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.
Here are our top 3 legal documents that you need to have in place for your online business to be protected:
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.
2. Your Service Agreement (for service-based businesses) or Terms & Conditions (for product-based businesses)
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.