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Before you draft that contract or terms and conditions for your freelance or course based business, you need to know these important things! In this episode, I speak with attorney Amy Nesheim, founder of Artful Contracts, where we discuss the legal side of protecting your services and courses legally without the headache!
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About Amy Nesheim
Amy is a lawyer who helps protect creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, and consultants. Amy protects people through taking the guess work out of all the legal side of your creative business, especially so that you can get paid and keep the money that you work so hard to earn.
Protecting Your Online Business
After spending years studying and working as an attorney, Amy saw a big need for small business owners to get access to high quality legal contracts, templates, and resources to legally protect their business from fines and lawsuits. Unlike large organizations, coaches, consultants, and freelancers weren’t able to consult with a large legal department – but still needed guidance on how to prep legal documents such as contracts and adding important legal disclaimers and policies to their website – so they could avoid legal penalties. As a business owner myself, I found that Amy was spot on when describing how hard it is to find information about legal protections, that didn’t make my eyes gloss over because of the overly-technical jargon.
Important Website Protections
Besides setting up your business structure and protecting your assets through an LLC, some other important things we discussed included setting up important protections for the types of relationships you foster as an online business owner – one for website vistors, clients, and students. While I already had experiences drafting and using legal templates for my contracts, I was particularly intrigued by the way Amy described contracts between students and coaching clients for my group coaching programs. Amy recommends having contracts for each type of relationship.
For those that don’t know, I’ve worked in a variety of business models over the years in my business as a freelancer and agency owner – and have had to learn the good, bad, and ugly about trying to trial and error about protecting my business and time effectively through quality contracts. Needless to say, Amy has some incredible insights on the subject, and I honestly wish I had known about her years ago!
Check out some of these other blog articles I wrote about the subject of freelancing, high ticket services, and my journey from freelancer to course creator.
Course Creator Legal Policies
One thing that really struck me was how Amy mentioned that having a terms and conditions policy for your courses and programs was becoming even more important. This is a growing concern among the course creator community, because obviously – you work so hard to create your course, your signature VIP day, or service and you don’t want people to steal your ideas or even resell your product!
Unfortunately, even big time course creators are seeing copycats and downright sleazy people copying courses and even reselling them.
Check out: Elise Darma’s Youtube Video About Copycats
Protecting Your Business Proactively
I’m of the opinion that “better safe, than sorry” is a good expression and that’s certainly the case when Amy and I had our chat. I’ve had bad luck in the past – including the time I got into an accident driving a friend’s car and increasing her insurance premium! Luckily the issue wasn’t pursued and my friend was nice about it- though I never drove her car again. So – ya gotta make sure that your business is protected legally, because not doing so is the equivalent of driving down the freeway WITHOUT CAR INSURANCE. Could you safely drive down the street without an accident? Yup, but the question is – wouldn’t it be safer to have protection?
I mean I’m all for living the fast and fun lifestyle – but there are some things I avoid like the plague – running with scissors, parting my hair in the middle, and working with people WITHOUT a contract.
SUFFICE to say – I’d rather be protected in my business and I’m glad Amy’s out there to help.