This hot topic about legal requirements for an online business has been years in the making. Of all things that we love to help CEO Teachers® with, the one thing that we are not good at is legal advice. I decided it was best to give you all the things that you have been begging for in our communities, and inside of our podcast reviews. Since I am a firm believer in serving, I had the pleasure of bringing Brittany Ratelle into our CEO Teacher® World. Brittany shares all the legal advice and all the things that you need to do when you start your CEO Teacher® business. Please understand that while Brittany is a lawyer, this is not official legal advice, and by reading this post there is no attorney/client relationship.
Brittany describes herself as an attorney for creative entrepreneurs, which is another way to say that she’s helping cool people do cool things. She helps everyone from creatives, to content creators and influencers. She has also worked with people who are thought leaders and have digital products. She has this huge intersection of business owners and entrepreneurship and the new media. Her expertise is being able to help people build and then grow and scale those businesses, expand their reach and serve people.
She has helped hundreds of business owners protect and grow their brands by understanding the legal requirements for an online business and has worked with Sharon Says So, Bravery Magazine, Bucket List Family, and many others. With a background in PR, marketing, and law, Brittany helps modern creative businesses navigate the digital landscape without losing their minds (or sense of humor). She believes in the power of cute office supplies AND good contracts and hosts a weekly podcast, Creative Counsel for Entrepreneurs, with business tips and inspiring founder stories from successful creative entrepreneurs. She also runs an e-commerce shop selling DIY legal resources called Creative Contracts.
Although Brittany has helped some hugely influential people, she really wanted our CEO Teachers® to understand the legalities of their business. I now have a whole legal team for the CEO Teacher® that we can ask questions and get their advice. But when I was first starting out, I really thought none of that would ever happen to me. So I chose not to worry about any of it. And let me be the first to say that is such a bad mentality to have when you're starting a business.
Brittany recommends a healthy spectrum of incorporating legal requirements for an online business. We don't want to live in the extremes. One of those extremes is the entrepreneur who says, “I'll be fine, I see other people doing it. I'm just going to go with it.” And the legal aspect of their business is literally not even on the radar. Brittany says when you live in this extreme you're treating an attorney as risk management and conflict management in general. And the legal team is becoming an ER doctor instead of a yoga teacher or someone who you check in with to stay healthy. In business, you are better served when you can come up with a plan and check the boxes as you grow. And as you migrate and hit new milestones how do you legally grow your business in a healthy way?
And the other end of the spectrum is people who are too afraid and almost get paralyzed and overwhelmed by thinking everything has to be in line. “I have to have all my ducks in a row. I have to have everything trademarked right from the get-go. I have to spend a lot of money and get everything custom drafted.”
Brittany says that's just not the case. There's a really happy middle, in terms of things you can do on your own. You can research things that you should be hiring out and then find good solid templates that you can use online. Making room and just knowing that when you're wearing that CEO Teacher® hat that accounting and legal and compliance and HR is just something that you have to deal with and make space for in your budget. That's just part of being a grown-up business owner.
When you step into the role of the business owner and you think of yourself having an actual business, all of the legal is a no-brainer. Is it overwhelming? Yes. I like legal stuff as much as I like math, which is not at all. I'm really bad at it, but I've gained the confidence over the last few years to be able to have this conversation. I think a few years ago, I wouldn't even have been able to chat with Brittany about the legal side because I had absolutely no idea of where to start. So if you're a teacher reading this, or just getting started, whether selling your teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers or your own website, get ready to take some notes.
Brittany gave some concrete tips for staying compliant with your resource creation. Step one would be to make sure that you're not using other people's resources. She recommends checking your name and your content with at least an initial Google search. In the legal world, they call this a knockout trademark search. It's a quick one. There is a more comprehensive trademark search, which is what you would hire a trademark attorney to help you with. And that makes more sense if you have the budget or if you're really ready to move forward with a trademark.
There are two parts to checking your content against the legal requirements for an online business. Google your name and what you're thinking about for your business name. Check for different spellings, check for different pluralities. If it's two words, for example, “inspired teacher”, look for teachers inspired, look for an inspirational teacher and then go way past Google and see who else is using it. If you are using a pretty generic, descriptive name, that's common in your industry, you're going to find a lot of things. Brittany says that's not to say it’s an awful idea, but just know that it may not be a brand that you're going to be able to build and protect. Because If it's something that a lot of other people use, you can use it, but so can everyone else.
