Are you breaking the law with one of these common pitfalls?

“I didn’t know I needed anything in my business”

“I thought it was okay to copy/paste from other websites!”

“I pieced together my own contract by copying others and finding some online.”

These are three very common admissions I hear from customers of mine, and those who attend my quarterly free Legal Basics training sessions. (Click here to join my email list and be notified of future trainings!) The fact is, if any of these three sentences sound like you: you are not alone…BUT – you are most likely currently breaking the law.

WHAT?! WHY?!

If you don’t know what you need in order to have a legally compliant business…your business is not legally compliant. This means you don’t have a privacy policy on your website, are not properly protecting your business with the right disclaimers, and are not entering into agreements with your clients and customers with legally-binding contracts. Not having this stuff in place can cost you THOUSANDS, if not more, if the FTC catches wind of it, or someone else reports you. You may also have to give a refund, lose out on a client’s payment plan funds, and encounter other legal woes from failing to have the right things in place.

LET’S AVOID THAT ASAP.

Additionally – if you have copied legal documents from other people / from Googling and pasting things together that sound legitimate…it is VERY likely you are committing copyright infringement – a violation of Federal Law. This is NO DIFFERENT than stealing someone else’s content, photos, blogs, course copy, etc. Legal documents are typically protectable, and you may be stealing from the attorney who drafted the agreement.

This is true EVEN if the person who gave it to you gave you permission. Unless the ATTORNEY who wrote it gave you permission = you do not have permission to use it. I have dealt with many entrepreneurs (even the 6 and 7-figure ones) try to copy documents from my customers, and it’s just NOT worth it guys. In a world where we are all trying to be original and build businesses to serve others, do not try to protect your business with stolen goods! 

SO how can you get your own, and what the heck do you even need?

If you have a WEBSITE: You need a privacy policy, terms & conditions, and a disclaimer. You can get them all RIGHT HERE in my website bundle, or as part of the full BEGINNERS’ BUNDLE HERE. These documents go (1) in the footer of your website and ALL other landing pages/sites you have, (2) privacy policy goes EVERYWHERE you collect information – so any pop-up boxes, landing pages, purchase pages, anywhere people can give you personal information.

If you offer 1:1 Services: You need a Client Agreement, drafted by an attorney who knows the online space. Get yours HERE, or as part of the full BEGINNERS’ BUNDLE HERE. Your client will sign this document (by printing and scanning or via a digital signature + email confirmation that they have signed it).

If you sell online courses or digital products: You need Terms of Use for each course or product. (Same template, tweaked to apply to the specific thing customers can purchase.) This is different from your website Terms & Conditions. Get yours HERE, or as part of the full BEGINNERS’ BUNDLE HERE. Your customers will agree to the Terms of Use by checking a box at checkout, where you will also link the Terms of Use document.

I highly recommend you take advantage of these templates, if you need any of these documents. I see WAY too many business owners in hot water because they did not want to spend the money up front and tried to do it themselves, only to end up in court, at odds with a client, or stuck not being able to collect money owed to them because the contract was not valid. In these situations, the cost of NOT complying is way more than the cost of getting things set up correctly in the beginning.

Let’s make sure your virtual businesses are properly set up, so you can work remotely and depend on your income during these uncertain times!

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