Suppose your firm is representing a new cast of clientele. These are small to mid-sized entities preparing for robust growth. They require an official registration and certification from the proper authorities to legally conduct their business.
There are two main options to register your client’s entity with regulatory authorities. The first option is to have a team of legal experts, including clerks/paralegals, bring physical binders of documents to a registrar’s office to complete the Articles of Incorporation. This entire process would be required for each one of your firm’s new clients.
The second option is to e-file corporate registrations. Eliminate the visits to the corporate registrars and simply automate the entire workflow using digitized documents to complete the filings. Your law clerks can save themselves the trip and a lot of working time.
You might think the two options are distinctions without any significant differences, but you would be mistaken. Let’s break down those options and help you make the best decision.
You want to maintain value for your legal team’s time
Given that practicing lawyers charge, on average, a $300 billable hourly rate, you want to use your legal team’s time wisely. If your clients are billed at such high premiums for administrative filings with government agencies, is that really the best use of their time?
Traditional registration processes are more complex than a simple file and submission. In Ontario, for example, a corporate registration typically takes between two to three business hours. Add the cost to complete the paperwork, file the proper documents, and certify the registration on top of those costs for the total amount billed to clients. Then, multiply that total amount by the number of clients that require registrations for your total incurred costs.
Sure, this is a great way for the firm to generate revenue. Each of these costs are passed onto the clients, but it’s not the most effective or efficient use of your legal talent. That should be a factor when deciding how best to complete corporate registrations.
Law clerks spend most of their time on filings so simplify it
While lawyers focus on making arguments and advocating for their clients, law clerks and paralegals manage the filings. Most of a law clerk’s day is spent managing the files, managing the office, and often managing the lawyers. They need to be properly briefed on details, deadlines, and when and where to show up.
Clerks and paralegals want to feel more involved in the cases managed by the practicing attorneys. Unfortunately, when the majority of their time is wrapped up in filings and clerical work, they have limited exposure to those opportunities.
Morale is so important these days, and you don’t want to risk losing perfectly capable clerks due to dissatisfaction. You run the risk of losing exceptional talent to competitors that could offer more opportunities for career advancement. Become more innovative so you can attract and retain top legal talent.
E-filing gives time back to your legal team for exciting work
Now you’ve reached the crossroad of how your firm will manage corporate registrations. Will you stick with the traditional workflows, or adopt an automated, digitized, and intuitive process?
To make the decision, ask the simple supporting questions.
Is it worth your clerks’ time to visit government offices for meticulous registration work?
Do you worry about your clerks quitting over clerical burnout?
Are there opportunities to enhance Legal Recurring Revenue for the firm by supporting your paralegals’ ambitions to work more directly on cases?
Should there not be a more streamlined and efficient process to file registrations on behalf of your corporate clients?
It shouldn’t be a hard decision to make. Anytime that you can use technology to streamline workflows and use resources more efficiently is a win for your firm. E-filing corporate registrations is the best way to simplify the workflow and give your entire legal team opportunities to do more of the work they want to do.
Use entity management software to e-file registrations
Entity management software helps legal teams reduce time spent on clerical tasks so that they can devote more time towards larger business needs. Entity management platforms also provide a more streamlined way to e-file corporate registrations.
Here’s how it works. Within the platform, there’s an index dashboard on the left side of the screen. One of the options within the dashboard is listed as Filings & Forms. Select this option and click on the Electronic Filing tab that appears under the heading.
Once you make this selection, scroll to the top right of the feed where a button with a + symbol is listed above the fold. Click that button and a menu pops up on the screen. On this menu, you can use the built-in search parameters to select the incorporation method you need to complete. Click the option and simply follow the steps to complete the registration and file the records.
The record will be added to your archive of minute book documents. If this is a new account, the registration will serve as your first digitized minute book record. You can then use the platform’s built-in scanning capabilities to upload all of your remaining minute book binders into the cloud. It’s a far more secure way to store these records and prevent any loss or misuse of corporate entity information.