Free Online Legal Resources
The variety of legal options for Alabama residents and business owners who need to do business with the courts can seem overwhelming to those who aren't familiar with the state's court system. Understanding the state's courts is partially a simple matter of understanding that three different levels, or tiers, of the system exist.
In Alabama, cases originate in Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction, which are made up of municipal courts, district courts and probate courts. There are 392 general jurisdiction courts in Alabama. Both civil and criminal trials as well as other civil legal matters are brought to these courts first. Appeals from these trial courts are sent up to circuit courts, where they are later assigned to either the Court of Civil Appeals or the Court of Criminal Appeals. Of course, the Alabama Supreme Court has the final say in all legal matters in the state.
When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Alabama attorney by location and by practice area. We have Alabama attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.
LawInfo offers free Alabama legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.
Renting a home, condo or apartment in one of Alabama's growing metropolitan areas can be a great way to earn extra income and build an investment portfolio. If you plan on renting your Alabama property, you can download LawInfo's free Residential Lease Agreement so that both you and your renters can enjoy peace of mind. The lease form helps to ensure that you collect all the information necessary to create a legally binding real property lease in Alabama.
Perhaps you have significant assets, heirlooms or property that you want to be divided among your family members when you pass away. If so, it's essential that you create a legally binding will. If you die without a will, you'll be said to have died intestate, and the Alabama probate courts will distribute your belongings and assets to your family members according to a set formula. LawInfo's Last Will and Testament provides you with the means to communicate your wishes to the courts.
Many individuals associate a Power of Attorney with a last will or believe that the document is only for very ill individuals. However, this important document ensures that the right person makes financial, medical and personal decisions for you should that be necessary. LawInfo makes it easy for you to fill out a legally binding power of attorney for free.
Starting a new business in Alabama can be exciting, especially given the state's overall growth and economic strength. The Alabama Department of Revenue offers excellent resources for Alabama residents who are interested in starting a business.
Before you can get your business off the ground, you'll need to craft a strong business plan. Your plan proves to investors that your idea is worthwhile and can help as you decide what type of business structure you'll pursue.
It's important to think through your business structure options with care. While working as a sole proprietor is the easiest option and requires the least paperwork, you may be exposed to liability for business financial or legal problems. On the other hand, incorporating your business can protect you from liability but will require that you fill out and pay to file specific incorporation forms.
Small businesses form the backbone of the Alabama economy. The state's small businesses employ some 49 percent of the workforce. In 2010, there were nearly 394,000 small businesses actively operating in Alabama. Small businesses in the state employ more than 769,000 workers. While the majority of small businesses are owned by men, women now make up approximately 30 percent of business owners in Alabama.
While small businesses are essential to Alabama's success, the state is also home to larger corporations and financial institutions. Regions Financial (RF.N) is the state's only Fortune 500 company.
With the unemployment rate currently at 6.3 percent, there's no better time than now to start a business in Alabama.