The second place to look for your name or business name according to Brittany is the electronic search system for a trademark and it's called trademark test. So if you Google the trademark test you'll see the .GOV result. That's how you know it's a legitimate government website. Anytime that you're doing startup law stuff you want the .GOV site.
Brittany also cautions; there are a lot of people who will pay a lot of money to serve you up Ads and services that you don't necessarily need. From setting up your LIC, LLC, trademark, to getting your EIN. Brittany’s quick tip, make sure you go to a .GOV, that's the actual government website. And if you land on there and it looks like a nineties ghetto database, you're in the right spot. If it looks too slick and easy to use, that's someone else who's paying. Someone who would actually invest in user design and whatnot, according to Brittany that's clearly not the US government. It can give you a false sense of clearance confidence. If you go in there and put Starbucks with two S's at the end, it will say zero results. So Brittany recommends both the Google search and .GOV database searches to give you a clearer (although not complete) picture.
She did want to point out that she would never recommend starting a coffee company with Starbucks in the name by adding two ‘S’ or a teaching company that has any part of their name or logo in it. You would get a cease and desist faster than you can say, Sleepless in Seattle. So you need to be careful there because the law says trademarks are to protect consumers and we want to make sure consumers don't get confused. So not only can you not be an exact match to another existing trademark, you can't even be in the same neighborhood. Brittany was clear in painting out that you need to be distinguished enough so that a normal Joe on the street wouldn't be confused and think that you guys are related and are selling similar things.
I absolutely love that she broke it down into basic terms. You don't even want to be in the neighborhood. And I think that's where a lot of people when they're first starting off, get confused. We have this wonderful idea. And we're the first person that had ever thought of it before or so we think, and then we do a quick Google search and realize that, uh-oh, someone else has already thought of it before. But we think it's a little bit different. So if we just change it up a little we’ll be OK. I'm going to use my trademark as an example, just because I can speak on it. It's the CEO Teacher®. So I asked Brittany what that would look like as if someone wanted to create a trademark or create a business called Teacher CEO.
If you were searching and if you were Brittany’s client, and asking about legal requirements for an online business she would recommend looking for a CEO Teacher®. We're going to look for CEO Teachers®. Keep searching and looking for teaching CEOs. And there might be some analysis there, as well, there is a teaching CEO, but it's for teaching people who are practitioners in a different element. And then she might have to dig a bit deeper and say, well, what are they selling? Are the goods the same and related?
There are many different layers to trademark. That's why you pay trademark attorneys. It is because this is an art, not a science of knowing how close is too close. You should ask what's the risk management with moving forward? How much do you want to invest in your brand in terms of buying the domain and the website and doing the branding and the launch of the program, only to find out six months down the line, ‘Houston we have a problem’, which is how trademark laws are and how long the process can take.
Brittany stated very clearly, to at least do the clearance test process, just make sure that you're checking on names and products. And if you're in the teaching space check TPT, your ideas and names shouldn't be on TPT. If someone else already has that, she asks that you please pick a different name, or make it different, then go check on Etsy. Those are going to be easy ones right out of the park, so make sure that it's not in another marketplace that's going to be a direct competitor in terms of people searching and trying to find you.
The strongest brand names are going to be made of made-up words. That's why drug companies make up words like Cymbalta. It's a made-up portion of two words, which makes it a great trademark. Next on Brittany’s list of trademarkable terms are arbitrary, real words, that don't have anything to do with what you are selling. Think about Apple for computers or Sprint, which is suggestive. It makes you think of fast communications, but it doesn't come out and say it. The weakest trademarks, according to Brittany, the hardest ones to protect and grow are descriptive, when we are just describing exactly what we do.
She understands that from a marketing perspective, it's dance because you want people to know what you're selling and what business you're in, but the more creative, the more outside the box, the more clever you can make your name, the stronger of a brand name it's going to be. You know we love book recommendations here at the CEO Teacher® and Brittany recommends when you are working on naming stuff to read Hello~ My Name Is Awesome by Alexandra Watkins. It takes you through the process of coming up with ideas and names for your business.
And this could work for your overall brand name or for individual product or membership names too. It’s good to think about those larger products you can trademark down the line. Brittany has done that for some of her teacher clients. They have decided on a brand name. And then also trademarked a collection, or product line because they have a whole group of things that they’re selling under an umbrella term and expanding from there. Brittany says the first priority would be brand your name because that's what's going to be the hub or the main umbrella. And then underneath that, you might have and sell different products that fall under your pillars.
