Pushing Through The Fear of Legal Requirements for Starting a BusinessSep 18, 2023
Last week, we tackled the most recent boogeyman in the bookkeeping world: artificial intelligence. This week, I want to explore one that’s been around a whole lot longer—one that spooks bookkeepers and other online entrepreneurs alike.
If a shiver ran down your spine just from reading that word, good news—this post is for you. And by the end of it, you’ll have access to a tool you can use to find the answers to the legal requirement questions that have been haunting you since you decided to start your own business.
This tool is the brainchild of Bobby Klinck, my go-to online (and Harvard-educated!) lawyer!
I'm excited to have Bobby here to chat about legal requirements with us. So without further ado, let’s start untangling the intimidating knot that is the legal requirements of online business!
How I Met My Lawyer
Bobby is a lawyer that I've been following since around 2018, when I first dipped my toe into the online space.
I was actually searching for webinar software, and I started getting targeted ads for business webinars. That’s when I saw an ad for Bobby’s stuff about legal requirements.
At the time, I was interested in educating entrepreneurs about the number side, but I thought, “Let me see what he's doing with legal requirements.”
So I went down that marketing rabbit hole of watching Bobby’s webinar, which then led to buying his templates, and I’ve been watching him in this space ever since, getting to watch what was already good become great.
One of the things that I'm most drawn to and makes it so easy to share the stuff that Bobby does is that he leads with no B.S. We’re both straight shooters talking about the important stuff in a way that addresses what needs to be addressed without making it scary and intimidating.
Legal requirements for starting a business can be demystified, which is good, because while they definitely can be scary and daunting, it's also really important that you get them under control. So let’s hear what Bobby has to say.
Loosey-Goosey or Analysis Paralysis
Katie: I’m super excited to talk about what you have to offer for figuring out legal requirements, Bobby, because the online industry as a whole desperately needs it.
Bookkeepers need it. Coaches need it. Any online entrepreneur needs it, because people usually aren’t going to say, “Okay, law and tax are complicated, so I'm not going to start a business.” They often start anyway without looking too deeply into the legal requirements, which won’t really serve them in the long run.
But what's interesting is, people will still succeed despite themselves. Even without doing their legal requirement homework, they’ll succeed for quite a while, then eventually get to a point where that mess can become really problematic.
It doesn't have to be that way. You can get the information about legal requirements and the solutions you need in your hand early. It’s always better for you to take legal requirements seriously, but not so seriously that you swing to the other side of the pendulum and stay paralyzed forever because you’re so intimidated by getting your legal ducks in a row.
Bobby: Exactly. The people we talk to fall into one of two camps. Either they are the people who actually were paralyzed by fear, so they didn’t even put out their open sign because they were worried about legal requirement stuff, or they’re the people I call the hustlers. They just went out and built a business. They didn't think about any of the back-end stuff. They probably mixed personal expenses and business expenses all in one. They didn’t think about any kind of structures. They didn't think about legal requirement stuff at all, and yet, they succeeded.
Luckily, both of them can definitely benefit from this resource of ours.
It's interesting that you talk about how online business specifically need this, because when opening a traditional brick-and-mortar business, you have to have a capital investment of some sort. So you probably have some budget to talk to a lawyer about legal requirements for starting a business. Whereas a lot of the appeal of starting businesses in the online space is you don't really need that same capital, so you haven’t put aside the funds to consult a lawyer in the same way.
It’s interesting that this new freedom actually creates a whole set of problems and opens a whole can of worms when it comes to things like tax, bookkeeping, and legal requirements.
Katie: Yeah. And you either get it under control early, or you get caught early enough to get it under control, with any luck.
Getting Caught Isn’t The Metric By Which We Measure Morality
Katie: Speaking of getting caught, another interesting thing about the two camps—the ones that are paralyzed and the ones that move borderline recklessly—is that the ones that move recklessly have a lower “got caught and got screwed for it” rate. Or at least, they don't talk about it.
I find that in tax, people tend to get terrible tax advice from people who are breaking the tax laws with really aggressive deductions or not doing things they should. And because they’ve never gotten caught, they think it’s good advice.
Just because they haven’t been caught doesn't make it right—and just because they haven’t gotten caught yet doesn’t mean they never will. Either way, they can't give that advice to somebody who has a very low risk threshold, because they're the more likely ones to get caught the first time that they do something wrong just because of how things shake out unfairly sometimes.
