No matter your area or business of choice; from a sole proprietor, to small business or fortune 500 company in the making – it does not take an money expert to know that being properly setup and protected as a business and company is vital to your long term success should anything “sour” or “bitter” come your way.
Once you start making money online, it will become essential that you protect yourself and your business through various legal processes. Just because your business online doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect what you’ve built.
Many of us are quick to the trigger when asking how to make money but many of us are not even to that point yet in our business. The longevity of your business could come down to whether or not you have some form of incorporation going on.
Registering an LLC
The first step to protecting yourself is to create an LLC to separate your business finances from your personal finances. Registering an LLC is actually a very simple process and you can file an LLC in any state in the United States.
Once you pick what state you’d like to register your LLC in, you can go to that state’s official website and download the forms needed to file the LLC. In addition, you’ll likely have to be a nominal fee to file and register your business in that state.
If you want to save some time, there are several online services like LegalZoom that can create an LLC for you. Your attorney or accountant can probably create an LLC for you as well.
Even if you wanted to dabble into online network marketing as a way to generate supplement income – it would be wise and in your best interest to get setup the right way from the start.
Business Bank Accounts
Creating a separate bank account/PayPal account/other online payment accounts will be essential. The IRS and your state’s tax bureau are not going to be happy come tax time if you have mixed all of your business money with your personal money.
Keep your business account separate from your personal account and write yourself a check when you need to be paid. It will protect you come tax time and in the event you get sued.
Basic Website Legal Steps to Follow
Changing Website Ownership
After you register your LLC and receive the official paperwork back from the state saying your LLC has been officially created, you should start changing website and other online properties from your personal control into the business’ control.
This will prevent anybody from coming after you personally if something happens to your website. Again, this is just to protect you and separate your business from you personally.
Even as a prime example, network marketing companies and businesses are always setup before they launch their products, services, and opportunities.
When in doubt – ask a lawyer
If you treat an online business like a regular business, you should have no legal troubles whatsoever. However, the Internet is a changing landscape and new ideas and developments occur every day. If you’re unsure whether or not about how to make money online, then make sure you get advice from an expert business coach. They will know if something is illegal or whether or not it might have legal ramifications, but it is smart to consult with a lawyer or attorney if need be. This will protect you and ensure that your online business runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.