In the past several weeks, I have been writing about many of the talks from Savvy Blogging Summit. For the Top Ten Tuesday post this week, I’m going to tackle the Business Law/Accounting class.
(You can read some of the other top ten tips from various Savvy Blogging Summit Classes as well, such as: Effective Monetization, Personal Productivity, Photography, Blog Design, and More Blog Design Tips. You can also buy the recordings and handouts from Savvy Blogging Summit.)
Ten Tips From the Business Law/Accounting Class:
1. There are several types of business entity forms – sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, corporations (includes S Corporations), limited liability company. If you are a single owner and don’t file for a specific business type, you are a sole proprietorship by default. Our speaker strongly recommended forming an LLC (limited liability company) instead.
2. Information about forming an LLC can likely be found on your state’s Secretary of State website. Many can even be filled out online! Fees and paperwork vary widely by state.
3. Avoid having a oral “handshake” when dealing forming a contract with a company. For instance, if an advertiser has paid for advertising on your site, send them an email outlining all of the details of what they are paying for and the terms of their advertising. (These do not have to be long or complicated. As a matter of fact, they should be to the point and just contain pertinent information.)
4. Just because you find something on the Internet, it doesn’t mean that you can copy it and post it on your website. This includes, but is not limited to, other people’s photographs, writings, and graphics.
5. You can use some items that you might not otherwise be able to use when using them under the terms of “fair use.” Fair use includes: criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. (It is important to note, however, that fair use is a complex area of law.)
6. If you are selling things online, you are probably subject to your state’s sales tax laws when selling within your own state. Even if you aren’t collecting sales tax, if you’re supposed to be collecting it, you will be responsible for it. Check for information with your state or an accountant.
7. Many states have passed Anti-Cyberstalking Laws. If you feel that you are being stalked through online means, contact your local authorities. (And make sure to keep records such as screen shots and emails as evidence.)
8. Book keeping is an absolute must for your blogging business! Accounting is something that should be engaged in throughout the year, not just frantically at tax time.
9. You may think of your blog as a hobby, but if you are making any money, your blog is a business. Treat it as such.
10. Our speaker recommended U.S. Legal Forms as a good site for some of your legal documentation needs.
Sorry that this list isn’t more specific, but I hope that you are able to take away some advice from it. With an hour long talk that included a 90 slide power point presentation of very detailed information, it was hard to pick out ten tips. If you’re interested in hearing more, you can purchase the talk and slides.
It’s important to note that I’m just sharing information from a talk that I attended. Please consult a business or tax professional for advice in regards to your own personal situation. This should not be considered legal advice.
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