Hi Joan -
I'm in the US, so I can't give you any suggestions specifically for your island, either. Sorry!
What I can tell you is that each jurisdiction (country, state, province, county, town, etc.) has its own rules about business licensing and/or registration. It's possible that you won't need a business license at all. But the only way to know for sure is to speak with a lawyer who knows the laws of your islands.
Regarding liability insurance:
Maria from Agness wrote:As far as I'm aware you only need liability insurance if you are selling your own physical products or you have premises where the public visit you.
Sorry to be the contrarian here, Maria. But that's not entirely accurate.This is really important for every business owner to understand
, whether you operate on line or in a bricks-and-mortar business:
There are multitudes of potential liabilities lurking out there, that can jump out and bite us in the butt when we least expect it.
Just one example off the top of my head: Copyright infringement.
Of course, none of us would intentionally
violate anyone's copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights. But stuff happens
, and it's possible that any of us might inadvertently infringe on someone else's copyright and end up being sued.
In that case, an insurance policy that covers copyright infringement claims would be a very nice thing to have!
In addition: For anyone whose business involves giving advice to others (e.g., health or fitness related advice, parenting advice, travel advice, etc.), you have to remember that people will rely on your advice.
No matter how many disclaimers you have on your site and how well-worded and prominently displayed those disclaimers are, there's still a chance that someone will sue you if he/she believes your advice caused him/her bodily harm or financial loss. Unfortunately, we live in a very litigious world where people will sue for the slightest perceived "wrong".
Whether you're actually to blame or not, you'd still be faced with defending yourself against the person's claim. Defending against a claim or suit can get very
expensive. And depending on the laws in your jurisdiction, you might not be able to recover your legal fees and expenses from the other party even if you win.
So, IMHO, it's vitally important for all of us to think about what kinds of claims we could possibly be hit with, given the nature of our sites/businesses. Then consider insuring against those kinds of claims, just in case the worst-case scenario comes to pass.
joan from Old Road Town wrote:I read an article from SBI that stated that we should have liability insurance in the event that we need legal help because of a lawsuit. the Lawyer of the liability insurance can be used in the case, and according to what was said, might be the cheapest form of legal help that you will be able to get.
Yes, but (and this is a big
but) ... the liability insurance company will only pay for a lawyer to defend you if the wrongful conduct that's alleged against you is covered by your insurance policy
Going back to the example of copyright infringement ...
If your liability insurance policy includes coverage for claims/suits arising out of alleged copyright infringement, then your insurance company will likely provide and pay for a lawyer to defend you against a copyright infringement claim/suit. (I say "likely" because that's how it normally works here in the US. In other countries it might be different.)
If your policy doesn't cover copyright infringement claims/suits, then you're up the creek without a paddle, so to speak. You'll likely have to pay for your own lawyer and your own costs of defense. (Again, I say "likely" because i can't speak to what would happen in every situation in every country around the world.
The long and short of it is: none of us is immune from potential liability. That's why it's more important than I can express for all of us to treat our websites as a business, and to get competent business advice and guidance from qualified professionals - lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, etc.
Sure, you might have to spend a little for professional advice now. But in the long run, the a** you save will be your own.
Sorry to be so "doom-and-gloom" here, folks. But, as Joan said, this is serious stuff; and it merits serious consideration.