These days there are a wide variety of ways to start a side hustle. Blogging has helped launched consulting, writing and speaking careers for many people. Crafters, thrifters, and artists can sell their items on virtual markets.

The gig economy offers a plethora of ways to pull in additional income. Not to mention the numerous mobile applications and websites to find freelance work. The possibilities seem endless. Plus, you can do most of these without quitting your day job. It’s no wonder so many people are starting side hustles.

A side hustle can be a great way to make some extra cash and try out a new potential career path. However, it’s important to consider what legal issues might arise. Most types of work have specific considerations.

For example, if you want to be a blogger you’ll want to look into putting a disclaimer on your site. You’ll also need to make sure to abide by the Federal Trade Commission’s rules around paid content promotion. If you’re a rideshare driver you’ll want to look into your state’s rules around insurance. Dog walking? Be sure you know your local leash laws.

There are also more universal legal considerations. If you aren’t filing your taxes correctly you might be missing out on savings. Thinking about taking out a loan for your business? You might want to consider creating an LLC to protect yourself from personal liability. The employment contract at your primary job also deserves your attention.

Violating employment contract clauses can result in fines, lawsuits, and loss of ownership over your ideas. Here are a few key terms to look out for in your employment contract:

Non-compete 

An agreement not to enter into competition with your employer. If your side hustle has similar services or products to your employer make sure to read this part carefully. In some states, these clauses can still apply after you end your employment with the company.

Non-disclosure 

An agreement to keep your employer’s private information confidential. Be careful not to use or share your company’s proprietary information, even if it will help your side hustle. The risks are steep including lawsuits and indictment.

Invention assignments agreement

(AKA intellectual property agreement) – an agreement that anything created, or improved upon, on behalf of the company will be exclusively owned by the company. If you create something at work as part of your job description you can’t decide to keep it for yourself instead.

Starting a side hustle can be an exciting prospect. Don’t let your new business get ruined by legal issues.  For more information on what steps you can take to keep your side hustle on the right side of the law, check out the infographic from Lexington Law:

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