She also mentions that you could trademark the logo. The logos are separate trademark filing. Brittany feels that logos are usually more important if you have a physical product business. You may have one when you sell some sort of digital product, but they're usually not a branding anchor. According to Brittany, “It's not like people are like yup, that cute little caterpillar with the leaf coming out. That's the one, that's what I'm going to buy.” The logos are really important to graphic designers, but you may need to ask yourself how important the logo is in expanding your reach and making sure people know who you are.
Slogans are another similar item that can be trademarked. Brittany chatted about protecting an entire framework too. Copyright is the tool for content so you can register and protect the copyright for a book, an e-book, or a whole online course and it protects all the stuff that you've made, but in terms of protecting the specific name, a trademark is the better tool for that. She recommends using an acronym to protect your framework with a trademarked name.
And even though my trademarked brand (which is framed on my wall) is one of my proudest moments in business, before I ever thought about a trademark, I had to get an LLC. So what are Brittany’s recommendations for forming an LLC first? She does recommend an LLC if you're pretty sure that you're going to move forward and this is a plan that you have to make money and you're going to be making more than $600 a year, which the IRS considers you a business either way.
She does sometimes get pushback from people who don’t feel they are making a lot of money yet. Enough to justify the LLC. Or they live in California, they're crazy expensive in California because they charge some random additional amount. She does still recommend an LLC. If you do nothing special, you are considered a sole proprietorship. Brittany says that's like the Time’s New Roman font. If you do nothing, your Times New Roman, you're a sole proprietorship. If you want to register and have that liability protection, which is where you are putting a fence in between your personal assets and your business assets, an LLC is usually the cheapest, flexible, easiest vehicle to do that. LLC literally stands for Limited Liability Company. They are always done at the state level. And so to get one and get one set up, Brittany usually recommends people DIY one because it's honestly not that challenging to do.
Yes, you can pay attorneys to do it, or you go on your state secretary of commerce websites or a secretary of state. Brittany says if you Google your state LLC, look for the .GOV, that's going to be the legitimate one that pulls up. It's going to ask you a bunch of questions. You're going to fill out the answers. Pay your fees. Usually around a hundred bucks and it's going to spit out some documents and you have an LLC.
One of them will have a state seal on it that you would take along with your tax ID number to the bank to set up a new bank account in the name of your business. And that's generally the order that she recommends doing: set up your LLC, set up your tax ID number, sometimes called your EIN. They're interchangeable. You get that from the IRS website and then take both of those documents to the bank. And that's when you'll set up your business accounts. Because setting up a separate bank account is a really important step to preserve liability protection because it's showing to the world, Hey, I'm running this as a business. So if you have a problem with the business, they can only stay in the business, not personal finances.
Brittany says, “The Titanic doors are going to come down. It's like those engine rooms when there's a flood, the doors come down, it seals it up. So that room can flood. And that's what a lawsuit would do to your business. They could get at what's at the business, but they couldn't get to anything else. They couldn't get to your personal assets or what's in your house or your car, or you own with your spouse. LLCs are really important, really critical. Although not all businesses have equal risk management of getting sued. It's always more of a pain, the longer you wait. If you wait to set up your LLC, you may wake up at a moment and be like, oh no, someone needs this information.”
Yes, you'll have to redo all your contracts and all your payment processing platforms, Stripe, PayPal, etc. It's just, it's a pain to have to go back and kind of re-setup the whole system. And so for the best foundation, Brittany recommends doing the LLC first. And I can speak to how much of a pain that is. If you hear nothing else or take away nothing else from this post~ please, please get yourself an LLC.
I love the steps that Brittany gave. They were so clear and linear.
Because I don't even want to tell you when I finally did that, it is embarrassing. But it's made my life significantly better. But I had to backtrack in Stripe and in PayPal because I didn't have any of that set up when I first started. So it was a personal account that I had to move over to a business account nightmare.
And Brittany says it's a nightmare, And it happens ALL-THE-TIME. Brittany is all about teaching and educating and moving forward. We're going to be like Maya Angelo, when we know better, we do better. Such a voice of reason, she said there is no room for embarrassment or shame because all of us are learning new things all the time as entrepreneurs. That's what's awesome about the process. Learning about the legal requirements for an online business is just one part of starting an online business. And if you don't like learning new things, then entrepreneurship might not be for you.
