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3 Legal Tips Every Freelancer Needs to Know

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Working as a freelancer is an incredible way to live. You have the flexibility and freedom to enjoy your life and also make a living off of your passions. But not everyone who starts a business knows everything they may need to know to be successful. This is why it’s so important to learn about the legality of being a freelancer.

If you ever run into a legal situation with your business, you want to make sure you’re protected. Not only are you protecting your business, but you’ll be protecting yourself as well. If you’re a freelancer looking to learn more about the legality of owning a small business, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three legal tips every freelancer needs to know.

1. Get Everything in Writing

As a freelancer, you may be tempted to do work without signing contracts. Even if it’s a simple task, it’s still a good idea to get everything down in writing. No matter how nice a customer may be, you never know how they will act once they get their invoice.

To protect yourself and your work and ensure you get paid for your time, put everything in writing. Some different types of agreements you can use as a freelancer include

  • Client Service Agreement
  • Subcontractor agreement
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These are both simple contracts. The first outlines the exact work you are doing for the client and how much you will be paid for that work. You can send these out to anyone you are doing work for. Whether it’s a new client at a salon or you’re taking photos for someone’s wedding. Your client should always know what services you are doing for them and how much they will be paying you.

The second is a good option if you are working with other freelancers or contractors to ensure everyone is getting a fair wage. Don’t be afraid to draw up simple agreements with clients. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do so.

2. Keep Track of Your Taxes

One of the biggest differences between working for an employer and working for yourself is taxes. As a freelancer, you have to be able to keep track of your own taxes and pay everything on time.

There are many ways that you can ensure that you correctly pay your taxes when working by yourself. You can register your business and get an employer identification number to keep track through the government.

If you don’t want to register your business and incorporate yourself, you just have to make sure you fill out the proper forms when tax season comes around. Making sure you keep up with your tax information as a business will avoid any legal trouble down the road.

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3. Understand Your Rights as a Creative

Many freelancers tend to be creatives who make products for their clients. These types of products can be art, graphic design software, or pieces of writing.

As a freelancer, you can create products that are protected under copyright law, allowing you to be the owner of your intellectual property. Most freelancers won’t need to worry about this as many projects with clients tend to be on a “work for hire” basis. This means that you sell the rights to your property for the client to use.

But if you are creating a large-scale software product, logo design, or creative entity that you would rather license out to clients, then you can make sure you are the sole owner and license out the product instead.

As a freelancer, it is important to make sure that you always find ways to protect your business and yourself. You can do this in many ways like taking ownership of your art and intellectual property. Or, on the business side, you can make sure you take care of yourself by learning more about different benefits you could obtain.

There are so many steps you can take to be a successful freelancer. And while you do this you can always make sure that you protect your work and yourself.

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Conclusion

Being a freelancer is an amazing way to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. But without the support of an employer or larger company, it’s crucial to know how to protect yourself as a business. With these three legal tips, you’ll be ready for anything life throws at you and your business.

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