Questions tagged [legal]

A tag for legal issues surrounding freelance work, such as tax or company incorporation. Questions with this tag *must* follow the "Back it up" rule.

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25
votes
3answers
641 views

When is it a good idea to start considering an LLC or incorporation?

I've done freelance work as an independent contractor for years, which works well-enough for sporadic freelance work. But as I get more gigs and an established portfolio, are there benefits to forming ...
22
votes
4answers
26k views

What does an LLC's limited liability really protect you against (if you are sole owner and employee)?

I have looked into forming an LLC a few times in the US (right now I am better off not doing so for tax reasons while I am abroad but that is another story). However in my research, I may be ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Freelancing while being employed

Relying purely on freelancing to earn your bread can be somewhat risky and daunting. Say I want to do freelancing while also being employed (full or part time). What are the specific issues I need to ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Do I risk anything if I shut down a product that hasn't been paid?

I have been working on a "big" advertising website for a known company in my country. The job wasn't much paid but interested so I did it. I also worked lot of overtime to build everything they needed,...
13
votes
3answers
269 views

Who owns the result of my contracted work?

I am currently working for a company on a contract-to-hire (eventually) plan. Apart from tax forms, I never signed an official contract. Do I maintain all rights to my work? I am by no means planning ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Whilst employed, can I open a freelancing website account?

I have been working for a company for the last 3 months. 2 months ago I created a personal account on a freelancing website and for trial purposes I have applied to 4-5 proposals on the site, but I ...
12
votes
2answers
288 views

Offsetting own labour as 'allowable expenses' when accounting

I'm a web developer. When I buy a Mac I put it down as an allowable expense and receive a tax break on it. When I buy business cards, they go down as an advertising cost. My broadband is an 'office ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Client threatening legal action constantly

I have a client who is constantly threatening legal action against me even though I don't think I have done much wrong. I have done EVERYTHING I possibly can to keep the client happy, but it is never ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How do freelance web developers approach security and liability?

Liability How can clients expect small teams and individuals to be liable for a security breach when the news is filled with governments/corporations with huge ITSec budgets getting hacked? We're ...
12
votes
4answers
360 views

I.T home support - protecting myself

I'm looking to get some extra work and start my own I.T support business for home users only. Examples of work: - Working on computers in front of the client - Clients drop off computers, I fix them, ...
10
votes
11answers
2k views

My client wants me to use pirated software. What should I do?

I have been in negotiations with a client over the past few days about a large job he needs me to perform. It requires the use of an expensive piece of software. When I asked about the licensing, he ...
10
votes
4answers
38k views

Is an agreement by email reply enough to act as a signature in a legal contract?

I am about to start a contract with a remote client and want to start quickly. Rather than sending a signed contract by "snail mail" for them to sign and return, would it be enough to email the ...
10
votes
1answer
134 views

Claiming use of home as office allowance if the work is unpaid

Can I claim the use of home as office allowance if the work that I perform there is (currently) unpaid? I am currently working on a web project that I'm developing in my office at home. I'm spending a ...
10
votes
1answer
676 views

Out of State Lawsuit for Payment

I'm at the point that I have to sue a client for non-payment. It's large enough that I can't afford to write it off, but small enough for small claims. According to the U.S. law I've researched, you ...
9
votes
6answers
478 views

Client owes me substantial money, I got another job full-time, client wants me to hand over keys to next developer without payment

I have a small business client who I freelanced for before getting my current full-time php development & server administration job. Let's call the client "Joe's Pizza" (not actual name). Joe's ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Clients who don't pay their invoices what are your options?

Given the following facts regarding their agreement: - Client is past due their invoices - Freelancer is an independant contractor / consultant - Not always is there a deliverable product What ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Global freelancers and taxation

Does anyone have experience freelancing for a company located outside their own country where they are legally authorised to work? What is the best way to handle taxes in this circumstance? For e.g., ...
9
votes
3answers
741 views

Can I be held responsible for HIPAA violation?

I am currently developing a web-application for a client in the US (I'm from Switzerland). The client's application will handle sensitive data which falls under the "HIPAA Security Rule" (patients ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

Client threatening to take legal actions -- How should I have prevented this?

I recently was in the mockup stage with a client (with whom I didn't enter any contract or anything) and provided him mockups of designs. I asked for an upfront (very small just because he was first ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Client refusing to pay

I recently did some web design samples for a client. The client was looking for an e-commerce website and wanted to see samples of what I intended to make the site look like. They were very adamant on ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

How to backup declared income when the invoice is lost?

An invoice for some work I did awhile back seems to be missing and I can't find it, yet I want to make sure I am declaring that amount in my tax statements. If I get audited, what's the best way to ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What steps can I take to protect my reputation if my CV is plagiarised?

A number of my recruiter contacts recently drew my attention to the fact that a CV was doing the rounds that was effectively my CV with a different name and part of someone else's CV tacked onto the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How I can be hidden from my current working company?

I am working in one good company as a senior iOS developer and have some good experience in it. I have some free time in personal and I want to earn more money by doing freelance work online And I ...
7
votes
2answers
629 views

Employer Via Freelancing Platform Threatening To Take Legal Action Against Me

The long story short is I was engaged, hired and paid via an online freelancing platform to do some development work. I believe I performed to the best of my abilities, however the guy who hired me is ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it required to register under any authorities to work as a freelancer?

