As the year wraps up, here are a few things you’ll want to check on with your Website attorney and CPA before the holidays hit. Be nice to yourself by doing these so you don’t end up on someone’s naughty Internet business list.
1. Did you update your website legal documents to accurately reflect your privacy policies, current business address and contact information, and designate your DMCA agent?
2. Did you observe business entity formalities to protect yourself from personal liability? If a corporation, did you keep corporate minutes and resolutions? Did you hold board of directors and shareholder meetings? Did you issue shares? If a limited liability company, did you update your membership agreement and keep written records of major business decisions?
3. If you set up your business entity in one state but are running all of your operations in another state, did you qualify to do business in the state where you’re actually running everything?
4. Did you get your tax status set up correctly or updated to reflect changing circumstances? Sales tax ID? W-9s and W-8BENs from your affiliates? TIN/EIN?
5. Did you register your copyrights and trademarks to protect them?
6. If you’re doing business using an assumed name (a.k.a. DBA or fictitious name), did you register the name?
7. Did you protect your privacy by removing all online references to your home address and personal phone numbers? Did you go through your social media (Facebook etc.) and delete pictures and text that portrays you in a negative light?
8. Did you put written agreements in place for any freelancing your doing or projects you’re outsourcing? Did you put a social media policy in place for your business to protect yourself from rogue employees or independent contractors?
9. Have you made your end-of-the-year business purchases that you can write off as office expenses? Talked with your accountant about ways to slash your taxes for this year and next?
10. Did you check the Web using Copyscape.com or a similar service to see if someone’s been stealing your content and re-using on their sites without your permission? Have you check for pirate copies of your stuff on eBay, torrent sites, and usenet groups?
Be sure to discuss any questions you have with your Website attorney and accountant.
To your online success!
-Mike the Website attorney