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5 Steps to Shield Your Podcast – Sensible Passive Revenue

Disclaimer: This text is designed to be very useful, however please remember that it’s normal data and never authorized recommendation particular to you. Wesley Henderson recommends contacting an lawyer for personalized recommendation however hopes this data helps you in your small business journey!

I used to be contemporary out of regulation faculty, working for an enormous regulation agency once I first began listening to the Sensible Passive Revenue podcast. I used to be instantly impressed as a result of, like me, the host was a enterprise skilled who went from a “regular job” to turning into a profitable entrepreneur. Each week I seemed ahead to listening to a brand new story, tip, or new mind-set about entrepreneurship. With out SPI, I’d doubtless have by no means even considered beginning my very own regulation agency, but it surely has modified my complete profession (and life).

Beginning my very own enterprise has allowed me to decide on workers who share my values and to comply with different pursuits, together with a non-profit, Driving for Downs, and a slew of different companies. The entrepreneurial mindset has helped me develop professionally and personally, and it’s all due to a easy podcast.

Combining my ardour for the regulation and my curiosity in podcasts, I’ve delved into the authorized facets of working a podcast, and I’ve realized loads since opening my agency in 2014. This text outlines 5 steps that can assist you keep out of bother.

Distinctive Challenges of Podcast Regulation

Traditionally, belongings have been simply categorized into subsections like stock, gear, property, and many others. Nevertheless, for the reason that starting of the digital age, classifications have develop into more and more troublesome. This led to the rise in mental property regulation, which focuses on defending creators and their inventive works, which is what primarily covers podcasts. 

In contrast to different belongings you possibly can defend with door locks, safety cameras, and insurance coverage, podcasts needs to be protected by logos, copyrights, and contracts. This ensures creators are shielded from others stealing their concepts or infringing on their inventive rights. So, in the event you personal a podcast, it’s essential to evaluate mental property regulation and different associated legal guidelines.

Step 1: Shield Your Podcast Title with a Trademark

For months, you might have spent infinite hours in your podcast. Issues are lastly beginning to come collectively till you obtain a letter within the mail from a flowery regulation agency in California that claims “CEASE AND DESIST” in utilizing your podcast identify. 

Do it’s a must to rebrand, do you want an lawyer, is all your time for nothing?

This worst-case state of affairs, sadly, occurs very often. For instance, you could wish to begin a podcast about crime scene cleanups and name it Crime Junkie, however that identify already belongs to a podcast that talks about prison instances from across the nation. This small mistake may be fairly expensive and even require you to rebrand and pay an lawyer

How do you stop this from taking place?

The excellent news is that it’s fairly simple to keep away from infringing. It’s best to begin by researching names on-line, hashtags, and many others on the United States Patent and Trademark Workplace web site to make sure nobody is already utilizing your identify in the identical business. To be taught extra about selecting your identify, watch this video.

 If you happen to haven’t picked a reputation to your podcast but, then there are two facets it’s best to contemplate:

  1. Make sure that the identify you select shouldn’t be already getting used and/or trademarked. Your aim is to determine a reputation that may be yours and that has no confusion with some other podcast identify. The extra distinctive, the higher. 
  2. You’ll finally wish to register your trademark so nobody else can use your identify. When to register your trademark is a judgment name primarily based in your finances, however the sooner, the higher.

Step 2: Shield Your Enterprise and your Private Property with an LLC

At any time when my spouse and I’m going out to eat, we all the time scan the newest Google critiques. Even with essentially the most well-liked eating places, you inevitably discover these two-star critiques that appear to all the time discover one thing incorrect and one thing to complain about. I consider that most individuals are good, however I additionally know all about these two-star reviewer personalities as a result of I find yourself coping with them many occasions in representing my shoppers (and they’re largely what evokes this subsequent step). 

These troublesome persons are the identical ones that write unwarranted dangerous critiques, file lawsuits, and threaten your small business. So after you have a reputation picked, you want an LLC or its equal to guard your small business and private belongings.

An LLC will separate you out of your firm and guard your private belongings. In case your LLC will get sued by a person for cash, damages, or anything, it’s the LLC that shall be sued and never you personally. That’s the magic of the LLC: it limits private publicity even within the worst of situations. 

Beginning an LLC could sound like a frightening activity however it may be a quite simple course of. There are two issues it’s best to contemplate:

1. Create an Working Settlement 

  • Along with your LLC, it’s best to create the governing doc for it referred to as an working settlement. This personal doc establishes possession percentages, working guidelines, and different issues. (To be taught extra about working agreements, watch this video.) 

2. Separate Financial institution Account

  • I additionally suggest that you just get a separate checking account. This lets you hold your small business completely separate. It’s an excellent enterprise observe to your bookkeeping and helps make sure you preserve the legal responsibility safety you need out of your LLC.
  • Necessary Authorized Tip — you’ll want to run all revenue and bills for the enterprise out of the LLC account, and do NOT use it for private bills!

If in case you have any questions on how one can file an LLC, please go to our website, Drafted Authorized, to be taught extra and get the assist you to want. 

Step 3: Use Contracts to Shield Your Cash, Time, and Enterprise 

As an lawyer, I’ve acquired many cellphone calls with tales much like this one:

Wesley, an individual I met at Residence Depot stated he wanted assist with an irrigation situation. Since I personal an irrigation enterprise, I supplied to come back over and look. I went over and was capable of repair the issue. However then he had one other drawback that he thought I stated I’d repair. He additionally disputed the worth we agreed upon. So, not solely does he need me to do extra work than I agreed to however he hasn’t even paid me. What can I do?

Issues get misplaced in communication. Whereas oral contracts may be enforceable, it’s all the time preferable to have a written contract as a result of then you possibly can concretely show the phrases of the settlement. 

