Do you ever worry that your small business doesn’t need the same legal protection as the big guys? That’s like saying you don’t need a seatbelt because you’re only driving down the block! Today, I’m answering a question from one of our listeners, Candice, who asked about how legal contracts and business matters differ for small shops compared to larger ones. It’s an excellent question, Candice, and one that I think many of us have.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- Getting legally covered no matter your businesses size
- Why having to scale your legal coverage is a good sign
- How to be legally legit without the overwhelm
Listen to the full episode of On Your Terms™ on your favorite podcast platform
Listen to episode 126, follow along so you never miss an episode, and leave a review to help introduce the show to more online business owners just like you!
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Basic Legal Protection: Your Business’ First Steps
Now, when you’re just starting out with an online business, there are three primary steps you need to take in terms of legal protection:
- Register your business.
- Establish a contract or policy for your first offer (and subsequent ones if you have multiple offers).
- Secure business insurance before you start working with people.
These steps are the bare minimum. They also form the foundation of your business’s legal protection and should be your starting point.
Scaling Up: Legal Protection as Your Business Grows
As your business grows, so should your legal protection. This could also mean increasing your business insurance coverage as you serve more clients or as the stakes get higher. It could also involve creating new contracts for new ventures, like affiliate programs or collaborations.
Remember, keeping your legal protection up-to-date is a good sign! In fact, it’s a sign that your business is thriving and that you’re prepared for whatever may come your way.
Keeping it Simple: Legal Protection Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
One thing I want to emphasize is the simplicity of these steps. Legal protection doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. It’s about taking a few sensible steps to safeguard your hard work and investment.
I hope this answers your question, Candice! As your business evolves, so should your legal protection. And don’t worry — I’ll be here to guide you through every stage of that process, every step of the way.
And there you have it, folks! Legal protection is essential for every business, regardless of size or profits. So tune in next time as we continue to discuss the crucial elements of creating and running a business on your terms.
Sam Vander Wielen: Hey. Hey. Welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. I’m an attorney turned entrepreneur – thank goodness – that helps you legally protect your online business.
And I’m really excited to be chatting with you today. I got a question from our listener, Candice, who asked me, "How are legal contracts and general business stuff different for small shops versus larger ones?"
It’s such an interesting question, Candice, because, first, we have to clear one thing up. So, all businesses need legal protection regardless of their bank account, how many clients they have, how many followers they have on Instagram, or TikTok, or wherever else we’re hanging out. You don’t get any sort of pass or protection for not being profitable or far along. So, the law expects you to take the necessary steps that you need to take to protect yourself from the start.
So, do I have the same amount of legal protection that Nordstrom has? Of course not. But do I have the same legal protection as I did a year or two ago? No. It grows with me. It has grown with me in the last six, seven years.
So, you need basic legal protection when you start your online business. I am not one of these lawyers that’s like, "You need 8 million things and all these contracts and all this stuff." I really think that you need to focus on your foundations.
So, to start, you typically need three things. You need to, one, register your business. Two, you need to get a contract or a policy in place for your first offer. Or if you have multiple offers, you need one for every single one. And three, you want to explore and then, hopefully, sign up for business insurance right before you’re ready to start working with people.
Once you start hiring employees or contractors or you’re making a lot of profit in your business, for example, there are certain layers that you’ll add on. As your business grows, you might need to get a little more coverage on your business insurance policy. You might need a contract added on, like if you create an affiliate program or you collaborate with other creators. I have an affiliate program, legal template, by the way, and a collaboration legal template. I’ll link to all those in the show notes.
But that’s actually a really cool – if you’ll allow me to say it, it’s a really cool part of legally protecting your online business because it’s sort of a one and done process. The major parts that you have to get done, you get the basics in place, and then it’s just little things. It’s like updating your contracts, upgrading your policies as needed. And, to me, I’m always like, What’s the big deal? Because if you have to get more legal coverage or like you have to upgrade something, it means that something good is happening, so I don’t mind.
If you’re looking, though, for a good place to start, now you’re like, "Okay. I understand. I got to register my business. I got to get a contract in place. And I got to get business insurance. But what do I do? How do I know what to do for those? Where do I start?" I would click the link in the show notes and watch my free legal training, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business. Because in it, I’m giving you my five-step strategy to legally cover your personal assets, your business money, your client relationships, and hopefully your peace and sanity and sleeping through the night.
So, you can just click the link below to sign up for my free legal workshop. It’s called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business. Over 70,000 of your peers have taken it already and they have loved it. People find it really, really helpful. So, I hope that you’ll go and watch. If you do, if you go sign up or if you watch, please send me a DM on Instagram, I’m @samvanderwielen, and let me know if the workshop was helpful to you.
And with that, I’ll make sure that I drop you a bunch of links below. I have an episode, you know, that goes way deeper into the basic legal protection steps that I just listed, the three steps, I will link to that below. I also have a episode dedicated to hiring contractors and employees, so I’ll link to that, as well as one on business insurance. So, if you need to dive into anything that I briefly talked about today, I’ve got an episode for you, trust me. So, I will link to that below as well as my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business. I hope to see you there.
Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.
Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information.
If you’d like a shoutout (and a chance to win a $20 gift card), just leave a review on Apple Podcasts. And then send a screenshot of it to me on Instagram via DMs!
Resources Discussed in This Episode
- DIY Affiliate Contract Template
- Collaboration Contract Template
- 5 Steps to Legally Protect & Grow Your Online Business [free workshop]
- Episode 42: Business Insurance Mistakes That Could Cost You Big
- Episode 64: Hiring Contractors 101 [Everything Business Owners Need To Know]
- Episode 89: How To Legally Protect Your Online Business
If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!
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DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and does not intend to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.
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