An Expert’s Take on Becoming Legal

And why having a good contract is clutch!

Hey Wilds! Welcome back to another episode of the WLC Show. Today, we are so excited to share with you our expert interview with none other than attorney, Rachel Brenke, of The Law Tog. We dive deep into the difference between LLC’s and Sole Proprietorships, and talk contracts. You don’t want to miss this one, if you are getting ready to become legit!

Don’t be Reactive- Be PROactive

Because there is a low barrier to entry to the creative business, you aren’t required to get licenses, contracts, etc., so it’s very easy to get started, but if you’re not protected legally with contracts and liability protection, the reactive process can be very expensive, time consuming, and draining.

Being proactive saves us a lot of time, energy and money. @rachelbrenke Click To Tweet

3 Forcefields of Protecting Your Business

Contracts

Listen to your clients and potential clients to know what to put in your contract, and what you need to explain in your consultations. Don’t tear down buyer confidence. The more the questions “How do I book?” “What do I get?” “What is the process?” The more they have to ask, the less confident they feel in you. Entrepreneurs usually put together a contract so quickly, and never return to it, but if you use it as a coaching tool and conversation during your consultations, it will answer all the questions they may have, giving them the confidence that you are able to provide the best service.

Things that are pertinent to include (but not limited to):

  • How to get booked
  • The payment amount and what it goes to
  • If you take multiple payments, how does that work? Are there late fees or interest?
  • If this is a booked event, discuss cancellations
  • Completion schedule- this is to hold the creative accountable, and is a good customer service tool, to ease the clients mind on when to expect what
  • How you will deliver the final product
  • Legal miscellany:
    • What law governs contract
    • Under what jurisdiction will a dispute take place
    • Attorneys fees
    • General waivers language- allows you to waive a breach in 1 part of your contract, without waiving the whole contract
You never have an issue, until you have an issue. @rachelbrenke Click To Tweet

Business Formation

Limited Liability Corporations and Sole Proprietorship is more common to start with. On the scale of administrative requirements, SP is default, then LLC, then Corporations. If you are doing business under a different name other than your personal name, you still have to file something like a DBA (Doing Business As), Fictitious Name, etc. SPs are cheap and easy to set up, but it’s not recommended because you get what you pay for.

The government wants you to “earn” the extra layer of protection by creating more barriers of entry, like having a separate bank account, investing more in the filing, and filling out more paperwork. Don’t confuse TAXES with LEGAL FILING. Just because the IRS doesn’t differentiate between LLC and Sole Proprietorships, but that doesn’t cover you legally. 

Liability

LLCs separate your personal and business assets. Imagine: life’s a beach, right? When you are a SP, everything you own and every penny you make go into one bucket, but when you are an LLC they are separated into 2 buckets- personal and business. If a big ole wave comes crashing into your business, with an LLC, your personal assets will be remain protected.

BUT if you have the SP one-size-holds-everything bucket, that bucket not only carries your business assets, but also your house, the car, AND the income you make at your full time job. That’s right. If you ever get sued as a SP, they can go after your paycheck, too.

Be sure to watch the video, as it holds TONS of great wisdom and nuggets to get you started on your legit business filings, and visit www.rachelbrenke.com for even more amazing resources, contracts, blogs full of knowledge, and so much more!

Thank you, Rachel, for being a part of the show! It was so great hanging out online with you!


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