One other tip Brittany mentioned is that if you are working from home, which a lot of us are, obviously, especially if you're a teacher or you have a virtual-based business and you don't want your home address listed publicly. LLC filings are public filings. Get yourself a commercial registered agent. You pay around $60 a year. She said just Google it and find someone who does it in your state. It’s called a commercial registered agent and you get either a P.O. Box or a virtual mailbox. They both have pros and cons in terms of expense. Brittany likes virtual mailboxes because they scan and email your mail to you. They have a regular street address, so they don't scream P.O. Box. They look more legit, more official because it looks just like a regular office street address. Use one of those options for your LLC filing, and then no one can then go back and find out from your LLC where you actually live.
You'd be surprised how many people's home and personal addresses Brittany has been able to find because she will look up their LLC. Especially people who are public figures who really should not have that listed online. Brittany implores you: please don't put that information online.
It’s one more thing that seems so trivial, but where this would really impact you as well is with your email. If you're using a Convert Kit or Active Campaign, really any kind of commercial Email provider, you have to give a physical address. So you may not even realize that when you gave them all of your information for your credit card or whatever that you gave your private, your personal address. And then you send an email out to thousands of people that at the very bottom has your personal address, in the fine print. Brittany also mentioned that if you are told you can just make up an address for the emails, you cannot, it is in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. So you're in violation of email marketing law. Brittany says, “So please don't do that either. Don't just make up an address. 123 Supercalifragilistic Lane is in violation of the law.”
It's really handy to have a PO box or a virtual mailbox to give out and to have something that can be a little bit more public, especially for PR purposes. Yes, it costs money. It’s a cost of doing business because remember Brittany tells us it's a grown-up business. Put it in your budget, as part of your byline's expense. Expenses for business have a whole new meaning when they protect you and take care of you legally. Brittany reminds us it's an investment. It's not an expense. It's an investment in peace of mind and security.
Let's take the conversation to copyrights now. I feel like everyone throws this around like we know what we're talking about. It is a dog-eat-dog world out there on Teachers Pay Teachers when it comes to copyright. And I think it's because people are so uneducated on actual legal requirements for an online business. So it's almost like this bullying situation, and I've been a part of it. There are some people that are super legit when it comes to copyright. For example, Dr. Seuss is very serious about using the trademark and anything to do with their business, their intellectual property in their portfolio, and they will patrol the internet and they will come after you. So will Disney.
I always err on the side of caution and I tell my students when in doubt do nothing. So don't try to take an idea and do something with it if there is a question of copyright. However, people are claiming things that may be copyright that isn't and vice versa. Saying something is ‘fair use' when it isn’t. There is really a push and pull on Teachers Pay Teachers that can be very unhealthy. So I knew I wanted to chat with Brittany about this very topic. No one ever really talks about this and it's hard. And with the overarching principle that you can do certain things as an educator in the classroom. You're going to get a broader license to do fair use, meaning using copyrighted materials as an educator in a classroom. There's a well-established exemption for that kind of creation.
If you are in the business of creating curriculum, you are running a grown-up business now, and there are different rules and you need to understand you're playing a different game. That is the secret right there! There's a completely different playing field when you're teaching your students and using all of these things in your classroom. Those items all fall under fair use, and it is different from when you're selling these things online. 100% different.
Brittany was a wealth of information when we chatted about this controversial topic. It can be super difficult to say how close is too close. And what is the line between being ‘inspired by’ and copycatting? What a sampling and what is a ripoff. And so you have to be careful here. And the moral of the story is if you don't have the time or the money, or don't want the stress of having to wade into that realm, then you have to be as clean as you can in your content creation and content curation processes. That means that you go for a wide influence as you're creating content, text, audio, video, illustrations, clip art, all of it, and try, really try to avoid being too siloed.
This is the same advice she gives to people who are illustrators and graphic designers. If you find yourself consuming the same sort of media again and again. Watching too much Etsy or Pinterest, your work is likely going to get pretty siloed and probably be pretty close to someone else's. Brittany says, “so put the laptop away, go outside and go for a walk, go for inspiration outside of your industry.”
I always tell our students to find 10 different things that they love that could inspire them. Look at all of them, study all of them, close them all out, go away, come back the next day. And then start the creation process because we are so easily influenced. To the point where we see so much media that we don't even realize that we've copied someone else because we've been hit with so many things since then.
Most large platforms like Teachers Pay Teachers have a procedure set out. It’s typically a DMCA take-down procedure. The DMCA is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. According to Brittany, it's the law that says, ‘Hey, online providers, we get that you're in a tough place. You are serving as a platform and letting other people use your site to sell things and buy things and post things. And you can't monitor all of that. But your obligation is that if someone comes to you and says, Hey, I think there's been copyright or trademark infringement on here. You have to do something about it. And if you don't, then you're liable.’
