3 Legal Myths Non-lawyers are Telling You Online

Myth #2:

You can use contracts you find online or for free from someone else

Last week, I outlined one of the BIGGEST myths I see online — CLICK HERE to check that out if you missed it. This week, we are looking at Myth #2: when others tell you to use a contract you found online – or worse – GIVE You their contract they found or purchased.  

Unfortunately, this is also a big no. Why? Couple reasons: 

First, just like using a blog post written by someone else or a photo taken by someone else, if you’re going to use a contract, you need permission from the attorney who wrote it in order to legally use the document. When you purchase a template from an attorney, or hire an attorney to draft documents for you personally, you are granted a license to use the document in connection with YOUR business, and instructed not to share it with anyone else for their use. Without that permission from the attorney, it is the same violation as lifting a photo from another website, or copying course content from another creator. No permission = potential copyright violation. 

Second, permission aside, using something you find online RARELY applies to your personal situation. It is likely a contract from a lawsuit that became public knowledge, or something that was saved as a PDF to a website and is now searchable. It will likely be outdated, and not applicable to your business. Online coaching and digital business is relatively new, and a very specific service, as international laws must be considered, as well as international clients, data privacy considerations, and digital product delivery. 

If you find one through one of those free template generators online…well…you get what you pay for, and I can almost guarantee these will not have the online course or digital terms you need in order to actually protect your business. If you needed to go to the dentist to fill a cavity, would you take the time to go to a good dentist, pay for his/her services, and know you got the job done right? Or would you try to find someone to do the work for free, who likely isn’t a dentist at all?

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