How To: Legally Organize Your Business Structure and Your Content

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Planning is FUN. Stick with me, this time of year is all about reflecting on 2017 and planning for 2018. But there are so many different areas of your business to think about.  And here’s a SUPER important one - how to legally ‘organize’ your biz.

How To: Legally Organize Your Business Structure and Your Content

What you need to keep it clean:

A Business Entity:

An LLC is a Limited Liability Company. It’s my fav business entity for online biz owners. There are several advantages to an LLC, especially for smaller business. One of the main draws of this type of legal entity (versus a sole proprietorship or partnership) is an LLC offers protection for personal assets in the event of a judgment from a lawsuit against the business.

This means *if* something goes wrong, your personal assets are separated from your biz assets and if you do lose, it doesn’t mean you lose your shirt/house/car, literally -- they can only get what is in your biz account.  

Other benefits of an LLC include not having to use your own social security number for your Federal Tax ID number (EIN) and utilizing your LLC to open a business banking account.   PLUS, being an LLC looks LEGIT to your clients - big bonus!  

Copyright:

Copyright is anything you create in your pretty little head and put in a fixed form, either online or offline (books, ebooks, blog posts, courses, pictures, songs). You are automatically the owner of this stuff and no one can use it, sell it, or mess with it without your permission

Copyright infringement happens when someone takes your work without your permission and does something with it (posts it, sells it, copies it). Registering your copyright with the government gives added legal protection and allows you to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement.  If you find out someone is stealing your work, the first step is usually to send a “cease and desist” letter to get them to stop!

Trademark:

Registering your trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office gives you legal protection for your brand name/logo/course name/slogan. Registration gives constructive notice of YOUR ownership of the brand and the exclusive right to use it – you can also only use the ® if you have formally registered with the US Government. If not, you can still use the ™!