34 episodes

Way too often, legal is viewed as an expensive headache and business owners either avoid it or don't completely understand it. The goal of the Simplifying Legal podcast is break down complicated legal topics in short episodes that have specific action items for how to implement any recommendations. The podcast will give people a tool to help them take action on the areas of their business that may have been ignoring.

Simplifying Legal for Small Business Owners Danielle Liss

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Way too often, legal is viewed as an expensive headache and business owners either avoid it or don't completely understand it. The goal of the Simplifying Legal podcast is break down complicated legal topics in short episodes that have specific action items for how to implement any recommendations. The podcast will give people a tool to help them take action on the areas of their business that may have been ignoring.

    034: Legal for Service-based Business Owners

    034: Legal for Service-based Business Owners

    Service-based businesses cover a really broad range: from professional services, like legal, to things like educational consultants. As with any business, it’s critical to get all of your legal ducks in a row. 
    So today, it’s time to turn our attention to service-based businesses. If you provide a service, tune in as I guide you on selecting a legal entity, working with clients, hiring more people, and protecting yourself, your business, and your brand. 
    Please subscribe if you haven’t already. And if you like the show, I’d love it if you’d give it a review wherever you listen to podcasts!
     
    In this episode:
    [03:13] - Should service business owners choose to be a limited liability company (LLC) or sole proprietorship?
    [04:51] - Don’t forget to do this if you provide professional services as an LLC.
    [05:17] - Danielle makes a few recommendations for creating one of the most important documents in your business: a rock-solid client agreement.
    [06:56] - Your client agreement should evolve along with your company. If you get repeat business for different projects, transition to this type of agreement instead.
    [08:10] - What do you need to include in the privacy policy on your service-based website?
    [09:04] - Danielle discusses terms and conditions and disclaimers for service entrepreneurs.
    [10:07] - How do you protect your service-based business and brand?
    [11:43] - Although providing a service, you might eventually add digital products such as DIY templates. Here’s how to ensure the protection of these copyrighted materials.
    [12:38] - Danielle mentions a few things to keep in mind as you expand your capacity and hire more people.
    [13:51] - Follow these action steps today to protect your service-based business.
     
    Links & Resources:
    Service Business Legal Guide
    Legal Templates for Service Business Owners
    Businessese
    Liss Legal

    • 15 min
    033: Legal for Virtual Assistants

    033: Legal for Virtual Assistants

    Starting any kind of business is an exciting but overwhelming venture. With so many things to do, from figuring out your niche to finding clients, your to-do list can seem endless. A virtual assistant business is no different.
    In this episode, I review different aspects of a VA business and guide you on protecting your content, brand, and company. I cover selecting a legal entity, working with clients, building your team, and more. 
    Please subscribe if you haven’t already. And if you like the show, I’d love it if you’d give it a review wherever you listen to podcasts!
     
    In this episode:
    [02:40] - Under what legal entity should a VA business file? Danielle discusses the pros and cons of sole proprietorship and LLCs.
    [04:54] - Danielle talks about one of the most important agreements for virtual assistants.
    [07:15] - Here’s a caveat if you niche your VA service into one specific area.
    [07:51] - What legal policies do virtual assistants need for their website? There are a few you should include.
    [10:20] - Trademarks and copyrights are the most important types of intellectual property rights. Danielle discusses how they relate to your VA business.
    [12:10] - Include these revisions if you ever add digital products down the road, whether for free or for sale.
    [13:18] - What must you know as you expand your VA company and hire more people?
    [14:17] - Danielle wraps up with your action steps for today.
     
    Links & Resources:
    Virtual Assistant Legal Guide
    Legal Templates for Virtual Assistants
    Episode 31: “Website Accessibility”
    Businessese
    Liss Legal

    • 16 min
    032: Legal for Bloggers & Influencers

    032: Legal for Bloggers & Influencers

    I’ve had the pleasure of working in the influencer marketing industry for more than a decade. (You know, when we didn’t yet call it influencer marketing.) The blogging and influencer industries have grown by leaps and bounds since then. Five years ago, when Businessese was formed, our goal was to give bloggers a place to find reliable legal templates. 
    Over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking at the legal needs of particular types of businesses. Today, I start with my roots: bloggers and influencers. So if you’re a blogger or influencer, listen in as I guide you on the necessary steps that you, specifically, need to take to protect yourself and your business. We’re covering starting your business, protecting your website, working with brands, protecting your content and brand, and so much more. 
    Please subscribe if you haven’t already. And if you like the show, I’d love it if you’d give it a review wherever you listen to podcasts!
     
