Getting Legit with Legal and Money
I've been hearing lately (and since I started my business), on podcasts and in articles, that you should "get legit" legally and with your finances so it's been something I've wanted to do for a long time.
This week I was able to get some things in place for my business that not only protect me, but also give me more confidence as a business owner.
Knowing I have these things set up will be more helpful as I take on clients down the road. Let me share with you the things I set up and how you can make your biz legit too.
One of the main things I wanted to get in place was contracts. I had a couple bad experiences with contracts I gave in two separate occasions so I knew I needed some professional help to protect me and clearly state what I provide in my services.
I met with Chris from Legal Venture KC and he was wonderful to work with. Not only did we meet in person (which I prefer over a phone call any day) but he was patient and addressed each of my questions and concerns thoroughly.
He created a Master Service Agreement and a Statement of Work. So, let me explain - since I didn't know the difference between the two:
Master Service Agreement - is all the terms, how you will work together and basically the rules to play by.
The Statement of Work - is all the services you will provide to a client including timeline and price.
For every client you will give them the same MSA but change the SOW accordingly. Yeah, I didn't know that. I used to just make contracts according to how detailed the project was - bad, I know... but now I know for next time.
I also got answers to questions like "what type of business license do I need?" and "Is there anything I need to do after the project is over for tax purposes?"
I also got answers to some accounting questions. I met with a CPA and he informed me about quarterly taxes, advised that I get on an accounting systems, and told me to write everything down.
I DO use an accounting software that's an all in one platform that I LOVE called Dubsado. It allows me to send proposals, contracts, sign forms, send payments, and keep track of my expenses. I am still learning a lot on that platform - there's a lot to know! - but I feel more confident with my book-keeping for sure.
Other legal things like bank accounts and LLCs
I also have a business bank account set up which helps me keep my personal and professional finances separate. Getting a business bank account is SUPER helpful and something I highly recommend from the get-go.
Another thing I did, last year actually, was I set up my business as an LLC. Which sounds more intimidating and complicated than it really is. My brother helped me with mine, since he's a serial entrepreneur, but it's fairly easy and not very expensive. So I recommend setting up your business legally in however you wish to set it up.
So that's where to start with legal and finances. As a side hustler, I don't recommend doing all these things at once, that can be overwhelming, but set things up as you need them. Last year I set up my LLC and business bank account and this year I'm getting contracts, accounting, and systems in place.
Do what you can in the time that you have. But one thing is for sure, I feel a lot more at ease knowing I have things in place to protect me and my business and it gives me confidence to move forward full steam ahead!
Tell me, do you struggle with "getting legit"?
What are some of your biggest concerns or questions?