If confronted with a decision of which the legal consequences are not entirely clear, you can seek advice. For example if you have to decide what legal entity suits you best, or when you are about to sign a contract. Do you know enough about liability or copyright?
There is a great deal that you can do yourself to prevent a legal conflict, such as recording agreements in writing. Don’t forget to ask yourself each time: if the other party were to prove unreliable (which he isn’t), what would I want to have down on paper?
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Legal advice in case of a difference of opinion or a dispute
Before you go to get advice, you must be able to formulate precisely what is the matter. Separating your feelings from the business issues is also an art. Is it about your employment contract? About renting a working space? Are you not getting paid? Copyright problems? Are you being held personally liable for damage? Is it a legal issue? What is right, what is negotiation or bluff, and what is not? Who is in the right?
Do you want to know about the legal aspects of a problem or conflict? Or are you looking for someone to represent you? The purpose of legal aid in all these situations is to make you stronger vis-à-vis the other party. The advice gives you more information to resolve the issue or strategic tips for a good solution. With that knowledge, you can consult together whether the dispute should be handled legally straight away or that you can try a more simple option first, like mediation.
Where can you get legal advice
You can apply for legal advice from the Legal Advice Bureau (Juridisch Loket), trade unions, professional organisations, or your legal aid insurance company if you have taken out legal expenses insurance.Or you can ask legal advisors specialized in your line of work. Juridisch Loket does not work for self-employed persons. You have to be a member of a trade union or professional organisation in order to be able to use their advisory services. Legal aid insurance companies are mainly involved in legal proceedings, but they sometimes also offer useful advice if you envisage a problem.
On this site, you can find articles on the legal approach to disputes, and on the operation of law. There is also a short diagram on liability and several wizards on liability. For students who do not have the Dutch nationality read the article "I want to stay in the Netherlands after my study".