6 reasons why your online business might not be legal. www.brittanyratelle.com

6 Reasons Why Your Online Business Might Not Be Legal

Aug 3, 2023

contracts, legal, Legal Tips

6 Reasons Why Your Online Business Might Not Be Legal


Are you a freelancer or own a service-based business and have no clue how to make it legally legit? You might have the business side of things nailed down, but you want to make sure your business is legal and protected. Here are 6 reasons why your online business might not be legal–and what to do about it. 



Whether you are a graphic designer, balloon artist, copywriter, web designer, or any other service-based business this legal checklist is for you. I’m covering step-by-step what you need to do to make sure your business is legally legit and ready to last no matter what is thrown your way! Let’s get started.



What kind of attorney would I be if this didn’t have a disclaimer? I’m a licensed attorney and I practice in Utah and Idaho. I am not your attorney. This is not official legal advice. If you have any questions, please consult with a legal professional in your jurisdiction.



6 Reasons Why Your Online Business Might Not Be Legal



6 reasons why your online business might not be legal. www.brittanyratelle.com



Legal Business Tip #1: Protect the Client Service Relationship 


The most proactive legal step you can take is to have a really solid client service agreement (or master service agreement). This is the written contract that explains who is going to do what when, how you will be working together, how revisions will work, etc. 


The contract should be super specific and set clear boundaries about the type of service you provide and what exactly that will look like for your client. This contract is especially important for creative-type businesses where your services are dependent upon the homework done by the client. 


Another tip is to include language about rush fees and set up a clear timeline. It may seem intimidating to include all of these details, but having it set up this way will help you have a positive experience working with your client and build your self-confidence as a business owner. 


Legal Business Tip #2: Get your website footer compliant. 


If your website footer is blank, it’s time to change that! This space is for you to include all the legal documents you need to make your business legally legit. Usually, the docs include a privacy policy, terms, copyright statement, and any necessary disclaimers. If you have no idea how to get any of that set up, don’t worry! You can check out my Website Bundle HERE and it’ll get you all set up. (P.S. It’s my #1 best-selling contract for a reason!) 


Legal Business Tip #3: Set up proper boundaries with your team members. 


If you have some sort of team or an agency for your business you’ve got to make sure those team members are protected with either an independent contractor agreement or a W2 agreement. This will help keep your business protected as well so you can’t be accused of misclassification which can be some hefty legal state and federal fees. 


As long as you and your team members are super clear on their roles and responsibilities in your business, then you don’t have to worry! And having them sign a contract is the best way to go.



complete legal checklist you need to know as a freelancer. www.brittanyratelle.com



Legal Business Tip #4: Register your business as an LLC in your state. 


Registering as an LLC is the most common type of business out there. It’s flexible, cheap, hard to mess up, and easy to maintain. Having that LLC will protect your business assets and your personal assets by defining a clear line between the two. You can check out my post HERE to learn the easiest way to set up your LLC. 


Legal Business Tip #5: Sign an operating agreement.


An operating agreement is like a business marriage prenup. It’s a really good idea to have this contract if you are a single-member LLC because a lot of banks and even states require you to have one. But an operating agreement really comes in handy for business partnerships. In fact, I’d say this agreement is hands down critical to have for your business! 


It doesn’t matter who your partner is–spouse, neighbor, friend, family member–you want to have things in writing about how things will run and a signature from all participating parties. This contract will set the foundation for your business and will act as a guide as you run and grow your business together. And don’t worry, I have this operating agreement ready for you to customize right HERE


Legal Business Tip #6: Get “people legit.”


As your business starts to grow and you are expanding your products, you want to have certain legal requirements set up that protects the relationship between your business and your customers. Specifically, if you offer a course, membership, or sell physical products. 


If you aren’t sure if you need this type of contract or perhaps a different one, you can take my quiz HERE where you fill out what exactly you do in your business and I’ll tell you what contract(s) you need to make your business legally legit. 



6 tips to make your online business legally legit. www.brittanyratelle.com




6 Reasons Why Your Online Business Might Not Be Legal


Did any of these 6 reasons why your online business might not be legal ever cross your mind? I hope these legal tips don’t stress you out, but give you some guidance on what you need to do next! And I am here to help every step of the way. Make sure to follow me on Instagram @brittanyratelle and reach out if you have any questions! 




Download my free legally legit workbook HERE – your free guide to getting your business set up, protected, and ready for growth. When you sign up you’ll also get access to my newsletter with tips and tricks for YOUR growing creative business.




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Are you interested in getting a copyright or trademark? Book a brand-protected strategy session with Brittany HERE and get a game plan together for your brand and content.


Interested in working with Brittany for one-on-one legal services? Sign up for a 15-min phone consult at brittanyratelle.com/services.


Want an attorney-drafted, industry-tested legal template for your business? Take a free quiz and find out exactly what you need for your creative business at creativecontracts.co.


Or, browse through my quick tips and tricks by connecting on Instagram.

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