You have to understand the perspective of Etsy or eBay or TPT is that they're trying to do the best they can. But a lot of times the team that's reviewing these claims is their customer service compliance department. They're not lawyers and they're not making a legal call, but more of a judgment call. Brittany says they're trying to protect the whole platform from getting in trouble and having fines. The first inquiry they make about a resource might be how close is close? The copyright test comes down to substantial similarities. And that's where you can say how much it looks like another resource? How much did you copy? Brittany says If you have a whole book that has 90% of a Harry Potter book, that's going to be clear copyright infringement.
However, if you have a resource that has a line from there or even a paragraph in different places, proportionally yes, it's some of the content, but it's not the whole enchilada. The part that gets tougher about curriculum resources, in particular, is that we're trying to decide how much is an original work of creative authorship, which is what copyright or law protects. Things have to be new and fresh and have enough creative, artistic juice in them to receive copyright protection. And how much is functional. Functional things are like charts and lists of ingredients. Really the designs of things that are just functional, basically how we describe information. Those traditionally do not get copyright protection when it comes to legal requirements for an online business.
Brittany says even graphic design layouts sometimes have a hard time getting copyright protection because it's a template. They put stars and a couple of boxes in some lines, that's not per se break breaking new ground. Brittany definitely points out this isn't throwing shade on graphic designers because it’s a really useful job and a hard job to do. But in terms of what gets copyright protection, the test is to look at how much is the same and what the average consumer, not having any training in this particular industry, thinks that these come from the same source.
Brittany finds, especially when it comes to copyright and trademark law, there's the legal line where we should and should not step over. There are ethical hedges on either side she says. And you have to decide as a grown-up business owner, as someone who's in the community and industry, what feels good and in alignment with your values. In terms of integrity and where your beliefs meet your actions, know that just because something is legal or not, you might be able to get away with it or say, well, it's technically not copying, is it ethical? Brittany says to ask yourself, “How does that sit with you? And is that how you want to show up to your colleagues and to your customers?”
I loved all of her questions to ask yourself as a CEO Teacher®. How does it make you feel in terms of your mission? I know a lot of teachers when they're first getting started, if they were to receive a DMCA takedown letter would give up. They get frustrated and they're really scared and nervous, and take it as a sign to quit. I love that Brittany tells us it is just Teachers Pay Teachers doing their job. This is their grown-up business. They run a very large marketplace that is impossible to police. And so there are going to be times where they just pass along the takedown and it's not warranted at all or a hundred percent accurate. You can't take it personally. It probably is one other person policing all of their stuff, which may or may not be warranted. And honestly, you can't take it legally either. Yes, you can use and waste all that energy to fight back and fight back and fight back some more. Or you can kind of take that as a sign that maybe that is not the direction that you want to go. Maybe you want to do something a little bit more original and a little bit more creative.
Brittany says once you let go of this personally attacked ideal and begin to think this is just business you will be able to move forward. And if people come at you, then if it's legit, then continue moving on. If it's not legit, we have to realize that's their karma. It's really nothing to do with you. It's what's going on in their head. This is a problem that pervades anyone who's in the creative arts. Brittany sees this with artists, illustrators, muralists, and hand lettering professionals that she works with. And it can be very challenging to separate your work from you as a person. But you have to learn to put some healthy distance there because as Brittany proclaims; YOU ARE NOT YOUR WORK. You are a super complex, multifaceted human being. And your work is awesome, but it's just one part of you just like the little posts on the gram and tiny squares are only one part of you.
They're not all of you. I love that Brittany said that! My brothers are both attorneys, so I get to hear this from both sides. And they're constantly in my ear, but there was a time when I took things very personally. I received a lot of those DCMA’s to begin with when I started on TPT. And now I don't receive any of them. Honestly, I think it's because it's not something that affects us. We're not going to get worked up about it. We're going to continue what we're doing and, and get behind our purpose and our passion and kind of let that go to the wayside. Talking all about copyright and trademark, it's pretty heavy stuff.
So I asked Brittany for one more little bit of advice about knowing how to know that this is important, but it shouldn’t take up all of our business energy. According to Brittany, here's your plan for when you get ripped off. And she prefaced this can be on either side. Whether you're being accused of copying someone or whether it happens to you and someone rips off your work and it's kind of your battle plan.
