Starting your own business or having an established business it does not make much difference when it comes to protecting your business legally.
Even if you think you are just a small online business and not sell physical product but only informational products, you still need legal protection for your business.
A good friend of mine that has a crane and hoisting business Capital Hoist and Crane started doing proof load testing in a new part of his business.
This brought a whole new part of legal questions with it. By testing third parties hoist equipment like slings and ropes he took responsibility for this part of the hoisting.
He assured that the equipment was safe to use and even gave a certification with that.
What would happen if a customer used this equipment and something would go wrong? Was he liable for any damage or not?
This is just one example of a company that can be held responsible for his products or services.
I can come up with many more to show you that is is very important to protect your business legally.
From a small business that does not sell physical product or even just a website owner that runs his or her own blog, you need protection.
I was contacted by a lawyer a while ago that I used his customers pictures on this website without his approval.
I was not aware of that since I just downloaded the picture from, what I thought, a free website that shares pictures for free.
It was lucky for me that they allowed me to either give a link to their website or remove that picture without any legal consequences.
This fact shows how easy it is to get in a legal problem and that proves that you need legal protection for every type of business.
What To Do?
I am the owner of a business and the first thing I did before even starting to sell or promote any of my products was to get incorporated.
In my particular situation it was the best and most affordable way to do that by forming an LLC.
This is a limited liability company and will protect your personal belongings from anything your business does. Although there are a few exceptions.
The IRS can still hold you responsible for the taxed that you owe on your LLC.
The forming of an LLC can be done by a lawfirm for an affordable price and they will, or should, take care of all the filings that need to be done to your state offices. Their fees should include the cost of filing these papers.
You personally have to contact the IRS after that and apply for a business tax number called an EIN. This will also include your sales tax number.
It is my experience that I you have no physical products and just sell services the sale tax filing will be dropped after the firs year.
There are many other legal entities that might fit you specific situation better and this is depending on many things. And to be honest only a law firm can help you set up the more complicated business entities like S-corps just to name an example.
I hope my writing here help you a little with answering the question if an how you should protect your business legally.