This is how to avoid legal issues with your side hustle [infographic]

Freelancing continues to rise. It’s fair to understand why. It gives you and other marketers the ability to make extra money, develop your career, and establish relationships with clients you choose. Stagnant wages also give workers the motivation to look into this realm of work. Not to mention, your side hustle or passion project can grow into a successful business, if you put in the hard work of course.

Digital marketing and social media are excellent industries for freelancers. You can work on the projects you care about and do creative work that fulfills you, right?

As technology develops, more people will look to launch their own lucrative freelancing career. If this sounds like you, you need to be aware of the legal circumstances that come with this type of work. For example, you can run into tricky employment contracts or tax issues. People in the past have been indicted for stealing trade secrets from their day jobs. You can’t let this be you one day, all because you didn’t pay attention to basic legal rules, right?

Before you strap on the boots to go all in on your side hustle, you need to take the necessary steps that’ll guarantee you won’t end up on the wrong side of the law.

As you will see in this infographic below from Lexington Law, you will learn how to avoid legal trouble.

What are the legal consequences of a side hustle?

If you’re not careful you can spell disaster for your side hustle, leaving you with nowhere to run.

You can run into potential tax fraud

It’s estimated that over $214.6 billion is lost every year in undeclared income to the IRS.

You can face hefty fines

Don’t steal any trade secrets from your current or past employers. You can reach fines up to $500,000 if you make this mistake. Check how flexible your employer is with you revealing their content strategy, if that’s something you wish to do.


It’s estimated 30 million workers are covered under non compete agreements in the United States. This prevents you from entering competition with your employer. What can trigger this? That’s right, your side business.

Stay clear of trouble

To stay clear of any issues, think about the following:

Is your freelancing career a business or hobby?

Make the distinction that your digital marketing side hustle is a business or hobby. It’s imperative you know how to file for taxes since both have their own deductions.

Factor in taxes

Remember, taxes apply to all income. Keep track of your side earnings for when filing time comes.

Wage whether you should form an LLC

LLC stands for limited liability company. In this structure, owners are not personally liable for the company’s debts or liabilities.

Know the laws that pertain to you and your situation

Pay attention to the regional laws that speak to you. Digital marketers and social media experts need to keep in mind that anyone can see your work, and that means your employers can know what you’re up to.

Keep your day job separate

Your side hustle shouldn’t take up time and resources from your day job. If you do this, your employer can fire you or claim your intellectual property.

Always triple check your employer contract

Make sure you’re aware of how your employer restricts you. In lots of cases, your day job may restrict side hustles, are you eligible to freelance?

Words of advice

Content marketers and other digital marketing specialists need to be clear with their employer on what their goals are.

“Be great at two things: Your full-time job and your side hustle.”

Jeff Haden, author and speaker

You can’t ditch your full-time job as soon as you start your side hustle. It takes time and hard work to build a prosperous business.

Your employer expects you to work as hard as you would for your side hustle.

Don’t give them any trouble and you’ll be set.

Stay on the right side of the law and avoid legal issues with your side hustle

Your side hustle is important to you. If you don’t take care of these precautions beforehand, you’ll wonder what in the world went wrong. In this infographic below, you can learn how to master a side hustle and avoid legal issues.

How to Legal Disaster with Side Hustle Infographic compressed

This infographic was created by Lexington Law.