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Legal Essentials For Online Entrepreneurs with Amira Irfan

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Legal Essentials For Online Entrepreneurs with Amira Irfan

In this insightful interview, we delve into the entrepreneurial journey of Amira Irfan, the founder of A Self Guru. A unique fusion of legal expertise and digital entrepreneurship, Amira’s platform is a perfect place for online business owners and bloggers who seek legal guidance. We explore the inception of her business, the challenges she faced, and the pivotal moments that shaped A Self Guru into a trusted resource for legal templates and services. This conversation is not only a testament to Amira’s journey but also a treasure trove of wisdom for anyone navigating the complex waters of online entrepreneurship.

Amira Irfan

Starting an Online Legal Business

SBS – What inspired you to start A Self Guru, and how did your journey begin?

Amira – After working as a business lawyer for over a decade, I wanted to start an online business to help more entrepreneurs legally protect themselves because I had the misfortune of watching my own dad’s business get sued for $90,000. 

I knew there were many more entrepreneurs, like my dad, who needed legal help and protection, but the idea of starting A Self Guru came from viewing a YouTube video of two bloggers who had built six and seven-figure businesses online. That inspired me to start a blogging business while working full-time as a lawyer. 

I started A Self Guru as my side hustle while working full-time as a lawyer during the day. I was a lawyer by day and an entrepreneur at night and on weekends! 

I was aware that many entrepreneurs face legal challenges and may not have access to affordable legal help. That’s why, at A Self Guru, I strive to provide affordable and practical legal solutions for small business owners.

Identifying the Need for Legal Services in the Digital Space

SBS – Can you describe the moment you realized there was a need for legal services and templates specifically tailored for online businesses and bloggers?

Amira – When I started my online business, a lot of bloggers and entrepreneurs reached out to me seeking legal help in terms of writing their website policies and legal pages, reviewing contracts, drafting business contracts, LLC formation, and more!

After working with these business owners one-on-one, I knew there had to be an easier and faster way to protect their businesses. That’s when I decided to create done-for-you legal templates that business owners could instantly download, fill in some highlighted blanks, and use to protect their businesses within minutes — all without having to hire an expensive lawyer. This saved them so much time and money. 

That’s why our legal templates and bundles are so popular now among online businesses because they provide lawyer level protection without the hefty legal fees. You have peace of mind knowing these templates are actually written by a lawyer and can be customized to fit your specific business needs. 

Overcoming Challenges in the Early Stages

SBS – What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in the early stages of your business, and how did you overcome them?

Amira – The biggest challenge I faced in the early stages of my business was optimizing my time and creating a work-life balance. I started my business with my full-time job as a lawyer, so I worked 16+ hours a day. This obviously took a toll on my mental and physical health.

It was tough to juggle my demanding job as a lawyer and building my business at the same time. I had to constantly prioritize and make sacrifices, often having to miss out on social events or personal time. However, I realized that this was temporary and necessary at the time to grow my business. 

To overcome this challenge, I learned the importance of setting boundaries and delegating tasks. Once the business generated enough revenue, I started to outsource and hire contractors to help me with some of the workload. This allowed me to focus on the core aspects of my business and also have more time for myself.

We all have to remember that as entrepreneurs, we also need to take care of our mental and physical health because it’s easy to burn ourselves out.

Leveraging Past Experiences for Business Success

SBS – How did your background and previous experiences contribute to the success of A Self Guru?

Amira – Great question! I feel like my background and previous experiences truly contributed to the success of A Self Guru in a unique way.

Before I became a lawyer, I used to be a teacher so my approach to business is a bit different. I like to simplify, teach, and make the legal aspects of business easy to understand. This approach has really helped my customers feel more empowered in their own businesses. 

My customers often tell me that they love reading my blog posts or watching my YouTube videos because they are so easy to understand, and they feel like they can actually apply that information to their own businesses without any overwhelm. 

Before that, I worked as a model, so I bring my expertise and confidence from being in front of the camera, working with clients, and building relationships to my business. This has helped me understand the importance of personal branding and how it can impact one’s success.

Key Turning Points in Building A Self Guru

SBS – Can you share a pivotal moment or a turning point for your business?

Amira – Yes, it was when I made $78,000 in a single month from my online business, which allowed me to quit my 9 to 5 job as a lawyer and become a full-time entrepreneur. 

It was also the moment when I realized that I had created a business that aligned with my passions and values while also providing me with financial stability and freedom.

Strategies for Attracting Initial Clients

SBS – What strategies did you use to attract your first customers and build your client base?

Amira – I used a combination of social media marketing, guest posting, and creating my affiliate program to reach my ideal customers. 

First, I created my own Facebook group and built a community around my brand. I used this platform to share valuable content, engage with my audience, and promote my products. To this day, my own Facebook group is one of the best ways to connect with my audience.

