So you are a blogger now . . .
So you became a blogger. You started small, sharing your blog with your family and friends and before you know it you have 2000 visitors a day and you want to start making a profit. Whether your are planning on getting direct sponsorship or merely adding search engine ads on the side, it is important to realize that you are now a business and you need to start acting like one. As a corporate attorney, my focus is that a blogger runs their business properly. If you are looking for more information, Aviva Directory has a great round up of the 12 Important US Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know that focuses on best practices for bloggers concerning their use of links, pictures, comments and other need-to-know items.
First things first, bloggers can protect themselves from personal liability by incorporating. Unlike personal ownership (which is known as a sole proprietorship), when a business becomes incorporated, the individual’s liability is limited to the amount invested in the company. In a sole proprietorship, the individual’s personal assets, such as your house, are reachable to pay any debts of the business. If you wait to “cross that bridge when you get there,” it is likely already too late. In the world of business, being proactive and resourceful are the entrepreneur’s greatest assets, and these qualities should be extended into ALL aspects of the business, including its formation.
So how do you incorporate. Well first you need to decide which state and in what form. If your business is a blog and likely to stay that way, a LLC in your local state is likely the best choice. If you think you will be expanding in some way, such as offering web 2.0 services of some sort, it might be best to go with a Corporation. A general rule of thumb is: if you anticipate obtaining angel or venture funding from investors, then you should likely incorporate as a Corporation in Delaware or California (and you should definitely consult an attorney). Otherwise forming a local LLC will probably be the most effective and cost-efficient choice. To get started you need to choose a name (that is acceptable by the state) and file articles of organization. As part of this process you are assigning the blog domain and its related content to the company. From then on, it is important to keep your personal expenses and bank accounts separate from the company’s expenses and bank accounts.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this Web site is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.