Throughout this lesson series, we’ve been covering the basics of building your online business. And now that you’re establishing a web presence, there are some steps you’ll want to take to help keep yourself out of legal trouble.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a lawyer. I have no legal qualifications. I’m just presenting this information based on my own experience and research. Before taking any actions that might have legal consequences, you should consult with a lawyer.
(Watch this video…)
1) Civil Lawsuits
2) Legal compliance (FTC, FDA, State Attorney General, etc)
1) Choose an appropriate business entity
-Consult with an attorney or tax advisor about this.
Potential benefits of corporations over sole proprietorships:
-They protect you personally from certain legal liabilities
-They may reduce your tax liability
2) Avoid risky niches
-How to make money
But don’t let FEAR stop you from going into a niche you’re truly passionate about.
(See video for horror stories, etc.)
Do NOT assume that you can fly under the radar of the FTC. Instead, assume you are on their radar, and make sure you’re in compliance.
3) Educate yourself
Look to the governing lawmakers for your country.
In the USA, the most important for Internet marketers is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Update: Here is the FTC “.Com Disclosures” document from March 2013:
(I recommend reading this entire document)
Information for businesses: http://ftc.gov/bcp/business.shtm
Here is a helpful document containing FAQ: FTC’s Revised Endorsement Guides
Other helpful sites:
-Do a TESS search before registering a domain or naming a product.
-Consider hiring a lawyer.
4) Use appropriate legal documents
How to get the documents:
1) Hire a lawyer who UNDERSTANDS Internet business law (Best option)
Probably $500 to $5000
2) Buy some documents (2nd best option)
The key here is to get some that are:
A) up to date
B) written by a real lawyer
Attorney Bob Silber: www.websitelawforms.com (Approx. $2800 to license his docs)
Attorney Mike Young: Website Legal Forms Generator (Approx $197)
Discount legal form provider: Find Legal Forms (Approx. $15 per document)
Beware of WebLawGenerator or anything that looks like it is a resale rights product. Do not buy it.
3) Find some free documents (worst option)
Why you might not want to use free documents:
Idea: You can take some free docs, customize them yourself to meet the needs of your website, and then pay a lawyer or paralegal to review and revise it as necessary.
Free Terms of Service:
Free copyright notice:
1) Continue to educate yourself about the legal aspects of your business.
2) Put the appropriate legal documents on your website.
In the next lesson we’re going to begin learning how to create an information product.
As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below.
Have a great day!