#ASE14 – The critical legal mistakes affiliates make *and how to be(come) FTC compliant

LEgalEric Crusius from Fed Nexus Law talks about the most common (and easy to fix) mistakes affiliates make.

  1. Treat your business like a business and incorporate (e.g. via Legalzoom.com) – this protects your personal assets. Keep the assets seperate, e.g. have separate bank account etc.
  2. Have contracts with your stakeholders in place! (e.g. how intellectual property and promotional material/logos can be used)
  3. Always use the company's name when you sign a contract.
  4. Everything is automatically copywrighted! Also, learn the basics of trademark use and copywright laws.
  5. Being honest in your marketing! Don't make false claim, always back it up. No deceptive formats (fake news stories), no false endorsements, no substantiated claims, …
  6. If you offer „free trials“, make sure that the customers can get in touch with you and return the product.
  7. Don't SPAM! Use accurate subject lines, have an opt-out, and only use permission based email optins.
  8. If you use adword campaigns, be sure not to use some else's trademark in your ad.
  9. Don't user other peoples photos!
  10. Understand your risks as an affiliate – read the contracts etc. you have with your networks.
  11. Protect yourself from the „enemy within“ – e.g. business partners that are trying to take over, freelancers that go rogue and steal data, employees that engage in cyber attacks or hacking,…
  12. Protect yourself from external enemies, e.g. bad reviews on Yelp.com etc. Monitor these sites and take action if necessary.
  13. Pay attention to the Google autocomplete – e.g. if you type in „XYZ“, Google can show suggestions like „XZY Scam“.
  14. Register your name on social media, top level domains, copyrights, monitor your brand (e.g. with Google Alerts)
  15. Don't be afraid to ask a professional for help!

Now, just get on it and do it!