SOURCE: Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer

August 15, 2012 10:00 ET

Rocket Lawyer Research Uncovers What Small Business Owners Are Thinking About at Mid-Year: The Economy, Election and Legal Pitfalls

The Rocket Lawyer Small Business Index Reveals One in Three SMBs Still Plans to Hire

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 15, 2012) - Small businesses may be coming to the economy's rescue. A new Rocket Lawyer survey shows that more than one in three small businesses plan to hire in the next six months. This good news comes while large corporations like RIM and HP have slashed thousands of jobs, and May had the highest number of layoffs since July 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While many small businesses are still hiring, their degree of optimism has dipped. According to the survey, 56 percent of small businesses believe the second half of 2012 will be better than the first. In contrast, 86 percent believed that 2012 would be a better year than 2011, when asked at the beginning of this year. Nearly half of small business owners (45 percent) consider the economy to be their first concern. But, it's not the only risk small businesses face.

"Small businesses are the key drivers of economic recovery and they continue to fuel job growth," said Charley Moore, Rocket Lawyer founder and executive chairman. "However, it is clear that the high costs of labor, benefits like health care and legal compliance have made some business owners uneasy. It's important for small businesses to stay on top of potential legal issues to avert possible pitfalls and to continue driving economic growth."

More than half (65 percent) of small businesses faced a legal problem this past year, up from 52 percent last year. The top three legal issues facing small businesses were contract disputes, collection issues and real estate transaction problems.

"Many small business owners will procrastinate or skip getting legal help to save money, especially in our current economy. However, I've learned it's not smart to cut corners on legal protection for your business," said Lenny Holmes, serial entrepreneur and Maine Hoops Basketball Club president. "With Rocket Lawyer, I've incorporated businesses, created non-compete agreements and partnership documents to keep my five businesses out of the kind of trouble that can lead to big financial losses. Best of all, a service like Rocket Lawyer is affordable and easy to use."

The upcoming election is also playing an important role in small business owners' view of the future. The survey found the top legal concern for small business owners as they enter the second half of 2012 is compliance with government regulations (33 percent) followed by lawsuits or getting sued (20 percent). A majority (65 percent) believe the presidential candidates are not sufficiently addressing small business issues in their campaigns.

The survey goes on to unveil a notable electoral divide: An overwhelming 71 percent of Obama supporters are optimistic about the second half of 2012 compared to only 45 percent of those supporting Romney.

Different generations are also divided, with younger business owners being more optimistic. A majority of millennials (79 percent) are optimistic about the growth of their businesses in 2012, followed by 64 percent of gen-xers and 49 percent of baby boomers and seniors. However, when it comes to the economy and election issues, all ages agree that the economy is their first concern.

About the Survey
This survey was conducted by Rocket Lawyer using Survey Monkey between June 1-25, 2012, among 436 nationwide small business owners who are Rocket Lawyer members or have used Rocket Lawyer's services. The margin of error is 4 percent.

About Rocket Lawyer™

At Rocket Lawyer, we believe everyone deserves easy and affordable legal services. Since 2008 we've helped over 20 million families and small businesses take care of their legal matters -- so they can focus on what really matters. From free legal documents to discounted rates with outstanding attorneys, we're there to help every step of the way. For more information on Rocket Lawyer, please visit http://www.rocketlawyer.com and follow Rocket Lawyer on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.