We are in one line of business - the marketing of legal expense and other complimentary plans through a multi-level marketing force to individuals and a direct sales force to employee groups. Our principal revenues are derived from Membership fees, and to a much lesser extent, revenues from marketing associates. Our principal expenses are commissions, Membership benefits, associate services and direct marketing costs and general and administrative expense.
We were one of the first companies in the United States organized solely to design, underwrite and market legal expense plans. Our predecessor commenced business in 1972 and began offering legal expense reimbursement services as a "motor service club" under Oklahoma law. In 1976, we were formed and acquired our predecessor in a stock exchange. We began offering Memberships independent of the motor service club product by adding a legal consultation and advice service, and in 1979, we implemented a legal expense benefit that provided for partial payment of legal fees in connection with the defense of certain civil and criminal actions. Our life events legal plans (referred to as "Memberships") currently provide for a variety of legal services.
In most states and provinces, standard plan benefits include preventive legal services, motor vehicle legal defense services, trial defense services, IRS audit services and a 25% discount off legal services not specifically covered by the Membership for an average monthly Membership fee of approximately $21. Additionally, in approximately 47 states and 4 Canadian provinces, the Legal Shield rider can be added to the standard plan for only $1 per month and provides members with 24-hour access to a toll-free number for attorney assistance if the member is arrested or detained. We also offer our Identity Theft Shield ("IDT") to new and existing members at $9.95 per month if added to a legal service Membership ("add-on IDT") or IDT may be purchased separately for $12.95 per month ("stand-alone IDT").
The identity theft related benefits include a credit report and related instructional guide, a credit score and related instructional guide, credit report monitoring with daily online and monthly offline notification of any changes in credit information and comprehensive identity theft restoration services. Life events legal plan benefits are generally provided through a network of independent provider law firms, typically one firm per state or province and IDT plan benefits are provided by Kroll Background America, Inc., a subsidiary of Kroll Inc. ("Kroll"). Members have direct, toll-free access to Kroll or their provider law firm rather than having to call for a referral.
At December 31, 2009, we had 1,547,585 Memberships in force with members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba. Approximately 90% of such Memberships were in 29 states and provinces.
At December 31, 2009, we employed 719 individuals, exclusive of independent agents and sales associates who are not employees. None of our employees are represented by a union. We consider our employee relations generally to be very good.
We file periodic reports and proxy statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The public may read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N. E., Washington, D.C. 20549. The public may obtain information about the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.
We file our reports with the SEC electronically. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. The address of this site is http://www.sec.gov. Our Internet address is www.prepaidlegal.com. We make available on our website free of charge copies of our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably possible after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.