Brittany says your response should be different based on what you want. But it's good to pause and think about what you really want to happen going forward and the legal requirements for an online business? Brittany has had people who have had their work ripped off by other companies. They walked into a TJ Maxx and saw their work on a pillow. And Brittany has reached out to the organization on their behalf and said we think there was a misunderstanding here. That's a nicer way of saying ‘you ripped off my client’. And by the end of it, there was a licensing deal. And now her client is getting their money. Plus, there was a new deal made and a new relationship formed going forward. So it's just good to keep an open mind about what you want in the end.
Brittany says something as simple as “I have noticed some similarities here between our work or I am seeing a lot of similarities between these two products. These collections are these trademarked names? What do we think we can do here to be more distinctive? So we can both serve our audiences in a way that allows us both to continue?” Brittany has an abundance mindset about this. She doesn't believe it has to be a zero-sum game. She doesn’t believe that it's one or the other, but she does think that maybe your marketing and branding need to change. That's opening up a different discussion and if that doesn't work, then yes, you can proceed to the DMCA takedown or the cease and desist letter. Then it moves to mediation and arbitration litigation.
She wanted us to note that nowhere in the battle plan, did she suggest going on social media and blaming somebody! She wants you to be very intentional and thoughtful about that tool (social media). If you rant and rail on social media you may really regret it later when you have more facts about the situation. You both may have legitimately come up with things at the same time, which is a real phenomenon. It’s called parallel discovery. And according to Brittany, it happens in science and the creative arts all the time. Basically, it means everyone's talking about plants because they are hot right now. So the fact that you came up with a curriculum that has a Mr. Happy plant guy and so did three others on social media at the exact same time, that can actually happen. And it doesn't necessarily mean that either has copied the other ones.
One last HUGE piece of content that we chatted about was teachers being worried about their school districts claiming their curriculum. Most teacher contracts that Brittany has seen don't talk about personal curriculum development. Nor do they have a really broad ‘work for hire’ language. (Double-check yours, or have a lawyer help). Brittany says she thinks teachers are going to be pretty safe there, especially if they're being careful of doing it on their own time, on their own equipment. Especially if they're doing it in the summers or off-seasons and you weren't hired in any kind of curriculum development position.
If you were hired as a curriculum development specialist or if that's part of your job title or maybe got added on, or you got a bonus for creation it is a different conversation. It may not be a bad idea to have your school district sign some sort of intellectual property assignment form. Basically, that just clarifies, you as the teacher, are involved in creating the curriculum on your own time. Again, it would state that the teacher and the school district are just clarifying roles. None of your intellectual content belongs to the district. You own all the rights to anything you create outside of school hours and then you and the district would both sign it. That would just clear, any kind of misunderstanding that could happen down the line.
Brittany has written a couple of those for some teachers and it's given them a lot of peace because they have been worried. Not talking about their TPT site to people, or not putting their face with their name on there because they didn't want to get back to their school and their district. Brittany says, “That's weird because you shouldn't be worried. You should be able to just promote and market your business and not be in this weird legal limbo.”
I am so thankful that Brittany was able to shed some light on this hot topic of copyright, trademark, intellectual property, and setting up a grown-up business legally from the start. She also helps creatives in a few other ways. She does offer legal services. And the other way that she serves and helps people, especially those that are starting entrepreneurs is through her legal templates. If you have a more limited budget, or just need something to get started and get going templates are the key. She offers everything from a website legal bundle, which has all the stuff you need to get the footer of your website legit. Items like Privacy terms, and GDPR compliance, etc.
She offers digital product terms or online course terms, even independent contractor agreements. Templates that you fill out and hand to a freelancer, VA or a graphic designer or a photographer, someone who's doing things for your business. These templates are going to make sure that all of that cool intellectual property that they're creating is going to be assigned to you. This is especially helpful for people who are creating curriculum. Brittany says if you're not doing your artwork yourself if you are doing the content and the copy for it, but want someone else to do the other part. Or you're growing to that part in your business, make sure you have all the rights to the content creation. Make sure that's all clear and proper with legal templates.
If you are looking for more information on legal requirements for an online business and how to start check out these articles.
I know you are going to want to follow Brittany and learn how to get “legally legit”! Brittany lives with her hunky husband and four kiddos in her beautiful hometown of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho but has clients all over the US. You can follow her on Instagram at @brittanyratelle or schedule a 1:1 consultation on her website https://brittanyratelle.com/ and find out all the detailed legal requirements for an online business.