    In this episode:
    [03:52] - What legal entity should bloggers and influencers be? Danielle discusses the pros and cons of the two most common options.
    [05:47] - Most bloggers need to ensure their sites have a few key legal policies in place, starting with a privacy policy.
    [07:16] - Terms and conditions act as your contract with those viewing your site.
    [07:42] - If you’ve ever visited a website like WebMD, you’ve seen a disclaimer before. Is this something you need on your site?
    [08:45] - Content sponsorship has drastically changed in the last decade, for the better. Danielle reviews two common ways you may work with brands.
    [10:03] - What do you need to be aware of when working with brands? What do you need to know about FTC compliance?
    [10:50] - Danielle talks about protecting your business and brand with trademarks and copyright.
    [12:22] - If you offer digital products or services, you have a couple of other policy considerations you may want to put in place.
    [14:28] - Here’s what you’ll need to know and implement as you build and grow your team.
    [15:44] - Keep these questions in mind as you complete your actions steps for today.
     
    Links & Resources:
    Blogger Legal Guide
    Legal Templates for Bloggers and Influencers
    Episode 31: “Website Accessibility”
    Businessese
    Liss Legal

    • 18 min
    031: Website Accessibility

    031: Website Accessibility

    As you created your website, did you have accessibility in mind?  Accessibility ensures that your content is accessible to anyone, regardless of their ability. Because of a recent influx of lawsuits against websites that aren’t accessible, this topic has been much more widely discussed. 
    Even though accessibility is based on legal principles, such as whether or not a website is a place of public accommodation of the ADA, it is primarily rooted in the technical side of your site. 
    Even though there have been some differing court opinions, I am going to discuss accessibility as though all business owners should have this set for their site. In this episode, I’ll discuss what accessibility is, the current status of website accessibility,  accessibility statements, and how it might impact you and your business.
    Please subscribe if you haven’t already. And if you like the show, I’d love it if you’d give it a review wherever you listen to podcasts!
     
    In this episode:
    [02:50] - What is the Americans with Disabilities Act?
    [03:41] - Some people have interpreted parts of the ADA to necessitate certain requirements from website owners.
    [04:56] - What do you need to do to ensure the accessibility of your website to everyone?
    [05:52] - Danielle briefly mentions a few examples of accessibility tweaks you can make on your website.
    [06:34] - Danielle talks about the first step to avoid a compliance lawsuit and ensure the accessibility of your website.
    [08:00] - Here are three reasons why adding an accessibility statement to your website is critical.
    [08:56] - At a minimum, add these three things to your accessibility statement.
    [10:33] - Danielle discusses what to do with your accessibility statement once you have it and how she and her website designer worked together on implementing hers.
    [11:58] - Take these three actions steps to make your website accessible to all.
     
    Links & Resources:
    Accessibility Statement Generator and WCAG Checklists
    W3 Accessibility Statement Generator
    Sample Accessibility Statements:
    Accessibility Template Statement Developing an Accessibility Statement WCAG Standards
    “ADA Accessibility for Your Website - Here’s What You Need to Know”
    Marketing Queen Consulting
    Businessese
    Businessese on Facebook
    Businessese on Instagram
    Liss Legal
    Liss Legal on Instagram

    • 13 min
    030: Copyrights 101

    030: Copyrights 101

    You know that movie you love to watch all the time? Or the song you can’t help but dance to when it plays? Or the book you snuggle up with on the couch on a Saturday morning, coffee in hand? All of these things, and more, have something in common: they’re protected by copyright.
    A copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects original expressions of ideas. These ideas can come in various forms and media including visual, audio, and literary, and can even cross multiple categories.
    In this episode, I talk all about copyrights. I start with some basics, then get more in-depth and cover the rights of copyright owners, copyright notices and duration, and frequently asked questions I hear about copyright law.
    Please subscribe if you haven’t already. And if you like the show, I’d love it if you’d give it a review wherever you listen to podcasts!
     
