While we ponder if AI is the way forward or the path to doomsday, Kiwi legal tech startup On Your Terms has found a way to combine the best of tech with the expertise of a personal legal service, at a fraction of the price. 

AI has its limitations, and when it comes to legal Terms and Conditions for your business, relying on robot intelligence alone feels frightening. However, there’s no doubt technology offers amazing opportunities for services to be delivered better and faster. 

Knowing this, and determined to bring their industry into the future, On Your Terms, founded by three female New Zealand lawyers, has set out to combine the best technology has to offer with the expertise and reliability of a personal service.

In their legal careers, founders Claire Bodle, Natalie Fennell and Diana Collie all experienced frustration in not being able to provide cost-effective services to smaller business clients. Discussing the issue with kiwi business owners, they were repeatedly told legal services were too expensive, stressful, slow and not always helpful. So, they set out to fix this.

Bodle explains, “Our goal is to democratise access to legal services. We believe every business deserves access to top-quality user-friendly legal services, without price or location as a barrier. We hope On Your Terms will be a game-changer for businesses across New Zealand.”

During a cost-of-living crisis, startups and SMEs might be tempted to forgo having expertly prepared legal Terms and Conditions (or any at all), seeing a visit to the lawyer as out of financial reach. However, sleepless nights for founders as a result of not having their business legally protected aren’t ideal either. 

On Your Terms aims to provide fast, simple and affordable access to legal documents and information for SMEs.

On Your Terms uses chatbot technology to ask business owners all the questions a lawyer would normally ask, then takes those answers to produce a fully customised legal document. The base legal documents have been written by highly experienced lawyers, customised with the right options based on the users answers, giving users confidence in the resulting product. 

The available legal documents include website T&Cs, privacy policies, marketing agreements, services agreements, product supply agreements and confidentiality agreements, but also more complex documents such as leasing agreements, employment agreements and policies, shareholders agreements, constitutions, company ownership and management documents and business sale and purchase agreements. The documents are grouped by business industry or need, making selection easy. Documents are priced from $89 – $599 and can be completed start to finish in 5-25 minutes.

On Your Terms has also stripped out the legalese, favouring plain language. So out with “notwithstanding” “without prejudice to anything else in the agreement” or “subject to the foregoing”. 

“We’ve opted for simplified, balanced contracts that don’t overly favour one side so businesses don’t waste time and money on long negotiations or damage trust,” says Bodle.

Legal docs are available 24/7 from any device and if a user does need legal advice, On Your Terms has partnered with some like-minded NZ law firms who charge fixed fees rather than hourly rates to give cost certainty. 

The On Your Terms ‘Knowledge Hub’ also contains free resources and tools prepared by NZ legal experts, covering common small biz questions, like what business structure to use or how to protect intellectual property.

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