IT Business Legalities

Hey Patriots! So I work in cyber security but have just gotten laid off. I am on the fence about even going back into the corporate world right now. I have been looking into using my tech skills to help people with their IT support needs and wanted to start a small business for tech support for everyday people not other businesses. I have the knowledge about the website and tools etc. but am confused about the legalities as far as covering myself. Got a few questions hoping someone could help me out.
I know this is alot to maybe answer so any links to resources would be helpful! Thanks all!

-Should I setup an LLC for this? or something else? What are the benefits risks etc.?
-Insurance? Should I get some sort of insurance to cover myself?
-Data protection. How can I cover myself with having user data?

Hi KaptainKopter,

I recently retired and dissolved my small IT consulting business. I dealt with other businesses but here are some thoughts that I think would also apply to your situation.

  1. I would create an LLC or S Corporation. If you are trying to make this endeavor a full time job and income, you might consider getting an accountant for advice on the best type of company for you. You will also want to have some type of software for recordkeeping. You will also need to decide what types of payment you will accept and how to set those up as a seller.

  2. I would get some business insurance. However, I cannot provide any help on details for your situation.

  3. For my business, since my customers were other businesses, I had a multipage “Statement of Work” which provided details of the scope of work and what I was not liable for. For your situation, I would look at creating a shorter “contract” to use with every client which details your responsibilities and also what is not covered by your engaging with them. This would include any user data. For example, you can insist that proper data backup are the customers responsibility prior to you starting the engagement.

  4. You will also need to decide how to define an initial engagement with a customer and what the initial price will be. Too often, what is initially described as the problem appears to be small and a small price is quoted. However, additional dialog uncovers much more required work. You have to be able to communicate up front what an initial service covers and costs and how much additional cost there will be if more work is required. Otherwise both you and the customer will end up unhappy.

Good Luck. I hope this helps.

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RichB gives sound advice … I never even heard of “LLC’s” till my Accountant retired and his son took over for him … A good Accountant is well worth the investment over time, for advice and direction of growth… two things that I learned the hard way and will pass on … 1. don’t let your business grow faster than you can oversee and control the quality of your output … (raising prices is a good way to govern this and has instant benefits) … 2. Do the majority the work involved yourself for the first year or two… As being the Owner, I spent many weekends redoing the work that I wrote a paycheck on Friday for … and after writing the checks was broke anyway and could not afford weekend activities anyway… Oh and last bonus tip “Rule of Tens” … If you make ten people happy … one person will hear of your work … if you make one person upset … Ten people will hear… Best of luck . :+1: