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Get a lawyer-approved, quick and dirty legal checklist for your small business.
See once and for all exactly what you need to do to get your business up & running and your profits up & raining. Make a list, check it twice, make it rain.

Legal Nunchucks

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We hear you.

It’s hard out there for a photog.

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And whether it happened slowly-but-surely or overnight, you’ve realized that you aren’t just a photographer, you’re a small business owner. YOU’RE THE BOSS; the big cheese, the head honcho. And that is exciting, and affirming
…and scary as hell.

But you don’t have to do it alone and you don’t have to go at it unarmed. Which is exactly why we made Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers.

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Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers is THE resource for making sure your photography business is protected, legit, and overflowing with moola. It covers the 10 rookie legal mistakes that most photographers make and offers you the tools to stop running your business like one and instead, lay that legal foundation like a pro.

So why should you get your legal act together when it’s way more fun just taking photos and pretending the big bad scary stuff will never happen to you?

Oh, a few reasons off the tops of our heads:

So you can avoid lawsuits that will come after your personal funds and belongings
So you can protect your intellectual property and make more money off of it
So you can pay way less in taxes and stop being afraid of your accountant
So you can keep yahoos from using your photos without your permission
So you can sleep at night knowing you’re completely covered

Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers makes it simple and easy and affordable to learn about the legal precautions you need to take to make your business thrive PLUS the action and how-to to actually do it.

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christaI wish I had this kick-ass guide when I was first starting out. It would have saved me tons of heartache and thousands of dollars.The information included in this guide regarding theft, guarantees, intellectual property and business entities is the same exact advice I paid a lot of money to highly esteemed lawyers for. Rachel and Elizabeth leave no stone unturned and pack in all of the critical information you need in a “for dummies” way that really appeals to me. They actually made reading legal-ease hilarious and easy. After acting on the advice in this guide, I feel so much more peace of mind and confidence knowing I’m protected.I think this is the number one resource pro’s and newbies alike need to protect your business, your assets, your hard work, and future earnings.
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– Christa Meola, author & professional photographer

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  • Business entities and the ins and outs of taxes (hint: you can be paying way less if you do what we say.)
    • Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corporation; how to evaluate which is right for you and what that means for your business, bank account, and taxes.
  • The danger of letting your business and personal finances mingle and how to avoid it.
    • Get familiar with one of the biggest mistakes all entrepreneurs make: commingling of funds. We’ll teach you all about the corporate veil and how/why you could lose your liability protection if you don’t start separating those finances.
  • Why you need insurance and the glorious truth that it’s not as expensive as you probably think.
    • Equipment failure, on-shoot injuries, client dissatisfaction…these are a few of the many things that could go wrong for photographers. Luckily there’s insurance for that! We’ll go over what kind you need, why you need it, and how to do it asap.
  • Proper paperwork and agreements: what exactly to say, who exactly to give them to, and why they are your #1 ass-covering weapon. (actionable templates included, yo!)
    • Here we spend a lot of time telling you that just because people seem nice doesn’t mean that handshakes and smiles are proper paperwork substitutions. Ok, actually we give you a proper rundown on what types of agreements (Client Service Agreement, Work-For-Hire, Model Release etc.) you need and all of the ways that this will make your life easier (and cheaper!) in the long run.
  • How and why you should copyright your most valuable intellectual property: your photos.
    • Discover how accessible and affordable it is to copyright your photos and why registering your most prized photos is the smartest financial decision you can make as a photographer.
  • Using technology to keep dummies from stealing or using your work without your permission.
    • Here we go over the peskiest most annoying thing that happens especially to photographers: people stealing and misusing your work. We will teach you how to protect and police your work and how to get people to stop using it if they don’t have permission.
  • Building that team and making the right call on contractors vs employees.
    • Get the lowdown on a big uh-oh that small business owners make: classifying everyone that works for them as a contractor. This is a surprisingly expensive mistake to make and pretty easy to avoid (now that you have us!)
  • How to make it easy and glorious for people to purchase your photos (you’d be surprised how many photogs don’t do this!)
    • Yes, we don’t want people stealing your photos, but we DO want people to see how easy it is to BUY them or use them (licensing!) You’ll get a great rundown on how to make this simple switch and start raking in money from your work.
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Did somebody say templates and checklists?

