Create an Entity
Entity formation helps protect you and your assets, and many have added tax benefits. Unintended partnerships have hidden pitfalls, and you should have strong agreements with your partners. Think through the risks ahead of time, together.
Use Specialized Contracts
Your offerings are special and you work in unique ways. Your contracts should reflect your special relationships—one size does not fit all. Contracts for creatives should contain specific clauses to protect your intellectual property and worker status.
Protect Your Copyrights
Copyright law provides you protections as soon as your work is fixed in a tangible medium. If you register quickly, copyright law may give you extra perks if you ever need to stop someone from infringing your works.
Trademarks have Value
Your entity name, logos and taglines are unique identifiers to your services and goods. They should be protected in the marketplace. Monitor how other businesses may be using confusingly similar marks and act quickly to stop them.
If you invite others onto your property, or visit theirs, general liability insurance is necessary. Develop a good relationship with your broker and understand what your policy covers. Errors and omissions policies may also be advised.
Address Conflict Early
Managing an arts organization can get complex, particularly when there are multiple, passionate voices involved. Resolve conflicts before they blow up. Formal mediation can often help find creative solutions.
Use Activity Releases
If you invite people into your space, or work on location, a properly drafted release can help protect you when there is unintended harm. Provide participants the opportunity to accept responsibility for their own safety.
Train Your Board
Your Board of Directors and officers of your entity have heightened responsibilities—educate them to give proper consideration to your policies and financial operations. Founders, make efforts to delegate control and succession plan.
Properly Classify Workers
Workers are presumed to be employees unless you can prove otherwise. Know when you can treat a worker as an independent contractor and who can have volunteers and interns. Penalties for getting it wrong are high.
Don’t Do Court “Solo”
It may be quicker and cheaper to try heading to court on your own. But trial is full of irreversible traps for the unwary and non-negotiable deadlines. Partner with an experienced litigation attorney to maximize chances for success.
We navigate the law for you to protect your brands and assets.
Let us handle your legal needs so you can focus on what you do best.
Caroline Kert is a business lawyer and litigator, specializing in working with small businesses, entrepreneurs, and creative organizations. She loves to help her clients create thriving, expressive programs and services that are protected from outside claims. Call today for a free consultation.
Creative Legal, LLC
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