204: Your Legal Questions Answered

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Note: Click here to download Elizabeth’s top legal tips from this episode.

Elizabeth Potts Weinstein is a lawyer, writer, mom, and an explorer! As a small business attorney, Elizabeth helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, coaches, artists, etc, get all their legal affairs in order so they can focus on their businesses. You can find out more about Elizabeth and her full range of services at ElizabethPottsWeinstein.com.

In this episode, Elizabeth agreed to answer some questions from members of the Side Hustle Nation Facebook Group. I’d received a lot of questions regarding what steps an entrepreneur or small business needs to go through when setting up a business. As well as whether or not they should operate as a sole proprietor, a general partnership, or set up an LLC or Corporation.

Elizabeth explained the pros and cons to each type of business entity, the tax implications, how laws differ depending on where you live, and how to register as an online business. She also covered how to properly disclose your affiliate relationships and add disclaimers to your sites.

Tune in as Elizabeth answers several questions and talks you through a lot of the legalities of starting and operating an online business. Don’t worry – there isn’t a lot of complicated legal-speak, Elizabeth is great at explaining the law in ways that are easy to understand.

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  • How to lawfully include disclaimers on your website.
  • How to properly disclose affiliate relationships on your site.
  • How to comply with FTC regulations.
  • The different business entities and how to register your business.
  • Whether you should set up an LLC or Corporation.
  • When and how it’s ok to use trademarks.
  • How to license your work to organizations.
  • How to register your work to own the copyright.
  • How to file a DMCA to protect your online work against piracy.
  • Elizabeth’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


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Click here to download Elizabeth’s legal tips from this episode.

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8 thoughts on “204: Your Legal Questions Answered”

  1. Thanks for scare this morning! We’ve received a cease and desist before so it was instant panic when I saw the email subject line.

  2. Thanks Elizabeth, these were all questions I was wondering about!

    I do have one other though – if you start an LLC, are your sites automatically trademarked (for example, if I started Meg Media LLC, and said that Super Slammin’ Coffee was a website that is part of my LLC, would it be protected from trademark, or would I still need to file a trademark for Super Slammin’ Coffee?)

    • Hi Meg –

      You don’t have trademark protection for the name of a business, automatically from filing as an LLC or from it being the name of a business at all. Trademarks only really happen when you *sell* something. You get some state law protections when you do the selling (but only *where* you sell) and you get federal law protections when you file the trademark application with the USPTO. You can file with the USPTO before you sell…but that gets into a longer story than this post. :)

  3. I’m going to double up on another question –

    I am one of those moving-every-3-months people you talked about! I was thinking about spending some time in Texas soon, and the cost of starting an LLC there is considerably less than in MA, where I spend most of my time.

    Can I just start my LLC there? Would you pay someone else or a company to be your registered agent? I don’t think it would make sense for me to be the registered agent since I move so often.

    • It really depends — if you are moving every three months, it can make sense to file in the state where you are now, the state where you will be next … or it can be good to file in Nevada (a state with no taxes, predicable fees, and lots of registered agents/post boxes). Some states have pretty high taxes and pretty high annual fees, so it can be expensive to be out-of-state in those states. Yep if you move often, probably better to pay a company $100/year to be your registered agent.


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