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Are Waivers Legit and Can They Protect My Business?

Have you ever been about to ride a horse, jump in a kayak or play hockey and someone sticks a clipboard in front of you at the last minute, asking you to sign a waiver?  

I have had the question many times - "Are these Waivers legit?  Do they work?" 

They can be if you are doing them right.  

Purpose of Waivers

If there is a particular risk in your business that you want the client or customer to be responsible for AND NOT THE BUSINESS, you can shift this responsibility in a waiver.

When to Get a Waiver Signed

One party - your customer - wants to participate in a risky activity (skiing, trampoline, zip line, etc.). and the other party - your business wants to protect itself from liabilities relating to this activity.

In exchange, the customer signs a waiver and release regarding liability claims in order to participate.  If they do not wish to sign, they can not participate.

This could be in a volunteer or business activity - it may be the...

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Getting Paid As A Business Owner and How a Legal Contract Can Help

You did the work.  Now your client is not paying.  What are you supposed to do?

You want to preserve the relationship and not be too confrontational but not getting paid is an issue for your cash flow and the financial stability of your business.

Here are some tips for collecting accounts receivable now outstanding, and improving the situation in the future:

Check the Contract

While legal contracts can help you to set clear expectations with your clients up front, they are also super helpful in a situation where your clients are not paying you.

Having a binding legal contract means that you can ENFORCE the terms of the contract.  So the first thing to check is to see what the contract says in regard to fees and payment terms.

Are the fees due clear in your client contract? Your client contract should state how fees will be calculated whether they are hourly, daily or fixed fees based on certain project stages.  Have you added on amounts for additional work beyond...

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5 Legal Tips and Templates for Podcasters

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, including for business owners who are looking to generate new leads, establish their expertise and grow their community.

As with other aspects of business, there are some legal issues to be considered.  Here are my top 5 legal tips:

#1 - The content of your podcast is protected by copyright law and owned by the host.

This copyright protection, which is worldwide, is automatic upon creation.  The creator of the podcast (the host) has the exclusive right to use this content unless permission (i.e. a license) is given.  You can assert your rights through a copyright notice - i.e. (c) Legal Essentials Inc. 2021.  All Rights Reserved.  Advanced tip - if you have co-hosts for your podcast, you should agree on who owns what upfront (like a prenup) in case you decide to part ways.

#2 - If you have a separate podcast producer from the host, you should have a legal agreement with them.  

This agreement should...

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When do I need a Content Release Form Signed?

When you are asking people to contribute to the creation of content of your business, you should get them to sign a release form .

This will give your business the right to use the content, including in its original form and repurposing the content.

You may be taking pictures or videos at events, recording a podcast or using client testimonials in your promotions.

Using content created by other people for commercial purposes without their written permission could involve risks for your business including damage to your reputation.

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Get it in Writing Series - Three Ways to Get a Contract Signed Digitally

 

This video addresses three different ways that you can get a contract signed digitally.

These include the following:

(1) Sign on paper and scan (or take a picture)

(2) Use an e-signature program

(3)  Use a checkbox to get someone to agree to terms

It is important for your business to create processes that work for you and your clients.

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Get it in Writing Series - Three Main Types of Contracts

 

In this video, I talk about the three main types of business contracts to have in your business:

1.  Client Contracts

2.  Hiring Contracts

3.  Rental Contracts

If you have any questions about this topic, you can reach me at [email protected]

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Can Emails Back and Forth Form a Contract?

 

In this second part of the "Get it Writing 2020" series, you will learn whether emails back and forth can form a legal contract.  You will also learn things to look out for using e-mails to form agreements.

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Get It in Writing Series - Part 1 - Why Writing?

 

This video discussed the "why" of getting your legal agreements in writing and gives you three reasons why writing is better than a hand shake.

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Setting the Ground Rules

This time of year teachers, coaches and parents are all busy laying down a new set of “ground rules” for the year.

According to Wikipedia, the original of the term “ground rules” comes from baseball. Different ballparks have different rules in addition to the more standard ones. At Wrigley Field in Chicago, for instance, if the ball is hit to the outfield and gets stuck in the ivy on the outfield fence, it is a ground rule double.

For your business, a contract is a great way to set ground rules with your clients. This works particularly well at the beginning of the relationship or at the beginning of a new piece of work. Below are some topics that are frequent areas of concern:

  1. Payment Terms – When will the invoice be issued? How long does the client have to pay? Will there by interest and penalties for late payment.   What forms of payment will be accepted?
  2. Returns and Refunds – Will these be allowed and under what circumstances?
  3. ...
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How to Read A Contract as An Entrepreneur (Who Didn't Go to Law School)

Contracts 101

When you operate a business, contracts are as common as the air that you breathe.

You enter contracts by clicking “I Agree” buttons on websites, and by selling products and services to your customers.

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more persons for a particular purpose.

Contracts can be done verbally or in writing.  The problem for a business owner with a verbal contract is that if is more difficult to enforce because you may not remember or be able to prove all of the terms that were agreed to.

What if a supplier presents you with a “standard” contract that they routinely use with companies they deal with. Does this mean that you should just sign it?

At the very least, you should understand what you is agreeing to in the contract. At best, you can find a few important items in the contract and improve your business’ position through proper drafting and negotiation.

contract

What to look for:

  • Parties...
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