Online creators, brand ambassadors, and entrepreneurs must correctly use business agreements to protect themselves. Knowing which document to use can be confusing. This post is designed to help you get all of this done.
Before we dive too far into this post, please be advised that I am not your lawyer, and no legal advice is being given. My disclaimer agreement applies to this post and website.
OK, now that the legal stuff is handled, let’s jump into these good resources!
Here are 10+ agreements/clauses every creator, brand ambassador, business owner, and entrepreneur should be aware of:
- Production, Brand Ambassador and Work Agreements
- Location Releases
- Talent Releases
- Video, Podcast, and Other Content Proposals and Agreements
- Statement of Work Agreements
- Work for Hire Agreements
- Non Disclosure Agreements
- Waivers of Liability, Indemnification, and Assumption of Risk
- General Crew Member Agreements
- Cease and Desist Letters
- DMCA Take-Down Notice Demands
- Force Majeure Clauses with new COVID-19 language
- Jurisdiction/Venue Clauses/Agreements
- Attorney Fees Clauses/Agreements
- Professional Invoices
- Business Expense Documents
To help you create and use these documents, I’m sharing the following options and solutions:
Option #1: Hire an Experienced Lawyer
Probably the best approach is to establish and build a long-term relationship in your state with an experienced and qualified lawyer. If you don’t already know a good lawyer who can help you with your specific needs, here are three good ways to find a good lawyer to help you.
Option #2: Find a Lawyer on Martindale.com
Hire an experienced and tech-savvy local business attorney to help you establish and run your business. I’ve helped hundreds of companies over the last 35 years with their startup, formation, litigation, and trial needs.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that all of the successful companies had three things working for them. First, they had a needed product or service and the ability to communicate their message. Second, they had good legal advice and representation. Third, they had a good accountant or CPA helping them minimize taxes and maximize deductions.
One way to find a good lawyer in your state is to search the independent service Martindale.com (pro tip- filter your search results to “AV” rated lawyers. These are independent ratings by local lawyers and judges signifying that lawyer has the highest ability and ethics ratings possible). Please keep in mind that there are many very talented and experienced lawyers who have not yet received an “AV” rating from their peers. Having said that, do your due diligence when making your final hiring decision.
Option #3: Get an Inexpensive LegalShield Plan
For just a few dollars a day, this plan gives you free and reduced hourly access to a top-rated lawyer not only in your state but also across the entire United States. If you’re doing business online, this is important to know because you may be selling products or services in different states. If so, state/federal tax and contract law, and liability issues, are going to be part of your everyday business environment. Having the ability to get your legal question or need handled with one phone call or email in all 50 states is just an intelligent way to build your business in today’s online, 24/7 world.
On a side note, even though I’ve been practicing law for 35 years, I use LegalShield to help me with personal and business legal questions and needs that I don’t have time to deal with. It’s pretty slick, and I recommend the inexpensive LegalShield option for most of my friends doing online business. You can review all the details and available personal, home business and traditional business plans here.
Option #4: Online Legal Form Services
There are several good DIY (do it yourself) type services available that you may find helpful. The challenge I’ve seen over the years with these services is twofold.
First, the ability of these forms to do what you need them to do is predicated on the correctness and accuracy of how you complete them. You know the adage, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you use one of these services, make sure you input the right information and make the correct selections and options.
Second, often the easiest thing to do is create your forms. The biggest mistake we see creators, business owners, and entrepreneurs make is to fail to use the forms the right way or even use them at all. Just remember that once you create your documents and agreements, you need to put them to use.
So, assuming you tap into the power of these services correctly, you can use these services to create good legal forms for your business needs. Do keep in mind that the laws in each state may differ, so please consult with an experienced lawyer in your state before relying upon these forms to work in your business, occupation, and profession.
LegalZoom– Create online forms for most of your business/legal needs.
RocketLawyer– More online forms for your business/legal needs.
MasterFilmMaker– Select the “Ultimate Business Kit for Creators” option.
I hope you found these resources helpful. If there’s a specific topic that you need more help with, try using the search bar here at my blog, Streaming.Lawyer, and tap into years of posts and decades of solutions.
Stay safe, take care, and never stop making each day your masterpiece!
#documents #agreements #legalforms