UpCounsel expands on-demand legal service platform to Colorado

San Francisco-based UpCounsel announced Tuesday that it is launching its platform of on-demand legal service for small businesses in Colorado.

Founded in 2012, the company already operates in California, New York, Illinois and Texas.

UpCounsel is similar to Congo, a Boulder startup with its own on-demand legal service platform. But UpCounsel is specifically targeting small and medium-sized businesses.

Business users can submit their information on the site along with details about the issues they need help with. UpCounsel’s system then matches that request with various attorneys that are good matches based on locale, experience and type of business. Lawyers then send offers to the small business, specifying either a flat fee or per hour charge. Once hired, the businesses and attorneys can live chat or work with each other over phone or email. UpCounsel, meanwhile, adds a 3 to 15 percent fee that it collects on the back end of every transaction. The whole process can be completed within a couple of hours.

UpCounsel chief executive and co-founder Matt Faustman said his company has been offering a beta version of its service in Colorado for three months, with a particular focus on attracting attorneys in the Denver metro area. The company has attorneys onboard as far north as Boulder so far, with plans to expand their footprint throughout the state.

Faustman said UpCounsel has 24 attorneys actively participating in Colorado but about a hundred more have signed up. UpCounsel vets attorneys before they’re allowed to offer services on the site. While 10,000 have registered overall in UpCounsel states, only a few hundred have been accepted.

“It’s a really low acceptance rate but we’re onboarding lawyers like crazy because demand is skyrocketing,” Faustman said.

Founded in 2012, UpCounsel is venture-backed. Faustman declined to disclose revenues.