Website Legal Landmines Freelancers Should Know About By Jay Holstine

Jay Holstine
3 min readApr 14, 2023

As a freelancer, there are countless factors to consider when you’re creating an online presence — from your website design and content strategies to advertising tools. What may not be on the top of your mind is the possible legal implications that can come along with these decisions. Though it’s not always visible right away, failing to cover certain bases in regard to the law can have damaging consequences for your business — but understanding some fundamental principles will put you in good stead. In this blog post, Jay Holstine will discuss some common ‘legal landmines’ every freelancer should know about so they can navigate their website operations safely and confidently!

Jay Holstine Lists Website Legal Landmines Every Freelancer Should Know About

1. Copyright Laws: Freelancers should be aware of copyright laws when working with new clients, says Jay Holstine. They should understand the implications of these laws and make sure that any content they produce or use is properly licensed and attributed to its rightful creator. According to the U.S. Government’s copyright website, there were over 3 million registrations in 2019 alone! A common example of a legal landmine can occur when a freelancer takes an image from Google Images without consulting the original photographer or verifying its license status — If caught, this could result in hefty fines for both parties involved.

2. Inappropriate Contracts: When working with clients, freelancers must make sure to read their contracts thoroughly before signing anything! Oftentimes, contracts can be filled with hidden clauses and other legal jargon that may not be understood by the freelancer. Additionally, many contracts require that a freelancer agrees to indemnify their clients in the event of a dispute, meaning they are liable for any damages resulting from their work. It’s important to understand what you’re signing up for before agreeing to anything!

3. Non-Compete Clauses: Depending on your industry, some clients may require that you sign a non-compete clause stating that you won’t compete against them or take on similar projects for other companies for a certain period of time after you complete the project. These clauses can have serious implications on your ability as a freelancer to find new clients and take on new projects. It’s important to review any non-compete clauses you may be asked to sign and understand their implications before signing anything.

4. Business Taxes: As a freelancer, it’s incredibly important that you are aware of the taxes that come with running your own business. Depending on where you live, there may be certain rules and regulations regarding how much tax you need to pay on any income or profits that you make. Freelancers should also consider setting up an appropriate accounting system in order to properly track expenses and income for tax purposes. Additionally, if you plan on hiring employees, there may be additional taxes that need to be taken into account!

5. Intellectual Property: It’s important, as per Jay Holstine, to understand the legal implications of owning and using intellectual property (IP). Freelancers should make sure that they own any work they create, as well as any content they use from 3rd parties. This includes both physical and digital IP, such as designs, patents, logos, images, videos, audio recordings, etc. To protect their IP, freelancers should consider registering their works with a proper copyright agency and taking out insurance if necessary.

Jay Holstine’s Concluding Thoughts

According to Jay Holstine, by understanding these website legal landmines before starting a freelance project or business venture, freelancers can ensure that their projects run smoothly without any unexpected hiccups! They can also protect themselves from potential lawsuits and other financial liabilities that may otherwise arise in the future. With the right foresight and knowledge, freelancers can avoid these landmines and enjoy a successful freelance career!

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Jay Holstine

Jay Holstine — Chairs a Vistage CEO peer group in Dallas Fort Worth and provides personalized CEO consultations for executives