With both tax and legal requirements, if you wait to try and “get them right” until you're already running a big operation, it gets so much harder.
Legal is Not a Dirty Word
Katie: My point in saying that is for those of you who are still in the early stages, it may feel daunting now, but practically, it's easy to get into a resource like this. It can be done in a day; it’s bite-sized, which means you could drip it, but you could also binge it.
So you can get through it in a day, you can get these things set up the best that you can given the resources that you have today, you will succeed without having to rebuild the foundation later, and you will absolutely be thanking yourself for it later on.
So, as I mentioned earlier, I first discovered Bobby through his webinar and by purchasing his templates. Well, now he’s moving from doing templates as a template library to actually creating a software called Plainly Legal. And to kick that launch off, he’s going to be hosting a free online course called “Legal is Not a Dirty Word.”
You can access this course for free through September 26th, 2023; if you’re reading this prior to September 20th, 2023, get in there quickly, because you’ll be able to demo the software on that date.
You can get through this in one sitting if you like; it's just dripped content in case you don't have the mental or emotional capacity to look at legal for too long. The course is comprised of a series of two-minute clips. They're super concise.
You can also download the course guide, which provides visually appealing, easy-to-digest answers to all of the questions in your head about legal.
Honestly, this event should be for sale for the same cost as the template library, because it's great content. And you get it totally free.
For anyone who's listening who's a bookkeeper, you're especially going to love it, because the guide is echoing what we say. It talks about forming the LLC. It mentions S Corps. It talks about separating your business and your personal bank accounts. Someone else is finally saying it too, so our job is now going to be easier.
Anyway, this guide is amazing, because what makes some of this stuff so difficult is how overwhelmed people allow themselves to feel without even looking at the solutions. Because if they just forced themselves to look, they’d see the solutions are not that overwhelming.
When you can look at what you're afraid of and get the answer, you can put the pieces together so that you can breathe and move forward with your business in a way that can actually survive.
Legal is a foundational thing, and if you do it early, you'll be so grateful that you never have to go back and undo it. And even if you run into moments where you realize you should have done something differently, you'll be in much better position to adjust moving forward.
So when you get this guide, your nervous system will immediately begin to calm. It’s so easy to digest, it even has pictures. It also has a big, loud table of contents that shows you the things you're worried about that will be covered within, such as Setting Up Your Business Foundations, Website Setup 101, Branding And Trademarks, Creating Content Without A Court Date, Getting It In Writing, Marketing And Advertising Messages, Assembling Your A-Team, and The Great Legal Wrap Up.
We can handle that, right?
This can't be a free resource for life—it’s honestly too good—so take advantage of it during this time.
If you’re scrolling through my blog and you discover this a year removed, just follow the link to my coaching page below, scroll down to the resources section, and I should have something there on how you can find this.
But for now, if you've opted into this offer and you haven't gotten into it, this is your sign: it’s time to get in. You will get the answers to your questions, and you'll know what to do next.
Don't let it be daunting or scary. Just click the button right away after you opt in, and you'll immediately start to see what it is and how user-friendly it is.
Bobby: And once you sign up, if you think it's going to be daunting, just go to the five essential legal steps and watch the first video of the one that applies to you.
My belief is that once you watch a single video, you will immediately know you can do this, because it’ll show you that this isn’t that complicated. Don’t let the fear of legal stuff be the reason you're not building the business that you should be building in the world.
Check out Bobby’s amazing free resource, Legal Is Not a Dirty Word, NOW before it expires on 9/26! Take it from someone who is overwhelmed by legal–this is a no-BS, bite-sized, bingeable resource that will give you the peace of mind to finally stop letting legal stand in your way! Sign up now: https://plainlylegal.com/event/?ref=katelynferro
If you missed the event, check out my coaching page and scroll down to the “Resources” section: https://www.katieferro.com/coaching
If you're looking for more tips for bookkeeping, insight on how to become a bookkeeper, and how to say hello to a more confident business model, enroll in Become A Bookkeeper (BABs).
To learn about the programs and get a peek behind the curtain, head to www.katieferro.com/6-secrets.
Learn how to take your bookkeeping skills and turn them into a business that allows you to replace (or surpass) your corporate salary, be present for your life, and profoundly impact your clients without selling your life in the process by joining Life by the Books (LIBBY).
Get access to my monthly Tech Talks: www.katieferro.com/tech-talks
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