Forming a Business and Getting Online

Whether you're just getting started or you're a seasoned A-list blogger, there are many legal and practical issues to consider in deciding how to carry on your online publishing activities. We had to start somewhere, so we started at the beginning -- forming a business entity and choosing an online platform. We move on from there to address some other critical issues and questions relating to the mechanics of online publishing.

Here is a list of the topics addressed in this section:

  • Creating a Business: In this section, we address the business structures you can use to carry out your online publishing activities. We also provide general and state-specific information on the steps needed to create a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an LLC, a corporation, and a nonprofit organization.
  • Getting Your Words and Other Content Out to the World: This section looks at the different platforms that you can use in order to get your content out to an audience. It addresses some of the legal issues involved in choosing a platform and performs a comparative analysis of the terms of use for major blog- and website-hosting services and social networking sites.
  • Deciding Whether and How to Be Anonymous: In this section we look at some of the practical questions that might affect your decision to publish anonymously, including the technical measures you can use to maintain your anonymity online.  If you decide to publish anonymously, this section will help you understand how others may be able to use the law to unmask you.  This section also provides summaries of key anonymity cases in various states.
  • Deciding Whether and How to License Your Content:This section provides information about licensing your work, whether it be audio, video, or merely text.  It gives some background on what rights you can transfer and discusses cost-effective options for letting others use your work, including granting a Creative Commons license.