    In this episode:
    [03:47] - Danielle reveals what copyright law doesn’t cover.
    [04:42] - How can you know what is or isn’t covered by copyright law?
    [05:49] - Similar to trademarks, you have common law and statutory rights associated with copyrights.
    [06:27] - If you formally register your copyright, you get these additional statutory rights.
    [07:10] - Danielle discusses the exclusive rights you have as a copyright owner.
    [09:15] - What is a copyright notice? You’ll benefit if you include one, even if it’s not required.
    [09:58] - How long does a copyright last? It usually depends on the creator.
    [10:58] - Danielle talks about how small businesses can protect their copyrighted works.
    [12:58] - Fair use is an exception to copyright law. But what is considered fair use?
    [14:20] - Beware of falling into this common trap that Danielle hears so often.
    [15:28] - Danielle discusses dealing with ownership and copyright within your contracts.
    [16:42] - Implement these protocols to avoid infringing on third-party copyrights.
    [18:21] - Danielle wraps up the episode with action steps.
     
    Links & Resources:
    Episode 22: Protecting Your Content
    Episode 13: Content Ownership in Contracts
    Businessese
    Businessese on Facebook
    Businessese on Instagram
    Liss Legal
    Liss Legal on Instagram

    • 20 min
    029: Trademarks 101

    029: Trademarks 101

    Can you spot a trademark when you see one? They’re all around you. A trademark can come in the form of a symbol, name, or even a phrase that consumers will associate with your products or brand. When I think of the perfect example, Nike immediately comes to mind. It hits the common trademark trifecta where its name, swoosh symbol, and phrase “Just do it” are easily recognizable to everyone.
    While names, symbols, and phrases are the most common kinds of trademarks, other non-traditional categories exist and can include smell, color, or sound. Think of Play-Doh’s signature smell, Tiffany’s signature blue, or NBC’s chimes.
    In this episode, I discuss many aspects of trademark law, including using a trademark without registering it, trademark rights available to you, and the benefits of trademark registration. I’ll also cover a number of questions I am frequently asked about trademarks. 
    Please subscribe if you haven’t already. And if you like the show, I’d love it if you’d give it a review wherever you listen to podcasts!
     
    In this episode:
    [03:34] - What trademark rights do you have if you register with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office versus if you don’t?
    [04:54] - You can’t trademark just anything you want. Danielle discusses why.
    [07:42] - What’s the difference between Principal and Supplemental Registers? Danielle reveals which types of trademarks are eligible for each.
    [09:46] - Danielle talks about the research process for registering your trademark.
    [10:48] - What happens after you’re done searching and want to file your application?
    [11:48] - Danielle discusses the type of communication you might receive from the examining attorney assigned to your application.
    [12:58] - When can you expect to receive your registration certificate? And what must be done to protect your new trademark?
    [13:41] - If you have a trademark you’re not yet using, you can file your application in two ways.
    [14:46] - Danielle reveals one more important thing about the trademark process: the fees.
    [15:39] - Discover some of the common questions Danielle receives about trademarks.
    [19:59] - Follow these three action steps for filing your trademark.
     
    Links & Resources:
    USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System
    Businessese
    Businessese on Facebook
    Businessese on Instagram
    Liss Legal
    Liss Legal on Instagram

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Kateri Gabriele ,

Perfect Preparation!

I love listening to Simplifying Legal for Small Business Owners! These short and specific episodes have done wonders for helping me understand the steps I likely should be taking in getting my business’ legal affairs in order. I recently started working with Danielle for some of our bigger projects and many of the podcast episodes have been the perfect preparation to have these conversations. Thank you for making things so understandable for non-legal small business owners!

Allison D. Jordan ,

Incredibly insightful!

Danielle Liss is incredibly insightful and has helped me navigate legal situations (which are most situations, let’s be real!) in my business.

Highly recommend any and all of her information AND her business - Businessese!

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