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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 115464
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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What requirements need to be met to legally operate an adult

Customer Question

What requirements need to be met to legally operate an adult website in the state of Indiana?
Are there any permits, filings, or precautions that need to be addressed?
Are there additional federal requirements that need to be met?
What is the minimal underage visitor deterrent required by law?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
There are no licensing requirements to operate an adult website other than the federal law requiring some type of verification that the visitor is over 18 (contributing to delinquency of minors if you allow minors on the site) and prohibiting child pornography. The states do not govern websites such as these. As long as all of the photos are of persons over 18, there is no other paperwork or anything additional that needs to be filed. You should incorporate as an LLC and then the LLC just runs the website like any other website and if you are charging you just claim the profits on your income taxes.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
For restricted sites such as gambling and adult content, I've seen various methods used for preventing minors from using the site. A common method is to have a warning page that asks if the user is of the legal age to view such content before allowing the user to enter. Some sites require the user to allow their credit card to be authorized for a very small amount with the assumption that if they have a credit card, they are 18 years or older. Others charge a fee to a credit card with the same assumption. I've also seen sites that rely on parental control code placed on their site to trigger the user's computer to block the site.

I would like to use a two part warning page that requests the user's date of birth, and a warning message that it is unlawful for minors to view the content on the site followed by a request for their current age for comparison to the DOB and a option to enter or leave the site. Additionally, I would use any available parental control codes to prevent the user visiting the site altogether if their parents have installed the required software on their computer. A number of triggers would block the user from the site for 1 to 5 days such as incorrect age to DOB comparison.

Would the described precautions be adequate for deterring underage use of the site, show sufficient effort being put forward to prevent underage use of the site, and most importantly, keep me out of criminal court?

The website would be operated be an LLC twice removed for added privacy.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
You do not have to reinvent the wheel here. You can copy a warning from any site of your choosing that you like. As far as the age verification, many sites use a third party to verify age of persons entering. It is usually best to use the third party site and credit card for entry to the side.