Legal solutions for musicians, creatives and entrepreneurs
Your kind of lawyers
Creative legal solutions
We do law, differently
Legal services for the creative sector and start ups
An innovation in legal services

What.

Can we do for you

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Who.

Is in the team

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Why.

Us and not them

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About Us

legalese
,li:gɘ'li:z/
noun
informal
1. the formal and technical language of legal documents.
"the typed pages were full of confusing legalese"

Legalese is a creative legal agency which has redesigned legal services to suit creative and start-up businesses by making them accessible, affordable and understandable.

Traditionally, lawyers are called to fix problems. Legalese looks at law differently - utilizing modern technology and innovative thinking to tailor-make legal solutions that suit your business and prevent problems occurring in the first place. Our belief is that lawyers are best used prophylactically.

We are not a law firm. We are not going to take your matter to court, we don't have a trust account and do not call us when you get arrested. We are here for one thing - to take care of your business's legal needs so you can focus on what you do best; your vision and your business.

Our approach to legal services comes from a mix of practice in a corporate law firm, years of experience in the South African creative sector and a background in running start-ups. In this way, we speak the language of creativity as well as the legalese of the law.

Our Services

Artists, Creatives and Musicians

Over the past decade, the South African creative sector has grown into a thriving industry where musicians, artists, performers, sportsmen and filmmakers have turned their hobbies into professions. This progression did not happen by chance - its came about as a result of serious artists, investing time and effort into the business behind their art, as well as into the art itself.

Legalese offers a spectrum of legal services to musicians, creatives, management agencies, record labels and anyone else dealing with artistic performance or intellectual property. Whether you need contracts drafted, guidance on publishing deals or just a chat over coffee to bounce around an idea, we strip away the incomprehensible legalese and talk to you in a language you can hear, at a price that you can afford.

Some of the services we offer to the entertainment industry:

  • Performance and booking agreements
  • SAMRO registration and management
  • Management agreements
  • Band member agreements
  • Publishing, distribution and licensing agreements
  • Photographic and media release forms
  • Terms of engagement
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Debt collection

Start-up Companies

Starting your own business can be exciting, nerve racking and difficult. You understand how your product works and why it's a game changer. Yet there are so many elements that feel out of your control: Are you supposed to register a company and pay tax? How do you protect your interests and make sure everything is done by the book? What should you do to ensure good and sustainable relationships with your partners?

No matter your entrepreneurial needs, Legalese can offer you practical legal advice and guidance on the best way forward. We offer user-friendly legal products and packages designed specifically for small start-up companies. We charge set fees which are appropriate to your business size - not the ever growing amounts determined by lawyers "billable hours". We offer quick and professional service - so that you know what you are getting and when you will get it.

Some of the services we offer to start-up companies:

  • Business structuring (Pty? CC? Sole Proprietor? What works best for my business)
  • Company registration
  • Service agreements
  • Operating license applicationss
  • Drafting of company terms and conditions
  • Partnership and shareholder agreements
  • Lease agreements

Growing and Established Businesses

So you started a little project from your bedroom three summers ago now suddenly you have a fully operational business, overheads to cover, two employees to pay and investors who are keeping an eye on your business growth. You never imagined it would get to this point. There is clearly some housekeeping to do because this business is going places.

As opportunity grows, so do potential liabilities. If you're taking the step up, Legalese can work with you to ensure you're doing it correctly, efficiently and in a cost effective manner. We can guide you through dealing with investors, protecting shareholders, license applications or restructuring business entities to ensure you are making the most out of the resources available to you.

Some of the services which we offer to growing and established businesses:

  • Tailor-made commercial agreements
  • Employment agreements
  • Corporate structuring
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Subscription agreements
  • Loan agreements
  • Business consulting

Tailormade legal solutions

You have a business idea, but there is some red tape to climb. Maybe its visa related. Maybe you want to protect your idea from being stolen. Perhaps you've come up with a method to innovate your industry and you're wondering whether it is legal. You could have come to a disagreement with your business partner and you need some help to sort your differences. Perhaps you don't know what you need, but you know you need something.

Legalese has access to a network of experienced attorneys, accountants, consultants and strategists who can assist with any legal issues you may encounter on your road to success. While legal services are traditionally old-fashioned, Legalese looks at law differently, utilizing modern technology and innovative thinking to construct legal solutions that suit you and your business.

Some of the additional legal services which we offer:

  • Visa applications
  • Legal research and consulting
  • Mediation and discussion facilitation
  • Intellectual property registration
  • Technological legal solutions
  • Property conveyancing

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.

Joe Sparano

Some Questions

What is Legalese?