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Yes, that was us. Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers gives you handy templates and worksheets so that you can stop the confusion, procrastination and guesswork and start protecting your business right. damn. now.

With Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers you’ll get:

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Client Service Agreement for Photographers Template
Providing you with all of the important verbiage and clauses to include in a standard client service agreement specifically for your photography business plus instructions on how to add in any of your own special terms.

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Copyright Registration for Photographers Checklist
Hark! Your intellectual property awaits! This checklist will walk you through the step-by-step process of copyrighting all of your precious photos so that you officially own them, can make money off of them, and can keep bad guys away from them.

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Model Release Template
Oh yes, you work with models. This template makes it easy peasy to have all of the people you photograph sign and agree to the working relationship and the way you plan on using the photographs in the future.
Think: major liability protection.

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Legal Checklist for Photographers
This checklist will be your very best legal friend (besides us). It gives you a glorious overview of everything we talk about in this resource so you can check everything off piece by piece and rest easy that you aren’t forgetting anything.

Because your photography deserves a great business backing it up; one that is armed and dangerous for whatever might pop up, and poised to really grow.

So start taking yourself and your business seriously. We’ll help.

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Got questions?
Here are some FAQs we’ve been asked that might speak to ya:

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Ummmm…what are nunchucks?

Awesome ninja weaponry to keep bad guys in line, and the perfect metaphor for the legal buttkicking this resource delivers.

Who is this for?

Photographers who need help getting their business set up and running smoothly (and legally) so that they can focus on doing what they love.

What if I’m not a photographer?

Well you should check out Small Business Bodyguard. It’s an all-encompassing resource for all walks of biz. Also, we are releasing more industry-specific guides later this year so sign up here to be notified and maybe your industry will be next!

What if I already own Small Business Bodyguard?

While Small Business Bodyguard is our flagship product that is serving over 1,300 small business owners from many different industries—both internet-based and brick and mortar—there are always industry-specific legal issues that arise and demand attention. Those hot button issues are the core of why we created Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers. Legal Nunchucks also includes templates and cheat sheets customized for photographers, that aren’t included in Small Business Bodyguard.

So, if you already have Small Business Bodyguard, think of Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers as a supplement to what you’ve learned and the resources you have in Small Business Bodyguard. It offers industry-specific legal knowledge and templates that will really tend to your specific business issues. If you don’t have Small Business Bodyguard, Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers is an introduction to the legal needs you have as a photographer with the key templates and cheat sheets you need to go legit (so you can go hard).

How much does it cost?

Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers is $197. In the words of one of our customers, “a great price for priceless peace of mind.”

What’s your refund policy?

As this is a digital and downloadable product, we can’t offer a refund since there is no way to get the product back once it’s been downloaded. But we love happy customers so we’d love to hear about what’s bugging you to see if it’s something we can fix. We are known for jumping through flaming hoops to meet our customer’s needs. We definitely want to help if we can. Drop us a line here.

Does all of this stuff apply to my state?

You bet your bum it does. Most laws in the US are quite similar from state to state, and are often based on model statutes that are adopted by almost every state. (Thank goodness, or things would get pretty complex!) We are very specific about which statutes apply to which states, so in the event that there’s something state specific we’re discussing, we’ll let you know about it.

Does this apply to any of us here in Canada, the UK, Australia-or somewhere else?

We created this guide to help you determine exactly what steps you should be taking to protect yourself and your photography business no matter where you’re located. That said, much of business law originally derived from English common law and was spread to the U.S., Canada, India, Australia, Nigeria and various other countries that were once colonized by England. So, though the law evolves, there are still significant similarities in the business law of common law countries. That said, we don’t make any guarantees about the applicability of this resource to countries outside the U.S. but we have many customers from various countries like Canada and Australia, who have told us how helpful this resource was for them. Additionally, if you’re doing business with people in the U.S., or want your intellectual property (ahem, your photos) protected in the U.S., then this is certainly applicable to you. If you’re selling to U.S. audiences, you’re required to comply with certain laws–and Legal Nunchucks will help you with that.

