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I don't have an LLC and I am working on a website project, how do I protect myself?

New York, NY |

I don't have a company registered and I recently started doing freelance work on my own. I got my first client but I haven't started since I am working on using a contract. The project is small and shouldn't take more than a week but I want to make the decision of using a contract to protect me and my assets from any legal issues that may arise unknowningly. I am not sure what can go wrong but if something does I want to be protected.

If I want to protect myself from being sued and protect my assets, what should my contract say?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Contractual attempts to limit your personal liability are not going to be nearly as secure as properly forming an LLC or corporation. Your best bet is to form some sort of business entity before you enter into any new contracts. Some sort of malpractice / professional insurance may also be a good investment.

    It is always advisable to contact an attorney. For a consultation, please contact my office at 516-669-3295. We are located in West Babylon, NY and proudly offer very low rates and free consultations. <a href="">Please visit us on the web.</a>

  2. First of all, make sure your contract does not commit you to work you cannot possibly fulfill. Second have the specific outcomes expected laid out so that (later) no one can say you didn't fulfill what was expected of you in the contract. Next I'd suggest an Alternative Dispute Resolution clause in the contract that commits both parties to waiving the right to Litigate in the event of a dispute and instead resolving the issue through Arbitration. Finally - and most important - I'd take the time NOW to retain a Contract Law attorney (easily found on Avvo.Com under 'Find-A-Lawyer). Good Luck!

  3. Get structured, possibly under an LLC business form. To do that, seek advice of a qualified business attorney.

    Attorney Advertising. The information given above is intended to provide general information only and not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  4. LLC or corp should be formed ASAP.
    Regardless of the business entity you use, you should have an experienced contracts lawyer, such as my firm, negotiate the terms of the contract & prepare it to protect you.

  5. I have no affiliation with the Freelancer’s Union, but I think that you can gain some good insights on their website. However, I cannot endorse their legal positions or any of the tools they offer. The best way to protect yourself is to hire an attorney who will take care of that for you.
    As a practical matter, when a contract is not worth a lot of money, freelancers don’t like to pay for contracts. The thinking is that you pay more money for the contract than you do for the lawyer. That’s not always true, and you can develop a template that is more or less workable for other projects.
    As far as protection, you have at least three options: (1) form a business entity that offers personal liability protection (e.g., LLC or Corporation), (2) have a contract, and (3) buy insurance. What should the contract say? No one can really answer that question without knowing the specifics of your situation. Start that conversation with an attorney. Best of luck!

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