A lot of contractors run their own companies which involved many responsibility. I was conisdering developing a website that provides a lot of how to type posts, or DIY advice on how to create a company, budgets, marketing, finding new clients, customer service, hiring tips, networking specifically with the idea of contractors in mind. I would have a disclaimer on my website that would clearly say this is not tax, accounting, or financial advice. I would be providing this information for free and monetizing the site with lead generation for contractors looking to build a website etc... My concern is can I get a lawsuit from providing the advice for free? I would be hiring writers to create this information for the website.
If people rely on the advice, and get harmed, it is likely that they will be interested in seeking recourse. It is frustrating and expensive to defend yourself in a lawsuit, even if you are right. Lawyers, particularly on Avvo, walk a fine line between "providing information only," which gives people the tools they need to make their own decisions, versus "providing advice," guiding them towards a particular decision. Disclaimers go a very long way to ensuring website visitors understand exactly what they should expect, but another option would be to have qualified professionals write the technical content in the manner they are trained for, with contracts in which they accept responsibility for their own content. Many lawyers and accountants would be happy to write general articles for free if they knew it would generate publicity.
Of course, this response is intended as information, not advice, and you should consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction for more comprehensive answers. ;)
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer unless we sign an agreement. While my practice involves a wide array of national and international issues, I am licensed only in Louisiana- where the legal system can be unique. The brief informational response provided here is not a substitute for legal advice, and you may need to act promptly to preserve your rights.
In addition to a simple disclaimer, you can also form a business entity which provides limited liability protection (e.g. an LLC), as well as speak with an insurance broker about obtaining an insurance policy to cover your business for these kinds of claims and/or lawsuits. There are also attorneys whose practice focuses on websites like the one you've described, and who may be able to help you proactively avoid lawsuits.
If you're interested in this, I would be more than happy to meet with you and discuss your options.
Small business legal services.
Serving LA and the San Fernando Valley
The response and opinions above are for informational purposes only, and are based on general principles of law which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information above is not intended as legal advice, and there is no attorney-client relationship established by this answer. It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a qualified, licensed attorney in your jurisdiction who can provide a more thorough opinion based on your individual circumstances.
5 lawyers agree