Which contract and agreement templates come with this?

Get excited because you’ll get templates for a Client Service Agreement for Photographer’s and a Model Release Form plus checklists for copyright registration and one for the whole shebang (ie, all of the legal stuff you need to take care of as a photographer).

What’s the format? Is this a course?

No, this is decidedly not a course. Consider this your modern-day legal reference specifically for photographers. You simply download the resource and boom! You have everything you need—including the templates and checklists in Word format so they are easy for you to adapt and customize.

Will I get access to everything at once?

Yep – she’s all yours. Now and forever.

What if reading about law & taxes & accounting makes me want to vomit?

This is not your average legal resource. In fact, one of the greatest features of Legal Nunchucks is that it’s specifically created to be user-friendly, readable, and even enjoyable; designed for the average photographer who doesn’t want a law degree–but just needs to know the facts so they can get their legal needs in order (without going to Google and getting one million varying—and inaccurate—responses). This was developed by two smarty-pants lawyers, peer-reviewed by more lawyers, and then edited by you guessed it, lawyers, plus one sweet-ass copywriter to make things FUN, readable and something you’ll refer to time and time again for years to come (and quite possibly fall out of your chair in joyful hysteria while reading).

Will I still need a lawyer-or will this cover all of my needs?

This is the answer to your most common legal questions plus the templates and checklists you need to actually take care of bidness. This isn’t everything legal you’ll ever need to know as a photographer/business owner but it is exactly what you need to establish a legal foundation for your photography business. (Read: You’ll get your accounting in order, you’ll learn how to pay less taxes, you’ll know what to do if people steal your photos (plus how to prevent it), and your clients will pay you on time because…CONTRACTS.)

I’m busy. I barely have time to read the newspaper, let alone something like this.

Let’s make the time. Really. You can’t mess around with this stuff. Being legal while doing business isn’t optional, it’s mandatory. And this must be a priority–because lawsuits will take up a lot more of your time, later on. So will the night you spend crying into your soup when you get your $20,000 tax bill because you didn’t have things in order. That said, there is no time limit on this – you can download it now, and reference it whenever you need to. That simple. We made this to give photographers self-defense tools so you can handle your own legal but we’ve all got to make the time.

I’m still a small fry (great phrase) and probably don’t need this yet…right?

I know. You’ve just gotten started and you feel like no one’s even noticing your fabulous photos so you probably don’t need all of these contracts and terms & conditions and copyrights and trademarks…right? In fact, you do. Those just getting started have the most to lose. If something happens and you have to give up half of your earnings, it’ll hit you a lot harder than someone making 6 figures+. Let’s get you some Legal Nunchucks, so you can stop playing amateur and go PRO. As we say: plan for the business you want to have, not the one you have.

To give you a taste of how our products have helped (and wowed) people, 

check out these kind words:

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I’ve just gone through your SBB and have to say this is freakin awesome and a great investment to have in my back pocket, especially if you live and work from the US. Its very informative, engaging and one of the most useful things I’ve ever picked up, ever.
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Catherine Haymes,

Everybody’s Home for Dinner

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Before I had so many questions and had no idea where to begin. I sort felt like I was drowning in legal questions! Now I’m feeling confident and more legit than ever! Thank you @rachrodgersesq and @christameola for this amazing guide! Hurry and get yours!
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Natashia Renee,

photographer

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testimonials4If you think that Small Business Bodyguard is expensive, then you have not clearly explored the cost of being ignorant. SBB is really affordable. And educational, motivating and accessible (using the templates, I drafted a contract and sent it off to a lawyer for review but I never could have done that a week ago). There is seriously valuable stuff in here. You should buy this. Now.
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– JAIME MILLER-RAPP

English Success Academy

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I signed up for Rachel’s email list last week and have been blown away by the quality of the information she is sharing there… so helpful to me and my business. Making me realize how vulnerable my business might be and how to take proactive steps to protect it in a smarter way.
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Maia Duerr

