Top 3 Legal Documents You Need to Have In Place For Your Online Business

January 13, 2019

Sarah Williams


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It can be hard to justify hiring a lawyer when you’ve just started your business. Cash flow is tight, if not in the negative, and contracts and all that other “legal stuff” seem insignificant when you have so much else to worry about.

But you’re in this for the long game. Investing in your legal documents, making sure your business is running by the books and that you’re protected is important. In fact, it’s very important. While we don’t recommend heading over to a search engine and typing in “Privacy Policy Template” or “Coaching Contract Example”, we’ve also been there and we understand that, sometimes, it’s better than nothing.

Here are our top 3 legal documents that you need to have in place for your online business to be protected:


1. Your Privacy Policy & Terms of Use

Everyone has a website these days and everyone collects different information from the visitors on their sites depending on how their site was built and the functions and capabilities of their sites. Not only that, but depending on where your visitors are from, you need certain clauses and information included (like that whole GDPR thing you heard about a little while ago). It’s important, and it is so much better to know you’re covered than not. It’s also your most public asset. So get that sh*t taken care of.

We actually teamed up with a lawyer, Keren de Zwart of Not Your Father’s Lawyer, to build a detailed Privacy Policy Template for our Rebel Office Resource Library, so, if you haven’t got access yet, I’m sure you’ll want to do it because not only this resource can be yours, but you will also be able to watch her masterclass and get other legal checklist and other practical entrepreneurial resources.




2. Your Service Agreement (for service-based businesses) or Terms & Conditions (for product-based businesses)

If you have an e-commerce business, you need to have Terms & Conditions outlined on your site. This is different from the Terms of Use of your site. Your Terms & Conditions are all about the conditions, disclaimers, and details of their purchase from you.

This is like your Service Agreement if you’re a service-based business like a coach, consultant or professional service. Your Service Agreement outlines the terms of your agreement (duh!), such as timeline, deliverables, responsibilities of both parties and any other clauses that could outline how to handle disputes, when you’re available for contact, etc.

Not only does a Service Agreement or Terms & Conditions boost your professionally level, but it can actually protect you and give you something to fall back on if there’s an issue.


3. Independent Contractor Agreement

As your business grows, but before your hire on a full time, chances are you’ll stretch your “boss” legs with an independent contractor or two. There are definitely benefits of hiring a contractor instead of a full-time employee, but this isn’t the time to let your guard down. Go into any agreement protected and with details of the agreement (including if your contractor is responsible for their own insurance and equipment, what the nature of the relationship is, timeline and deliverables, etc.) defined before any work begins.


We get it, you’re an optimist. You like to think the best of people. We think that’s fantastic. We also think you need to be prepared and not learn this lesson the hard way. So at least have these three legal documents in place.

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  1. Krysten Quiles says:

    This is SO HELPFUL and something we all should be aware of. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

  2. jk says:

    Great info for a new blogger like myself. I’ll be back to read more from your blog.

  3. Cityrocka Perry says:

    This is so very important. Lots of folks start businesses without being aware of the legal aspects. Than you for providing this information. Much appreciated 🙂

  4. Renata Feyen says:

    In Belgium it is more a bookkeeper that does all those things for you regarding the paperwork for your business 🙂

  5. Emily Fata says:

    These are all super important things for any small business to have in place. I’ll be passing this article along to my cousin, who just launched her own business this week!

  6. Karen says:

    Thanks for this information, i am planning to have an online store next year so this will help!

  7. Derek says:

    Great tips. I’m hoping to eventually expand my website, so I definitely needed this info.

  8. Angela says:

    Great advice. It’s so easy to overlook the basics when starting an online business.

  9. tweenselmom says:

    These are great tips, I only send a mode of agreement contract when I collaborate with brands.

  10. Fae Celine says:

    This is really very informative and helpful, perfect for those who have online business. Its easy to disregard them because you feel like you won’t need them but they are really very important for your business

  11. Kiwi says:

    These are so important. Having things legalized will make your business professional and protected.

  12. Crickette, The Things I Have to Say says:

    Thank you for the vital information. I can definitely use this.

  13. Sundeep says:

    Thanks for sharing this useful information. I am sharing with my few friends

  14. Laura says:

    This is so important information. Thank you for sharing x


  15. rachel says:

    I am so glad to see that I’m doing SOMETHING right!!

  16. Nicole Escat says:

    Thanks for sharing the information.. Such a helpful blog, I learned a lot, great job on this..!

  17. jk says:

    Contracts are so important to me, as a freelancer. I’ve trusted too many people, even those I know personally, who I did small jobs for and never made them sign a contract and work order – and of course I never got paid for those jobs. Now, everyone gets a contract/work order . This post really helped me clear some stuff up. Thanks for the info.


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