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5 Innocent Business Mistakes That Aren't So Innocent in the Legal World

5 Innocent Business Mistakes That Aren't So Innocent in the Legal World

Can I be honest with you for a minute? It’s kind of scary how easy it is for ANYONE to start a business these days. 

And don’t get me wrong – I LOVE seeing people step out on their own and create something for themselves. 

If you don’t want to be a 9-5 corporate girlie, I don’t want that for you either and I will cheer you on every single step of the way when you decide to start a business. 

But here’s why it’s a little scary…

Anyone can start a business, but not just anyone knows how to start a business LEGALLY. And trust me, I don’t blame anyone for this. 

Not everyone went to law school and most business owners didn’t expect to become business owners, so it’s normal NOT to know all of the legal business things, but that doesn’t make it any less risky.

When working with new business owners, there are lots of common mistakes that I see people make and in their eyes, the mistakes are pretty innocent.

But in the eyes of the legal world? Not so innocent. Because I hate to be the one to break it to you, the IRS doesn’t care if you weren’t aware of the tax laws that apply to you. And the government powers that be don’t care if you didn’t know you needed a Privacy Policy on your website…

Which means if you make one of these “innocent” mistakes solely because you didn’t know what you didn’t know, you can still very much so be held accountable and it can even cause you to rethink this whole business owner thing. 

That’s why I’ve made it my personal mission at The Boutique Lawyer to make sure you know the ins and outs of the legal world when it comes to your business and brand as much as I can.

So, if you’re new to business or if you’ve been doing what you do for awhile, but aren’t sure if you’re doing things legally correct, let's jump into 5 of those “innocent” business mistakes that I see people make so often and more importantly give you the tools and resources you need to avoid or fix those mistakes for good!

5 Common “Innocent” Business Mistakes To Avoid or Correct ASAP

1️⃣ Unclear Freebie Opt-Ins

As a business owner, one of the best ways to start growing your email list is by offering various freebies, often referred to as lead magnets in the marketing world. While I’m all for this and even offer freebies for my audience as well, where things can get murky is when you offer freebies without providing clear context around what your audience is receiving when they download it.

Without providing clear terms about what it is, what they’re getting, and overall what they can expect from your freebie, it can confuse your audience and potentially erode trust. Transparency is ALWAYS key. 🔑

And if you’re wondering if there’s any real legal backing behind this, I’m here to say that yes there is. The FTC takes transparent sales and marketing messaging vvvvv seriously – more on that here!

2️⃣ Misleading Email Subject Lines

Let’s be real… we’ve all fallen victim to clickbait at least a time or two and I think we can all agree that it’s probably the TOP way to lose interest and trust in the person that sent the clickbait your way. 

This happens so often in email subject lines and while it might seem like you’re just being a creative, witty marketing person, to get people to open your emails, it’s actually tricking your audience into doing something. And no one wants to be tricked. 

Again, the FTC really does care about this, so just don’t do it, okay? There are plenty of other ways to be creative and witty in your marketing WITHOUT tricking people along the way.

3️⃣ DIY Contracts

Alright, you know I couldn’t write this list without talking about contracts, right? If you’re new to my world, you might not know that I am OBSESSED with talking about all things legal, but specifically place a high emphasis on contracts – hence The Boutique Lawyer contract template shop!

Contracts are one of the main things that can protect you and your business if or when you find yourself in legal trouble between clients or customers. 

But not just any contract can protect you… generic, do-it-yourself contracts that you find on Google not only look unprofessional, but they rarely ever hold up in the legal world, which is why it’s SO important to invest in contracts that are lawyer drafted and peer reviewed so that they’re legally enforceable and cover ALL of your bases.

Lucky for you, I’ve created almost any contract you might need for your business and made them easily accessible all in one place!

4️⃣ No Website Legal Policies

Remember how I mentioned above that the FTC doesn’t care if you don’t know that your website needs a Privacy Policy? Well they don’t! But I do.

If you don’t have clear legal policies, such as a Privacy Policy or Terms of Service on your site, not only does it make people question if you’re legit, but it also goes against legal regulations. 

Here’s a closer look at the website legal policies that are required of you and here’s the contract bundle that will make sure your website is fully protected!

5️⃣ Using Testimonials Without Permission

As a business owner, it's totally normal to want to showcase your results and wins so that others feel comfortable working with you, but what most business owners don’t realize is that you’re actually legally required to get consent before featuring customer testimonials.

And if we put the legal part aside from it, it’s also just the right thing to do! Not everyone wants their words or picture displayed for the world to see, so take the extra step and make sure you’re legally gathering and using testimonials in your biz.


If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hey I’m Amber – not a regular lawyer, but a cool lawyer that helps online business owners sell without getting sued. 

If you like what you just read and want more cool lawyer things in your life, here’s a few ways to stay connected:

Let’s be pen pals! Subscribe to my email list to receive all of my best biz tips and behind the scenes goodies to keep your business bringing in sales (legally of course).

Binge the blog to get all of the legal information you need about running a business in a way that actually makes sense to your non-legal brain.

Come hang with me on the ‘gram! I often do AMA’s on stories, so you can submit your specific questions when they come up.

And if you’re in need of legal resources that you can ACTUALLY understand? Here’s a few ways I can help:

Step into TBL’s free library of legal resources for creative entrepreneurs where we throw open the doors and spill the tea on what works and what doesn't when it comes to legal protection, systems and sales.  

Browse the contract shop to find what’s missing in your biz and easily implement it with a plug and play template!

Need something else? Send me a DM! Always happy to lend a legal hand when I can.