How to Start A Freelance Business
Lifestyle | Self Help

How To Start A Freelance Business – Part 2

Chapter 3 The Legal Stuff; Taxes, Ethics, And Contracts

Chapter 3 The Legal Stuff; Taxes, Ethics, And Contracts

The legal stuff is boring. There, we said it, so you do not have to! It can be confusing and tedious and, truthfully, reading legal advice can be a great precursor to a nap. Nevertheless, it is so incredibly important to make sure that your business is acting legally. While understanding the legal elements of freelance work can be a headache now, it is nothing compared to how you would be feeling if you found yourself in trouble.

When starting a freelance business, one of the things that you will need to become familiar with is the legal requirements for your industry; but also, for the region that you live in.

Although, here is a disclaimer: this eBook is not providing legal advice. It will be giving some guidelines of things to think about, but it is not an exhaustive list. The laws and regulations differ from place to place, so you must do your research properly.


The legal components that are applicable to freelance businesses differ from state to state so you must do your research thoroughly. But, in general, you will need to consider registering for taxes and business registration— including company structure and ownership. You may also need to take out additional insurance. If you plan on working from home, some home insurance does not cover businesses, so you may have to take out additional business insurance. Check with your provider and see what is possible for you—just in case.

Some other things that you may need to investigate include intellectual property law, exclusivity clauses, and how credit will be awarded. You should also investigate data protection concepts, as well as how to cope with conflicts of interest. It is better to be safe than sorry. It will be well worth your time to do extensive research into the legal requirements of freelance enterprises in your location and industry. When it comes to the law; being proactive is better than being reactive.

Business ethics

There is, of course, a difference between things that are legal and things that are ethical—just because something may be legally permissible, it does not mean that it is ethical or morally acceptable. While it may seem tempting to cut corners or ignore certain things, when you are the owner of a freelance business; it all will come down on you. You are the only person on the line; your behavior and your reputation will make or break you, and, subsequently, your business could be at risk.

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