If you’re going to take your offline business online or, start a new business on the digital platforms, there are 9 things I think you need to know, understand and do. My recommendations are based on 33 years of practicing law, starting and running my own successful businesses, and helping clients start hundreds of new companies. Many insights are also premised around my own experiences relating to our firm’s online presence since 1996.
Before we get started, please remember that although I am a California trial attorney, and a pretty good one at that, I’m not your attorney. This is not legal advice. Also, the laws in each state are different so please contact an experienced attorney in your state to discuss questions, legal needs and options (need help finding a good lawyer? Here’s an easy and inexpensive way that I recommend to help you get legal advice and help in all 50 states)
DO BUSINESS AS A CORPORATION OR LLC
Whether you know it or not, the real question in today’s business world isn’t if you’ll be sued? It’s when will you be sued? According to recent statistics, the average small business owner will be sued at least 3 times during his or her business lifetime. Knowing this, I encourage you to please be smart, plan ahead, and take steps to protect yourself and your business before something bad happens.
Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLC) allow you to put a protective shield between your business liabilities and personal assets. If you correctly set up, run and manage your company (and that’s a big if), your personal assets will be protected if a claim or lawsuit is ever brought against your business.
Most people don’t set up their corporations and LLCs correctly. Those who do often times drop the ball down the line when it comes to managing the entity. Their are numerous filing, registration, legal, tax and insurance requirements that all must be setup and managed correctly over the long-term. The point of this article is to make you aware of the business entity options and that these requirements exist. An experienced professional in your city and state can hold your hand and make sure you do everything correctly.
One more thing. In my opinion you should never do business as a sole proprietor (an individual) or general partnership. For the above reasons (and many more), there’s just too much liability attached to doing so. Doing business as a sole proprietor is by far the biggest mistake I see people make when doing business online. Instead, form a corporation or LLC and do business as a legal business entity. Continue reading “9 Legal, Business and Entrepreneurial Tips to Help You Start and Build Your Online Business”