CGA Law News & Blog

Business & Corporate Law Guidance: Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)

access_time Posted on: December 12th, 2023

“Caveat emptor” was frequently applied to commercial transactions in the past. Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase that translates to “let the buyer beware”. It was a warning to those buying, primarily goods, that they should do their own research and ask pointed questions of a seller before making a purchase. Modern laws concerning the purchase and sale of goods often provide protection in that regard.

However, investigating and asking questions remains valuable, even when obtaining services. These days, many legal services are available online. But they are not as helpful or inexpensive as they might seem. For example, you can be sold a basic will, a comprehensive will, or an estate plan bundle from certain service providers online. Likewise, you could form a limited liability company. The price structure listed on the websites often seems inexpensive, especially compared to fees quoted by a licensed attorney. It is important to keep in mind that these resources often fall short in providing efficient, effective guidance with a one-size-fits-all approach.

Moreover, many online services will impose recurring charges that they present to you as being necessary when they are not. For example, one online resource offers a comprehensive last will for a fixed rate. It also includes legal advice from a network of attorneys for two weeks after the purchase.  However, beyond that time, the legal advice options renew monthly at $25.00. So, the seemingly inexpensive upfront cost can become much more expensive if one elects to keep open the legal advice options or simply forgets to cancel. Plus, you cannot develop a relationship with a network.

Another online provider will assist in forming an entity. Business entities formed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania need to have a representative within the state for legal purposes. That can be a person at the business or someone who agrees to serve in that role. If such a person is unavailable, then a service needs to be obtained, and that service creates costs on an ongoing basis. The online service provider that will form your company inexpensively will often automatically elect to be your registered representative at an ongoing cost, even if you do not need the service. So, what appears to be inexpensive on a computer screen costs you much more over time.

When it comes to legal matters, hiring a local attorney provides you with an invaluable combination of expertise and protection. While online legal services are tempting, they cannot offer the same comprehensive level of support. A trusted relationship with an attorney or Firm can provide personalized and cost-effective legal solutions through open communication and tailored support.

The Business & Corporate Law Attorneys at CGA Law Firm provide essential legal guidance and representation for a range of clients, addressing diverse legal needs from contract drafting to dispute resolution with expertise and precision. If you are interested in meeting with one of our business law attorneys, fill out our Contact Us Form, email [email protected] or call 717-848-4900.

CGA Law Firm Attorney Jeff Rehmeyer II

Jeffrey L. Rehmeyer II

Shareholder | Attorney

Jeffrey Rehmeyer II was CGA Law Firm’s President for many years. He is fueled by a belief that planning today creates protection for businesses and families tomorrow. Jeff forms relationships with his clients, which include large and small businesses, municipalities, families and individuals. His work begins by developing an understanding of their situation, actual or anticipated challenges, and goals. Jeff sees the client first, not the case. Over the course of his legal career, Jeff has led many clients through different legal needs, from business to family to estate and individual, which gives his clients a remarkable advantage through a multi-faceted approach to the law and legal issues.

Read Jeff’s Bio Page in full HERE.