The legal aspects of starting and running an online business are complex and can be confusing. Every state has its own set of laws that affect businesses, so it’s important to understand the legal implications of operating an online business. Readers who operate their own small businesses as a side hustle or full-time gig might not think about all of the legal implications that go along with being your own boss.
However, it’s important to know what you can and cannot do when starting a business, especially if you plan on eventually hiring employees or franchising your company. This article details some key things every entrepreneur needs to know about operating an online business legally.
If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, this article covers some essential information that you need before diving in head first. Check out these useful tips on keeping yourself safe from legal ramifications while running your own business from home.
What is a DBA?
A DBA, or “doing business as,” is a simple and easy way to avoid the confusion that could arise from having the same name as other businesses in your industry. If you’re planning to start your own business, it’s important to pick a name that’s unique and not too similar to any other companies in your industry.
Depending on what type of business you’re starting, you might run into problems. For example, if you’re planning to open a new salon, you should probably avoid naming it “Salon X” because there might be too much confusion with the “Salon X” that’s been around for 20 years. In such situations, a good way to avoid confusion is to do business as (or “DBA”) the name of your owner or another name that’s unique to you. This makes it clear to customers and businesses that you’re not the same person as someone else in your industry.
Registering Your Company Name and Brand
Before you even think about opening up a business, make sure to register your company name and brand. Trademarking your company name is one of the most important things to do when starting your own business, although it can be a confusing process. If you don’t register your company name and brand, you will likely encounter a lot of problems down the line.
Businesses that don’t have their names trademarked will have to defend against others who might be using a similar name, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars in court fees. It’s important to make sure that no one else is already using your name.
Fortunately, there are websites that can help you check to see if your name is available. If your name is already taken, most websites allow you to “hold” the name until you’ve found an appropriate brand for your company. Once you’ve determined that your name is available for use, you can move on to the trademarking process.
Protecting Your Trademark
Once you’ve picked the perfect name for your company, it’s time to make sure that it’s trademarked. This process can be confusing and frustrating, but it’s something that you need to do if you want to succeed in business. Depending on what type of company you’re starting, you’ll likely to choose one of these two options: You can also go with a “hybrid” trademark, which is essentially a combination of the two.
Knowing Your Computer Crime Laws
If you’re operating a website or other technology-related business, it’s important to know your computer crime laws. While there are some laws that pertain to all businesses, there are also many laws that are specific to the tech or internet industry.
Once you’ve chosen a name and registered your business, the next thing you’ll need to do is file for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for an EIN online and it only takes a few minutes.Once you’ve applied for your EIN and received it, you’ll need to file a “Schedules C, D, and E” for your taxes. Your tax attorney can help you with this but it’s important to know that it’s a necessary part of owning a business.
Hiring Employees in Online Businesses
If you’re running a larger online business, you might need to hire employees at some point. Before hiring employees, you need to be aware of a few legal issues in other words online business laws.
First, you’ll need to decide if you’re hiring independent contractors or employees. Once you’ve decided what type of relationship you’ll have with your employees, you’ll need to decide which type of benefits you’ll provide them. You’ll also need to decide how you’ll set up employment contracts with them.
Once you’ve hired your first employees and are paying them, you’ll need to pay attention to some tax issues. You’ll want to make sure that you’re paying your employees enough to cover their taxes.
Franchising an Online Business
If you’re looking to grow your business and expand into new markets, franchising might be the right choice for you. However, you’ll need to be aware of some legal issues when franchising your business. First, you’ll need to make sure that franchising is allowed in your state.
Some states have laws against franchising, while others have strict rules on what can and cannot be franchised. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re not infringing on anyone’s trademarked name. Since franchising involves expanding your business with new businesses using your name, you’ll want to make sure you’re not violating anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Once you’ve determined that franchising is the right business model for you, you’ll need to make sure your contracts are airtight. You’ll want your franchise contract to be as legally binding as possible.
Owning a business is both challenging and rewarding, but it can also be very stressful. Hopefully, this article has given you a good overview of one of the most important aspects to consider when starting your own business which are online business laws. While there is certainly more to it than this, these are some of the most important things that every entrepreneur needs to know.