While there are definite perks to leaving the corporate world behind and striking out on your own as a freelancer, you may soon begin to miss all of the aspects of running a business that were covered by other professionals in the office, such as marketing, sales, and legal services.
As a contract worker you get to be your own boss, but you are also responsible for meeting the legal requirements of your position, such as making actual contracts and filing business taxes. So if you find yourself floundering under the mountain of hats you have been forced to wear, here are just a few legal resources that could help you to stay afloat.
1. Business Attorney
This can be a major expense for the average contract worker, but it may be well worth the initial expense to get legal advice and create contracts up-front as a means of avoiding legal problems down the road. And if you find yourself in hot water, it’s certainly nice to have an attorney on speed dial that knows your name.
By the way, any legal fees related to your business, including those for legal advice and consulting, may be eligible for deduction on your taxes.
While your CPA can’t give you legal advice on most issues, he is bound to be well aware of tax laws pertaining to freelancers, especially if you seek out a tax prep specialist that caters to contract professionals such as yourself. Of particular interest to any freelancer are areas like deductions and estimated quarterly taxes, amongst other things, so you’ll certainly want to find an accountant that is well versed in related laws.
LawGuru.com is not specifically for freelancers, but it can certainly be applied to your particular needs. Started by two California attorneys keen to offer simple legal information to anyone who wanted it, the website has since evolved into a legal forum where those seeking advice can ask targeted questions and receive answers from a panel of lawyers for free.
Of course, you also have the option to pay a small fee in order to receive an answer from an attorney in your area that is familiar with your specific legal question.
If what you’re really looking for is not the advice of a Los Angeles contract dispute attorney or an Atlanta injury lawyer, but rather the legal documents that will help to ensure you don’t need the services of these costly professionals, a good place to get started is docracy.com.
This website is devoted to providing free legal documents (or at least templates) to freelancers like yourself. So whether you’re looking for a basic client contract, a copyright form, or some other type of legal document required to run your business, this is a great place to find it.
Although you can find scads of legal documents online, you’re not a lawyer. So you don’t want to rely on your limited legal prowess to craft contracts that suit the needs of your business and cover you in case of disputes. And furthermore, the cumbersome process of sending paperwork back and forth could lose you jobs in the meantime.
Instead, consider using the paperless resources provided by ContractPal, a web-based company that provides you with the documentation you need and offers easy, efficient, and secure delivery options that are performed entirely online.
Taking advantages of these legal resources will help you save time and money, and hopefully legal fees. Of course, as mentioned before, if you’re not sure about the needs of your business and don’t want to tread on water, seek out the help of a professional that can help you craft up the documents, contracts or tax forms that you require. While this may be the more expensive route, it could also be the safer one to take.
Filed under: Freelancing
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!