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Thanks so much for highlighting this – to be honest I’m completely ignorant of the legalities and figured since I was only starting out it didn’t matter but it’s sooooo important.
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EMMA BROOKE

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testimonials1There are challenges and legal issues that we don’t even know exist and that can bite us pretty badly. Rachel Rodgers, created this project as a way to help with the challenges you know you have as well as the ones you don’t. What I like about the Small Business Bodyguard project is that it’s written in a fun and engaging way. Oh, and it’s absolutely for Owners!
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– CHRIS BROGAN

NY Times Bestselling Author

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Thank you for putting together such a much-needed resource for the entrepreneurial/creative community. Legal stuff makes me wanna jump out a window—but probably not as much as having someone steal my best selling piece and slap it on a tee-shirt at Urban Outfitters without asking.
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LESLEY DESANTIS

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I want to thank you for offering this. As you know, there isn’t much info online about how to protect your online brand. The lawyers I know aren’t much help either – they’re pretty much mired in the past and are afraid of the internet.
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LAUREN MCCABE

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testimonials3Small Business Bodyguard is THE essential resource for entrepreneurs. I know of no other resource that so thoroughly tells you what you need to know, why you need to know it, and what to do about it. These templates, checklists, and worksheets by themselves are worth the cost. Had I used just two of them I would’ve saved between $11,000 and $13,000 in the past three years. It’s not a matter of if you’ll need them, it’s a matter of when.
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– CHARLIE GILKEY

Writer, Speaker, Business Advisor & CEO

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Hey, who are the masterminds behind this whole thing?

We’re glad you asked…

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She runs a non-traditional law firm—Rachel Rodgers Law Office P.C.—that has successfully disrupted the legal industry and made it easy (and damn fun) for innovative companies, startup and entrepreneurs work with experienced attorneys and get the legal help they need to do the crazy stuff they want to do. Her firm has been featured in Forbes, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more, while Rachel herself has been featured in and contributed to various media outlets and publications such as Fast Company, MSNBC, The Huffington Post, Amex Open Forum and others.

As for Small Business Bodyguard, Rachel started this revolution by creating the innovative and entertaining business law guide called Small Business Bodyguard: Cover Your Bases, Cover Your Assets, Cover Your Ass. This game-changing resource has been called “fun and engaging” by New York Times bestselling author Chris Brogan and a “graduate-level course on how to build a strong foundation for your business” by CEO of OurDeal, Kyle Durand. SBB has now grown to include a full team with several new products launching this year (including this one you’re reading about, Legal Nunchucks: For Photographers).

Back in the old days, Rachel received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York and has a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution, also from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  She’s been admitted to the Bar in both New York and New Jersey and has had cocktails at bars all around the world. Before starting her law firm and Small Business Bodyguard Inc., she clerked for a judge and worked at nonprofits in New York, at a premier lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill in the Senate Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

When she’s not taking care of clients, you can find her baking in the kitchen (barefoot, with rosé in hand), playing hide-and-seek with her two toddlers (aren’t you tired just reading that?!), hanging out with her hubby (who builds motorcycles, which totally ups her cool factor, right?), or spending time in France, her absolute favorite place on the face of the planet.

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She’s passionate about technology and new ideas and innovative companies. Elizabeth spends her days taking her clients crazy-ass, never-been-done-before ideas and making them legal. She has a special talent for parting the labyrinth of bureaucracy like the Red Sea and making copyright law easy to comprehend (which is incomprehensible!). In other words, she’s a bad mammajamma.

Elizabeth studied at St. John’s University School of Law concentrating on Internet law, technology, and intellectual property. She is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Fun Elizabeth fact: she began began her career in television production and book publishing before following her heart to law school (and yes, she realizes it usually goes the other way.)

Before joining Rachel Rodgers Law Office, she practiced workers’ compensation defense for large corporate clients including Viacom, BET, and CBS (no biggie).

Elizabeth adores her seven year-old son, her bass-playing husband, New York City, and freshly baked bread. Bonus fact: Elizabeth makes peach jam from scratch. And it’s delicious. We’ve tried it.

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