Chapter 3. Protecting Your Blog with Appropriate Business Policies and Practices

In This Chapter

  • Setting up a business for your blog

  • Respecting trademark, copyright, and licensing restrictions

  • Protecting your blog with privacy and e-mail policies

  • Endorsing products and expressing your opinions responsibly

  • Avoiding a little thing called libel

Although you don't have to set up a formal business entity for your professional blog, there are distinct advantages to doing so, such as credibility for your endeavor and liability protection.

This chapter starts with a general overview of the business end of setting up your professional blog, including business formation and how a lawyer and an accountant can help you get started on the right foot.

I then move on to U.S. laws and regulations that impact your blogging business and suggest best practices to help you comply with the laws.

Setting Up the Business End of Things

Does your blog need a business — as in a legal business entity, a corporation, or a limited liability company (LLC)? The answer is probably yes. If you're on your own, without partners or employees, you could use your Social Security Number for tax identification purposes. The minute you add any complexity — such as partners, revenue streams, or third-party contracts — set up a business entity and formal agreements that spell out everyone's rights and responsibilities. Even if you don't have partners, liability issues make forming a business a good idea.

In the sections that follow, ...

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