Why Bloggers Should Incorporate: How to transfer blog assets over to your new company
You may enjoy expressing yourself in the freedom and irreverence of the blog format, unconstrained by typical journalistic restraints. Self-imposed restraints that journalists have in traditional media is for a reason. Journalists don’t want to publish information that, even if true, casts non-public figures in a false light, or take the chance of using copyrighted information under the argument that it is “parody” or “fair use.” Much of this information, typically entertainment and humor, can come at a price. This is not a whisper with the neighbor, this blog is a permanent electronic record searchable by anyone in the world.
The humor of your blog can quickly turn to tragedy in the form of a lawsuit. It can even come from directions which you did not expect. For example if you give away a product, like an iPad, it is possible that Apple will sue you because it suggests an endorsement that does not exist, even if you bought the product to give it away, and disclaimers sometimes are insufficient.
Additionally the name of your blog could be confusingly similar to a business name and a trademark owner could sue you for trademark violations with stiff penalties under the Lanham Act. Incorporating creates another “person,” or entity, that is the target to get sued, rather than you. If someone chooses to sue you and your company, then you can file a motion to dismiss yourself from the lawsuit, which if granted, would limit your exposure, leaving only your company exposed with its limited assets.
Lawsuits can take many forms and incorporating is by no means a “silver-bullet,” to stop them, but it does create a bit of insulation between your assets personally and the activities of your blog. It is still possible that you could be sued for your own conduct, but if the conduct is that of someone on your blog or someone else (for example, anonymous commentators), then you should be personally insulated and have better odds of being dismissed from a lawsuit where you were named personally.
While many bloggers write solely for entertainment without any financial motive, others want traffic and “likes” that translate into dollar signs from advertisers or people who want their products associated with your blog. Advertisers may be more likely to pay for advertising on your blog if you have a separate entity with a tax payer ID number, instead of just your social security number. A professional appearance is crucial when dealing with advertisers, causing strengthened trust and ties with certain advertisers. This all could lead to promotions to be run through your blog, something that is always a great plan to increase readership.
Last but not least, the tax benefits make it a very good idea to incorporate. You will be able to take more deductions than if you are not incorporated. This could help pay your expenses with pre-tax dollars for everything from office-at-home deduction, vehicle deduction, medical expense deductions; the list goes on and on. This could save you thousands of dollars in taxes making the incorporation into a sound investment. Incorporating should save you much more money than it costs.
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Let incnow.com set up your incorporation. We helped Susan of “The Divine Secrets of the Domestic Diva” get her start and now she has more than 50,000 followers. Check it out. http://www.divinesecretsofadomesticdiva.com/