Secondly, I reached out to other businesses and blogs in my niche and offered to guest post or collaborate on projects. This allowed me to tap into their established audiences and gain exposure for my own business.

Finally, I created a high-paying affiliate program where I offered 40% commission to my customers and business owners who referred customers to my business. This helped me reach a wider audience and build trust and credibility through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Key Legal Tips for New Online Entrepreneurs

SBS – What legal aspects do you believe are most often overlooked by new online entrepreneurs?

Amira – I have seen new online entrepreneurs often overlooking legal aspects such as not making their websites legally compliant, not having proper legal pages on their websites, not using proper contracts when working with others, not forming an LLC or business entity to protect their personal assets, stealing content from others resulting in copyright infringement, and more. 

First Steps in Legal Compliance

SBS – For someone starting an online business, what are the first legal steps they should take?

Amira – This is a common question I get! 

When you are starting an online business, the first step should be to make your website legally compliant. 

For this, you need to have three legal pages posted on your website:

  1. Privacy policy — this is legally required on all websites
  2. Disclaimer — this is needed to limit your legal liability for the content you publish on your website 
  3. Terms and Conditions — these are your website rules and also prevent legal issues with your customers, clients, and readers 

Now, I understand that it’s not easy to write these legal policies or pages yourself, which is why I offer DIY legal templates that you can instantly download in our legal bundles here to get done with all of these legal pages in 15 minutes! This saves you SO much time and headaches. Plus, you’ll get instant peace of mind knowing your website is compliant.

In addition to the above, you should also make sure your website is compliant with accessibility laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act in the US. This law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and requires certain measures to be taken to make your website accessible. 

It’s a complicated law, so I have put together this legal bundle that will help make things easier for you to comply and also provide you with the Website Accessibility Statement you would need to post on your website. 

Forming an LLC for an Online Business

SBS – How important is it for online entrepreneurs and bloggers to consider forming an LLC, and what are the key benefits and considerations they should be aware of when deciding whether to form an LLC for their business?

Amira – Forming an LLC (limited liability company) is a great way to limit your personal liability and protect your personal assets. It’s one of the most popular legal structures for bloggers and online entrepreneurs because it’s easy to form and maintain, provides tax benefits, and is affordable.

One of the main benefits of forming an LLC is that it separates your personal assets from your business assets. This means that if your business were to be sued or face any financial troubles, your personal assets, such as your car, home, or savings, would be protected.

In other words, by forming an LLC, you are creating a separate legal entity for your business that’s responsible for its own debts and liabilities. Also, LLC offers flexibility in terms of ownership and management. You can have a single-member LLC, where you are the sole owner and manager, or a multi-member LLC with co-owners and managers. 

However, forming an LLC also requires some costs and paperwork. There are filing fees for creating an LLC and annual fees to maintain it. There are state-specific requirements that need to be met, such as having a registered agent or publishing a notice of formation in a local newspaper.

Ultimately, the decision to form an LLC for your business should be based on your particular needs and goals. You should consult with a lawyer and weigh the benefits and costs before making a decision. 

If needed, work with a lawyer to make sure your LLC paperwork is filed correctly. I have seen many bloggers and entrepreneurs making legal mistakes when they try to file the LLC paperwork on their own.

The Role of Legal Contracts Online

SBS – How important is it for a small online business or a blogger to have contracts and legal pages in place, and why?

Amira – I shared my dad’s story, where he got sued by the freelancer he had hired because he failed to use a legal contract with this person. This resulted in a $90,000 lawsuit, and this is just one example of how not having proper contracts and legal pages in place can lead to costly mistakes and legal issues for a small online business or blogger.

Since then, I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and entrepreneurs make the same legal mistake and then regret it later. Recently, a blogger informed me that she worked with a brand for the sponsorship but did not sign a contract, and the brand is now refusing to pay her for her efforts. Imagine all of that time and work wasted. 

I know another blogger and coach who was threatened to be sued by her client for the advice she gave without any disclaimers or contract in place. She ended up losing thousands of dollars as a result. 

Then, on a positive note, one of my customers recently reached out to me, thanking me for my Terms and Conditions template because it saved her from losing thousands of dollars with her client. This is because when her client requested a refund, she was able to point them to her official terms and conditions, which clearly stated her no-refund policy, allowing her to avoid a potential legal issue.

The bottom line is that having clear contracts and legal pages, such as privacy policies, terms and conditions, and disclaimers, not only protects your business but also sets expectations with your customers. It helps establish the boundaries of what is acceptable in your business and what is not, minimizing the risk of misunderstandings or disputes.

Contracts are also necessary for outlining the terms and conditions of your services or products, setting payment schedules, and establishing confidentiality agreements. This helps prevent issues such as non-payment or unauthorized use of your work for example. All of this ultimately saves you time, money, and reputation.