Just to be clear, while Legalese is run by lawyers, it is not a law firm. Legalese is a creative legal agency designed specifically to service the creative and small business sector. By not registering as a law firm, Legalese is able to steer clear of the regulations and requirements of traditional law firms as well as many of the expenses involved.

The advantage of this is that it keeps our costs down - which in turn keeps our fees down. Moreover it means that we can direct our full attention to offering only those legal services which creative businesses and start-ups need.

In this way, Legalese is no different to any other creative business. We are trained lawyers who noticed a way to innovate legal services by making them accessible, creative and cheaper. So while we don't have the word 'incorporated' on our company name, we do have competent legal minds with experience in the creative industry and running start-ups. Just as you do your business differently, so do we.


Why do creative businesses need lawyers?

If you're running a fly-by-night business or a project in your spare time, then you don't want to waste your money on legal fees. However if you have a vision, if you are putting your money on the line and are taking your work seriously, then ensuring your legal affairs are in order is imperative.

The correct entity needs to be registered. You may need a license to operate. The rights and responsibilities of shareholders or partners need to be agreed upon and put into writing to avoid conflict. If you make music, take photos or create art, you need to ensure your ownership is protected. Similarly, if your business is to promote and sell other people's art or talent, you need to make sure you have the right to do so and are protected. You may offer a great service with genuine intentions, but what happens if things go wrong?

Cape Town's creative sector has taken a step up. The projects are international, the money is significant and the consequences are real. Formalizing your legal affairs is an investment in your business which separates the hipsters from the professionals. Much the same as investing in marketing can yield significant returns, so can investing in legal services.


Creatives and start-ups have no money, how can they afford legal fees?

Simply enough, we believe this to be a fallacy. Creatives are often freelancers. This means that their earnings can be irregular, but not that they earn poorly. Many creatives offer a professional service and can charge adequate fees in return.

Legal services need not cost more than any other business service. Spending money on legal services should be seen as an investment in your business. A service agreement designed specifically for you may be sent out hundreds of times each year - if you think in the long-term, legal fees start to become affordable. For the same price as a dinner and a music festival ticket, you can ensure your business is protected for years to come.


Why not use just any lawyers?

Traditionally, lawyers are expensive, aggressive and fat. They charge per minute, have a financial interest in taking your matter to court and while they understand the law and look great in their tailored suits, for the most part, they do not understand you or your industry.

Lawyers, sometimes nicknamed 'sharks', do not have the reputation of being approachable. You as a business owner in the creative industry are unlikely to approach Geraldine and Brockhausen Attorneys in Bellville, for an unknown amount of money, to draw up your contracts that you don't even know you need. Ironically, the reason you need a lawyer is to ensure that you never need a lawyer.

Legalese is different from other law firms in that firstly we are not a law firm, we a creative legal agency. Our approach to law comes from years of experience in the South African creative sector and a background in running start-ups. You will not have to explain how a tech rider works or why it is important to keep overheads lean during the winter seasons. We speak the language of creativity as well as the legalese of the law.


What about online legal resources?

Do you drink real coffee or are you satisfied with instant? Do you use a professional designer who understands your concept or is ilovelogos.com good enough for your business?

As an example, a contract is a record of the agreement between two parties, protected by law. Your business model is different from your competitors which makes your legal requirements different too. Every single term of a contract is binding on you and thus your contracts need to reflect exactly what you are doing and not just more or less what you are doing.

Legal services are not one size fits all and cannot be cookie cut. Online services do not understand your business, your realistic concerns and your industry. Legalese does.

Price List

PackageServiceCost
Corporate House Keeping Package
ConsultationFree
Company registrationR2 000.00
Shareholders / partnership agreementR2 500.00
Terms of engagement R2 500.00
R7 000.00
Musician, Band or Producer Package
ConsultationFree
SAMRO RegistrationR1 000.00
Band member agreementR2 500.00
Performance booking contractR2 500.00
Record deal or publishing deal guidanceR1 000.00
R7 000.00
Creative Industry Package
ConsultationFree
Artist management agreementR3 000.00
Publishing / licensing agreementR3 000.00
Booking contractR2 500.00
R8 500.00
Photographer Package
ConsultationFree
Terms of engagementR2 500.00
Photographic release formR1 500.00
R4 000.00
Growing Business Package
ConsultationFree
Employment AgreementR3 000.00
Shareholders AgreementR2 500.00
Loan AgreementR2 500.00
Lease AgreementR3 000.00
R11 000.00

** Prices are a guideline only and are subject to changes depending on your specific requirements

Some Fun Numbers.

1689
Days we are here
360000
Lines of code written
2500
Songs played
650000
Smiles Given

Video Presentation

Press play and check our short story

Client's Words.

Clients first. Everytime.

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    John Doe
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    Mike Whelan
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    Rebecca Loose