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Restaurant blog looking for internet lawyer

Los Angeles, CA |

I am looking to create a blog about how restaurant owners can implement certain strategies to either save money or generate more revenue. I would be looking to be an affiliate of other sites that promote free quotes for payroll services, business phone systems etc... The affiliate company told me that I would be provided with a privacy policy. My concern is what happens if people take action from the ideas listed in the blog. Can I simply just say that this is for general informational purposes only?

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Attorney answers 5


You would not only want a privacy policy, but also terms of use and disclaimers drafted by an Internet or other qualified attorney experienced in this area of law. I would avoid being supplied a privacy policy by a third party unless that third party is assuming responsibility for legal concerns arising out all related privacy practices and has the resources to defend a class action lawsuit or government prosecution. A privacy policy should be tailored to your actual privacy practices.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is not to be relied upon as legal advice or applied to specific situations. Legal advice is provided only upon execution of a written retainer agreement and after a comprehensive consultation in which all relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.


"My concern is what happens if people take action from the ideas listed in the blog."

Like what? Are you worried recipes will get customers sick or that the methods to save money will not work?

If you are not a CPA, attorney or other type of licensed professional, don't give that type of advice.

Without knowing exactly what you are concerned about, it is difficult to give you a clear answer.

You should contact an attorney in your area to craft a comprehensive terms of service for your website to make sure all your bases are covered.


Are You Planning on Opening a New E-Commerce Website?

There is much you need to know as you begin your new business. I suggest you do not attempt to write your own legal policies. This is not where your training and background lie, and though you are probably as smart as an attorney, you do not have their experience.

Below is a checklist for legal issues I use for new e-commerce clients.

1. Business entity - Are you going to be a C corp, an LLC or a sole proprietorship?
2. Terms of Service - This is your contract with your visitors and is the most important item for any e-commerce site. A little work here brings big dividends in the future.
3. Privacy Policy - Every e-commerce site needs a privacy policy!
4. FTC guidlines - The FTC has been regulating business advertising for almost a century. All of their advertising guidlines apply to e-commerce sites.
5. Domain Name issues? Is your name available. Can you create a Trademark?
6. Trademark - Do you have a brand name free from conflict? Should you start with just common law rights? Should you register the mark, and when?
7. Copyright - If it is on the web, it already belongs to somebody. Did you buy a license for the images you are using? Do you have a DMCA notice on your web site?
8. Do you need a DMCA policy?
9. Web Site security issues?
10. Do you need and have an EIN? You can get that for free.
11. Do you have employees? - If so you need written policies regarding their authority and use of the internet.
12. Do you know the difference between a "browser wrap" and a "click wrap" and which do you need?

When I discuss this list with clients other issues arise. Finally, I always discuss with my clients their need for good accounting services. An accountant's advice as you start up can save you many dollars in tax that you might not save if you wait to speak to an accountant until your first tax return is due.

I hope this list will give you pause to think about those issues for which you might need to seek professional advice.

You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Most lawyers on Avvo, including myself, offer a free phone consultation.
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.


You need to carefully consider what kind of info you plan on offering and whether that will be general or specific. If specific, then you need to be concerned with whether you overstep your expertise. That is, you cannot give specific advice on accounting, legal, etc unless qualified to do that.

You may want to explore an insurance product as well like an E & O policy that can cover in the event of a problem.

You also have all the same concerns every business has: entity formation, trademark, service terms and privacy policies among others.

I suggest you discuss your plans over with a lawyer in private to make sure you understand all your options. Most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
(see Disclaimer)

The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation; your inquiries are always welcome: CONTACT: 866-871-8655 DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.



I am considering changing the concept from a restaurant targeting owners to people just looking to save money. Talking about strategies to accomplish that . Is there less legal risk with this model?

Frank A. Natoli

Frank A. Natoli


Again, it will depend. There are lots of people out there offering advice on money saving techniques. If you care to discuss more specifically you are welcome to contact me: 866-871-8655

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick


Probably more legal risk.


You are proposing to go into the publishing business (that is what a blog is). You face the same enormous number of legal and business risks as any other publisher. By the way, there is no such thing as an internet lawyer---you need a combination of advice on intellectual property law, privacy law, computer law, e-commerce law, and many others. You will need lawyers to help guide you so that you can take advantage of immunities provided to internet service providers and other internet-based businesses. You will need lawyers to help guide you toward purchase of appropriate insurance policies. For a business like this, new and difficult legal issues will arise literally every day--you will need legal counsel on speed dial. Most companies like this have either in-house counsel on salary or outside-counsel on a retainer. There are no short cuts here and no easy ways to avoid the costs of laying the proper legal foundation--such as corporate formation, terms of use, privacy policies, DMCA policies, compliance with COPA, intellectual property polices. Further, you will need counsel to provide an intellectual property clearance analysis---your proposed blog may violate IP rights held by third parties or you may need to pay for licenses from third parties to operate your blog.. You will have education yourself on the laws of defamation. You may need to comply with federal and statue regulations applicable to companies that purport to provide business advice. The opportunities are great but so are the risks, and there are no shortcuts here. Get a lawyer.