The great thing about the contract isn’t just in making it simple to win a lawsuit but in addition it often prevents the dispute from ever taking place. When the events take the time to place all their expectations on one doc, it turns into fairly clear what’s anticipated, so it avoids misunderstandings.

Contracts set expectations and make your life simpler down the street. Listed here are some normal suggestions when making a contract:

  • Take a couple of minutes to make clear something that may not be apparent.
  • Be sure you deal with issues like cash, deliverables, timeline, and many others. 
  • Make the contract simple to know and so simple as it may be. 

This behavior of clarifying expectations after which getting the settlement signed will dramatically scale back your probabilities of ending up in a dispute. You’ve already performed the exhausting work to be sure you are on the identical web page (and also you’ll have the signed settlement to show it). 

Within the huge world of contracts, listed here are a couple of your podcast enterprise would profit from:

Visitor Launch

The visitor speaker indicators a visitor launch, permitting you to make use of it the way you see match and make derivatives of it, whether or not or not it’s shorts, reels, or YouTube content material. This ensures you gained’t have points sooner or later together with your company, just like the visitor making an attempt  to have you ever take away or try to regulate the content material later.

For instance, in case you have a chef in your podcast and his episode blows up in recognition due to his beef tenderloin recipe, he could later need you to take it down with the hopes that he can get all that visitors to his web site or podcast as a substitute of yours. Effectively, in the event you had him signal a visitor launch, he can not pressure you to take it down as a result of you might have a transparent settlement. The discharge offers you permission to do precisely what you’re doing (and it additionally releases you from any legal responsibility for doing so).

Worker and Unbiased Contractor

If you happen to use impartial contractors and/or workers, it’s vital to put out the phrases of that relationship. This contains every thing from fee to timelines to deliverables. These all must be outlined as clearly as you possibly can.

If in case you have impartial contractors creating mental property for the enterprise (equivalent to logos, ebooks, and many others.), your contracts have to state that the LLC owns this mental property. Inherently, an creator owns their artistic endeavors, so it’s essential to expressly state that it’s a work for rent and that the possession of such work is transferred to the LLC. In any other case, you could find yourself with a dispute over mental property possession down the street.

Sponsorship Settlement

You should have a written settlement in case you have advertisers and/or sponsors. For instance, suppose you rent a social media guru to market and promote your small business, they usually overstep through the use of materials that infringes on one other firm’s trademark. You want the choice to terminate the contract or restrict legal responsibility. That is when a sponsorship settlement would come into play, as a result of it ought to embrace termination phrases, fee phrases, supply dates, and many others. This ensures your small business is protected.


I’m a lawyer, and I’m giving normal data right here. It’s designed that can assist you do a greater job together with your authorized framework, but it surely’s not personalized to you personally. It’s nonetheless good and useful. See what I did there? That is my disclaimer. My disclaimer shouldn’t be obnoxious; simply trustworthy and highlights my limitations.

Disclaimers are vital to your podcast to guard you from one thing stated on the podcast. What individuals say may be misinterpreted or misused. For instance, if you’re a health coach working a wholesome life-style podcast, it’s best to use a disclaimer such because the one I exploit above clarifying that the data and recommendation is normal and never particular. Additionally, in the event you’re not educated as a doctor or nutritionist, then simply state that clearly. You’re making an attempt to obviously clarify any limitations your data could have. When drafting a disclaimer, it’s finest to not assume individuals know these limitations, so state them clearly.

To buy all of the templates you want to your podcast, Drafted Authorized has attorney-drafted templates right here.

Step 4: Personal Your Podcast Intro Music to Keep Out of Bother

Though they are saying don’t choose a guide by its cowl, many choose a podcast by its intro. So whereas it could be tempting to play the theme track to Skyfall when speaking about international intelligence or use the brand new Taylor Swift track when speaking about her new album, this generally is a harmful minefield.

Utilizing another person’s materials may be difficult and really costly. So as a substitute of happening the rabbit gap of how we will use these well-known songs, we suggest that podcasts use authentic music or buy music you might have the rights to.

In case your finances shouldn’t be restricted and also you’ve recognized a must have track, go for it (and use an lawyer to assist with the method). 

Nevertheless, in the event you’re on a finances, save that cash and headache for an additional day and follow one thing you personal that you understand is not going to trigger you authorized issues.

Step 5: Keep Compliant with the FTC as You Monetize Your Podcast

The Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) doesn’t regulate podcasts as a result of they aren’t “broadcast radio;” nevertheless, they do regulate podcast endorsement. 

If you’re reviewing, endorsing, promoting for, or sponsored by a services or products, then it’s essential to disclose that underneath FTC laws. For instance, in the event you function a podcast about cooking home equipment and an organization pays you and sends you a field of utensils to attempt to charge, it’s best to disclose that you just didn’t pay for the merchandise. Basically, if somebody pays you to say one thing or promote one thing, disclose it.

A very good rule of thumb is to be upfront together with your viewers, whether or not it’s a sponsor or an affiliate hyperlink. Be taught extra right here from the FTC. 

To summarize: in the event you comply with these vital authorized steps, your podcast shall be off to an excellent begin with a correct basis: 

  1. Choose a Podcast Title (which you could personal)
  2. Get an LLC (with an working settlement and checking account)
  3. Personal your intro music
  4. Use Contracts
  5. Adjust to the FTC 

A lot of this may be performed on a finances with some analysis and know-how (however in case you have the finances, it’s also possible to get a lawyer to assist) or with a good on-line authorized providers firm like Drafted Authorized. Attempt to use attorney-drafted templates and web sites with dependable data. You’ll be able to all the time submit questions on Drafted Authorized’s web site too! 

We hope this text clarifies what it’s essential to do legally so you possibly can hit file. Better of luck!



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