Mommy Blogs have exploded in popularity in the last few years. Now anyone with a computer or smartphone is able to express her opinion to potentially millions of female household decision-makers on easy-to-use and often free or inexpensive platforms such as Tumblr and WordPress blogs. Due to the perceived informal nature of a blog, mommy bloggers often hold the incorrect belief that they are not liable for postings. Mommy bloggers are not immune to business risks and those risks become even greater as the readership and influence grow, especially as advertising is accepted, products are promoted and contracts are entered into with third parties.
If it is cold outside, you wear a coat. If you are handling chemicals, you wear gloves. If you drive your car, you wear a seatbelt; even if the risk of an accident is remote and you drive carefully. As in driving, even if you do nothing wrong, you can still get sued as a plaintiff’s creative attorney “sweeps the street”, joining every party connected to the facts and circumstances of an injury. This can be an economic loss or physical injury. Since the law allows you to start a company to give you shelter in the storm and to be the defendant rather than you personally, you should incorporate this protective layer into your blog. The goal of this is to help protect your personal bank account, house and family from a well-intentioned blog that may cause injuries. It also provides tax benefits and legitimacy to your blog.
Imagine you are the author of a famous Mommy Blog and you have a paid promotion for a weight loss supplement. A week after your blog post is published and read by millions of parents, 60 Minutes runs a story about how this weight loss supplement has been manufactured using unsanitary production equipment, causing thousands of cases of allergic reactions and product complaints. Eventually, a few women who purchased the supplement decide to file a class action lawsuit and go after the manufacturers, the store that sold them the supplement, and the place that falsely informed them it was a safe product, your blog.
Bloggers can purchase different forms of liability insurance, but the first course of action should be to form a Delaware LLC. As with all start-ups, it is important for the owners of Mommy Blogs to form Delaware LLCs to separate their business’s assets and liabilities from their personal assets and liabilities. An LLC is a smart way to own and sell the intellectual property of a blog as well, which would include articles, reviews and any registered trademarks, including the name of the blog. The reason to form the blog in Delaware and not your home state is because Delaware provides arguably the most creditor protection.
The most valuable benefit of forming a Delaware LLC is to reduce your risks.