Google “ridiculous lawsuits” and see about a million reasons why someone may decide to sue you! Seriously, it is scary stuff! This isn’t a “scare tactic” blog post, or maybe it sort of is, because I want you to really listen up here and take what I have to say into serious consideration.
Let me just name a few ways that someone can decide to sue you and your business:
poor quality photos
delayed or non-delivery of photos
late at a session
last minute cancellation
you used the images without authorization
The list goes on, but the point is, it can happen and as a business you want to make sure you are protecting yourself, and ultimately your family.
Here is my recommendation for you: become an LLC ASAP!
Most photographers have two ways of going about their business set-up:
A Limited Liability Company
I adore The LawTog. Rachel, the lawyer and photographer, behind this blog breaks it all down so well for you. Go check her out here. But let me tell you the reason I decided to become an LLC immediately after starting my business.
It was to eliminate risk.
I truly have a fear of trusting others. Maybe that’s too strong. I trust people, but I’m not willing to bet my everything-I-own on them. I don’t know what others are thinking and I have been so fortunate to have the best couples. But you just never know what could happen. I have heard horror stories with a wedding going perfectly, and for some reason the couple decides they aren’t happy and then sues the photographer. I have heard of family sessions where someone feels what should have been done, wasn’t. Or maybe while at a shoot, someone steps in a hole, sprains their knee and decides that’s on you.
If you happen to find yourself in this situation, an LLC will protect your personal belongings and finances. If you are ever sued, they can sue your business, but your life savings, your spouse’s 401(k), your house, little Billy’s bike, that’s all untouchable.
I am always trying to protect my family and this was the absolute first thing to do in order to make sure my personal life could not be touched.
As Rachel from The LawTog puts it, “At formation, LLC and Corporations give you two buckets—personal and business.” I always want my personal life and business to be separate!