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Hi. Order my steps please. I just wrote a hair care book and

want to market it as...
Hi. Order my steps please. I just wrote a hair care book and want to market it as an E-book, hard copy, and eventually add my haircare product line. I am starting from scratch. From a legal standpoint what steps need to be taken to protect my business? I secured my domain name, and acquired the necessary E-book writing software but that's it. Should I begin by having my book published & copyrighted or will it be necessary to get a business license, establish an LLC, etc first? Will I need liability insurance on my products to protect me in case someone has an allergic reaction or is a disclaimer good enough? In essence, what steps should a beginner take and in what order? I have the creative part covered but it's the legal part that's holding me back. I anticipate your response.

P.S. I live in Georgia.
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Answered in 37 minutes by:
1/6/2011
RGMacEsq
RGMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,515
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

RGMacEsq :

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it's the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

RGMacEsq :

Sorry, that was for a different customer... Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

RGMacEsq :

So to be clear, you're going to be making your own hair care products? Will it be you, personally, making them, or will it be a third party supplier/

RGMacEsq :

?

Customer :

No problem. I will make them myself initially but if/when product sales increase (being optimistic) I will hire a third party supplier.

RGMacEsq :

You will certainly want either a corporation or an LLC for your business of selling the products, as well as liability insurance. The LLC or corporation will protect your personal assets, and the insurance will protect your business. An LLC / corporation, etc... are limited liability entities. What this means is that a plaintiff can only recover (generally speaking) against the assets of the business. Now there are theories to get around this, so you need to make sure that you adequately fund the company, keep business and personal assets separate, etc... You should also familiarize yourself with the laws of the state that you incorporate in. Now I would suggest Nevada or Wyoming for an LLC, or Nevada for a corporation (you don't have to incorporate in Georgia, but can incorporate anywhere so long as you have a good faith belief that your business is going to have some nexus to the state of incorporation, meaning that you'll send a product or sell a book to someone in that state).

RGMacEsq :

In terms of copyright, under US law a creative work is automatically copyrighted, but registering the copyright with the US Copyright Office gives you additional protections, so you should certainly do this. You can read more about how to do this relatively simple process at www.copyright.gov.

RGMacEsq :

A disclaimer on the product would also be a good thing to have, because there are theories of products liability that fall under "failure to warn".

RGMacEsq :

In terms of publishing the ebook, strictly speaking you don't need an LLC or any other entity for something like that, as this is not something that would typically lead to liability. But if you're making a product and selling that, that's when you're going to want liability protection in the form of a limited liability organization (such as an LLC or corporation) and liability insurance.

RGMacEsq :

As far as I can tell you do not need a license in either Georgia or the US to make hair care products. The FDA does regulate and mandate that you include the ingredients on the bottle.

RGMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

Customer :

Great. Can you clear up 2 things for me please? 1.) Why do you suggest Nevada or Wyoming? 2.) Would you recommend acquiring the business license prior to selling physical copies of the book to people on the street, etc. or would a permit to sell suffice?

RGMacEsq :

(1) These states have no corporate income tax (although you will still have to pay taxes to the state that your primary place of business is), as well as relaxed laws regarding the formality of the corporations. That is, it is more difficult to get past the corporate protections and get to your assets if you incorporate in these states than in others.

RGMacEsq :

(2) Based upon my research that you need a license to sell a book in Georgia, but you might need a license to sell depending on the local rules and regulations of where you're selling.

Customer :

I'm sorry I didn't quite understand the first part of your second answer. Please clarify.

Customer :

?I didn't understand the first part of your answer that read "(2

Customer :

"Based upon my research that you need a license to sell a book in Georgia...."

RGMacEsq :

You asked if I would recommend acquiring the business license... A business license is needed to sell a regulated product or service. For instance, you need to be licensed if you want to be an accountant, lawyer, doctor, etc... or sell alcohol, be a barber, and so on. But there are many businesses that you do not need a license for. Selling books is one such business. Now, if when you ask about the license, you mean incorporate, that's a different matter. If you're selling the books, and not the hair care products, then I would think that you don't need to incorporate. But once you start selling products that open you up to liability, that's when you're going to want to incorporate.

RGMacEsq :

I hope that clears things up.

Customer :

Youre the best! Thanks! I just accepted your answer.

RGMacEsq :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

RGMacEsq
RGMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,515
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified
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RGMacEsq
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