Common Legal Mistakes and Avoidance

SBS – What are some common legal pitfalls that entrepreneurs should be aware of, and how can they avoid them?

Amira – We talked about quite a few already, but here are some more legal pitfalls that entrepreneurs should be aware of and avoid:

  1. Not protecting your intellectual property — As an online business or blogger, your content, logos, and branding are all considered intellectual property. Failing to protect these assets with trademarks or copyrights can leave you vulnerable to copycats and loss of revenue. Make sure to research and properly protect your intellectual property to avoid legal disputes
  2. Copying other people’s content — Just like you want to protect your intellectual property, make sure not to infringe upon other people’s content or intellectual property. This means not using other people’s images, videos, and other content without permission 
  3. Not having clear contracts with clients or business partners — I mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth emphasizing again. Without proper contracts in place, you are at risk of misunderstandings, non-payment, or even lawsuits from disgruntled clients or partners. Invest in proper contract templates or consult with a lawyer to ensure all your business relationships are legally protected
  4. Not complying with privacy and data protection laws — With the rise of online businesses, there has also been an increase in privacy and data protection laws. Make sure your website is compliant with these laws by having proper policies in place, such as a privacy policy, disclaimer, and terms and conditions. Failure to comply with these laws can result in hefty fines and legal penalties
  5. Not properly disclosing sponsored content or affiliate links — As an online entrepreneur, it’s important to be transparent with your audience and disclose any sponsored content or affiliate links in your blog posts or social media. You are legally required to do so by the Federal Trade Commission rules. Failure to do so can lead to legal issues and loss of trust from your audience

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your business legally. Also, here’s a helpful legal guide that you can instantly download to learn about the three common legal mistakes to avoid in your online business. 

Legal Protection’s Role in Business Success

SBS – In your experience, how does proper legal protection impact the long-term success of an online business?

Amira – I always say that “legal is the glue that holds your business together” because I watched my own dad’s business fall apart when he got sued for $90,000 for a common legal mistake that could have been avoided with a proper contract in place. 

This lawsuit had devastating consequences for our family, where my dad lost his entire business and had to start all over again from scratch. From that experience, I learned the importance of having proper legal protection in place from the beginning. That’s when I decided to become a business lawyer so that I could help other business owners from suffering the same fate. 

Now in the online world, there’s this common misconception that legal protection is only for big corporations or businesses with deep pockets. But in reality, all businesses, regardless of their size, need proper legal protection to ensure long-term success.

Having proper legal protection not only helps avoid costly lawsuits but also establishes your business as a legitimate and trustworthy entity. It provides a solid foundation for long-term success by protecting your assets, setting clear expectations, and preventing potential disputes.

If you look at hundreds of five-star reviews we have received from entrepreneurs, this is what you’ll often hear from my customers after working with me or buying my legal templates:

  • “Your legal templates saved me SO much time and money. It was worth every penny.”
  • “I can now sleep better at night knowing my business is legally protected!”
  • “Your legal templates are an absolute lifesaver. I wish I had found them sooner.”

This shows that investing in legal services is actually a smart investment that can save you from bigger expenses and headaches in the future. With proper legal protection, you can focus on growing your business with confidence and peace of mind.

Investing in Legal Services

SBS – What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to invest in legal services for their business?

Amira – I’d say prevention is always better than cure. It’s a lot easier and less expensive to invest in legal services when you start a business than to hire a lawyer later when you get into a legal issue because you were hesitant to do things legally. Consider this an investment in the long-term success of your business.

Also, keep in mind that legal services don’t have to break your bank. There are affordable options available for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Our customers often tell us that investing in our legal services was a no-brainer because they are so reasonably priced, and has given them peace of mind and the confidence to grow their business without worrying about potential legal issues. It’s a small price to pay for the protection and stability of your business.

Remember, by investing in proper legal protection, you are not only safeguarding your business but also setting yourself up for success in the long run. 

Managing Legal and Business Demands

SBS – Can you offer any tips or strategies for balancing the legal requirements of a business with its other demands?

Amira – Staying organized and proactive is one of the most effective ways to balance legal requirements with other business demands. Just as you keep track of your taxes and understand the importance of filing requirements, you must check and update your legal documents, contracts, and policies to ensure you are in compliance with the law. 

Sometimes depending on your particular business, you may need additional legal documents to protect yourself. 

You should prioritize legal tasks instead of putting them off until the last minute. It’s always easier to set aside dedicated time at the beginning of your business to tackle legal tasks and avoid potential issues. This provides a solid legal framework for your business.

That’s what I see smart entrepreneurs doing when they schedule a call with me early on to discuss their legal requirements. This allows them to address their legal obligations immediately and then focus solely on growing their business without any legal worries.


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Legal Essentials For Online Entrepreneurs with Amira Irfan