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Are there any legal issues I should know about before I consider self employment?

After spending a large portion of last year looking for a job, I have started considering alternate forms of employment.

One of these alternate routes I am thinking about is self employment, particularly freelance programming. I have a gift for learning IT related subjects... and I have loads of free time to study and develop my personal projects due to my being unemployed.

Are there any laws or legal risks involved that I should know about? (I live in the US, for legal reference.)

It's not like I'm planning to jump on a freelance coding forum and start advertising tomorrow (... or even this year, for that matter. I would need to build my qualifications first.) but I would like to know a bit about the legalities now, instead of having to learn everything all at once later.

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You would have to set up a draft where it excludes you from any equipment damage. This will help if you are trying to be sued by a company claiming that you ruined their equipment.

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Excellent answer.
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Thank you.

Even though I have seen disclaimers along the same lines in virtually every piece of licensed software, that never occurred to me.
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Not so much legal but considerations... consider costs of becoming LLC, know that you are responsible for all taxes, sales taxes on your product, if applicable and 100% of your social security with holdings. know the tax definitions and consequences of self employment vs hobby and hit your local community college/county workforce for free classes for small business like how to write a business plan

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Yeah, that's part of the reason I'm not jumping right into it.

I would be responsible for my taxes, health insurance, Social Security, etc.
I would have to find out what taxes apply to my situation and to my business...

It's a lot to learn on the financial side of things.

Thanks for your advice.
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