically compute the formulas and calculations in real-time which would typically be performed in a spreadsheet which means that businesses who use Legislate's software solution no longer need them.

5. Team management

Contracts can be generated and managed even more efficiently if more people in your team have access to digital document creation tools. Legislate's collaboration tools make it possible for team members to create contracts and share documents across functions without having to export the contracts from the system or manage complex user permission or access control rules. Legislate empowers the non-lawyers of an organisation to create lawyer approved contracts by themselves which saves time and streamlines contracting.

Contract automation is no longer reserved to large companies with legal documents. Businesses of any size can now automate their high volume contracts and make sense of their contract data with document management systems like Legislate. Legislate is the only platform to offer machine readable contracts that can be tailored by the non-lawyers. Legislate's focus on ease of use and flexibility makes it one of the best document management software for small businesses. Book a demo to find out more.

About Legislate

Legislate is a contract management platform that empowers businesses to take control of their legal agreements. Our platform allows you to create bespoke contracts tailored to your specific needs, all without breaking the bank. With Legislate, you can also sign, and manage contracts electronically, making the process more efficient and allowing you to make informed decisions faster. Book a demo or sign up today to put the confidence back into contracting.

The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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