I am working for an friend in India and do spare time freelancing software development. I had worked for less then 10 clients and got the payment transferred to my personal account. So my question is ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I start doing work before my LLC paperwork has run through to completion?

I've started the process of creating an LLC through Legalzoom. I've acquired a client now though, before hearing back from the Secretary of State, etc. (I'm in Ohio). Can I start work/invoicing ...
7
votes
3answers
620 views

Copyright on freelance work

I'm going to start a side job to create a custom program for a couple guys. They've sent me a contract, which I'm attempting to understand. It looks fairly standard, but I'm not sure about the part ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

What are the rules for Freelancing overseas with a US company but residing in the UK?

What are the rules for visas while freelancing? I am specifically asking about the UK. Typically, to stay in a country like the UK for longer then a few months, you need a work visa. This usually ...
7
votes
1answer
340 views

What is the difference between an LLC and a PLLC?

I'm a mobile developer in the state of Florida and I'm currently freelancing through an LLC I setup a couple years ago. I went to a talk about business startups recently and the term PLLC, or ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

How close do end client work locations need to be to fall foul of the 24 month travel and subsistence rule?

I already understand the nature of the 24 month rule in regards to a single contract that lasts for more than 2 years. To recap: From the point at which you know that your contract will be longer ...
7
votes
3answers
11k views

How to ensure the person signing the contract is authorized to do so by the company?

This might be a stupid question, but I want to cover all my bases, after all, that's the whole point of having a contract, right? I've prepared a contract for my freelance work. When I approach a ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

What to do about a possible fraudulent client and a scam in progress?

A few years ago I had an enquiry from a potential client who was an acquaintance of a friend. I had my doubts early on that he was a scammer but initially gave the benefit of the doubt, and then ...
6
votes
3answers
835 views

Bartering - client has cancelled and is asking for money

Nine months ago I agreed to exchange my services as a designer in return for free consultations from the client (who is a doctor). We agreed that we would exchange our services by matching hours for ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

An employer hasn't paid me for months already. Should I keep working with them?

A little background: my employer has a client and this client is pretty big and they are using the system for many users and I'm the only resource person who knows the source code and everything in it....
6
votes
5answers
539 views

Freelancer refuses to be paid. What to do?

This is probably the most awkward question asked. What to do when a freelancer refuses to be paid? Let's provide more details. I requested anyone with a video camera to record an event. I write the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What do I need when I want to work as freelance developer in Ireland (Dublin)?

I am german and have a MSc in CS. Since I am planning to live in Dublin for the next years and want to keep some of my current german customers as freelance developer, what legal steps do I need to ...
6
votes
1answer
85 views

Can I anonymously use my public LLC?

I know it's possible to register an LLC anonymously in a few states. This isn't a question about that. For context, I have not created an LLC yet. I work as a freelancer and I have a side project (...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Non-paying international client (US client, UK freelancer)

I'm a British citizen, living and working in Europe, and I recently did some work for a small US company based in California. My client was working for a third-party and I was sub-contracted to work ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Legality of providing freelance support for a product which my current employer previously supported

I currently provide technical support for a very niche product sold by a relatively big-name company (at least within this particular industry). However, they are planning on ending support in a ...
6
votes
5answers
576 views

Who own the "copyright" or intellectual property for the code you have written?

Assuming it has not been exclusively spelled out in the client contract, do the software developer own the rights to the code that he has written for the client? Can he reuse the code in other ...
5
votes
4answers
284 views

Using client's idea to develop an app

I was hired by a client to develop an Android app for him. We've worked together once, and when he offered me the job we didn't make any formal agreement. Now after finishing the development of the ...
5
votes
5answers
891 views

Handling a client that doesn't pay after services are delivered

What are the ways of protecting your income while working as a freelancer? I did contract work for a company day and night for 4 months, full-time. They were supposed to pay those 4 months of fees ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Do you own the right to publish someone's work after you pay them?

Let's say I ask someone to make a 3d model of a monster, can I then publish his work on a modding website? Is there any other thing I need to be aware of? Do I have to put his name to credit him for ...
5
votes
4answers
253 views

Can client demand a refund for software that fails specifications?

I delivered software which failed to meet the client's specifications. I followed 90% of the specs, but not 100%. Client is asking for a partial refund, for the features which were not delivered. He ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

I am a US citizen living in the US, can I freelance for a UK company?

I was on a student visa in the UK, but now I am going back to the US and am trying to figure out if I am allowed to freelance for the company that I had interned for in the UK while living in the US.
5
votes
1answer
976 views

How do I prove my source of income?

I intend to freelance with a client. It is a one-to-one (person-to-person) contract. What all should we mention in the contract to prove that I'm earning money legally by freelancing (and ...
5
votes
3answers
273 views

Who Owns the Source Code & IP - Developer or Employer?

Imagine you hire someone on a freelancing site to code a (highly) custom website or app with very specific functionality. After they complete the job, you pay them for their work and they hand over ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

Approaching a company with an idea

A few years ago I did 2 consecutive summer internships at a company. The company has a core system X which is used for many ‘events’ (I don’t want to give too much away about the companies involved ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

Client refusing to pay, threatening to involve lawyer

After working on a freelance Graphic Design project in New York for an individual wanting to start a magazine I had to return back to the UK for visa reasons. I did not manage to complete the project ...
5
votes
2answers
330 views

Virtual address for freelance use?

I'm a solo freelancer working from home in a developing country. Sometimes I need a trusted-feeling address to show for my clients. Is it illegal to rent a virtual address from a developed country ...