An event planner is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of an event proceed smoothly without a hitch. These events can be entertainment-based, such as music concerts, stand up comedy shows or theater. It can also be events exclusively associated with the corporate world, such as seminars, corporate getaways, and training sessions. Even weddings are considered events, although event planners for weddings are exclusively called wedding planners.
During the course of their work, an event planner interacts with various suppliers and vendors to procure various items needed for the event. They also need to comply with various governmental rules and regulations when it comes to the events they organize. If an event planner doesn't have an alcohol license, but they still choose to provide liquor at an event, they could face legal issues.
In this way, there are several scenarios that can lead to legal hassles and problems for event planners. However, if you have all the licenses, permits and certificates that you need, then you won't have to worry about legal issues and requirements.
Here are nine legal issues and requirements that event planners should know about:
You can't offer your services as an event planner until you procure your business license. If you want to get your business license, then you'll need to apply with your local and state government bodies. At the same time, you should also ensure that you have pored through the rules and regulations related to business licenses. Meeting all the requirements will help you stay clear of legal hassles in the future.
Event planners should ideally have an alcohol license as well. This is as most events, whether corporate, entertainment or personal, tend to have both food and alcohol. If a client asks you to provide alcohol at the event, but you don't have your alcohol license, then they may be disappointed in your service. Serving alcohol illegally could also be disastrous for your career. That's why you should obtain your alcohol license ahead of time.
You should also be careful about the business entity you choose for your event planning business. This is as your business entity can have a long term impact on liability and taxes for your business. You can be a sole proprietor, start a partnership, or work together with stakeholders to incorporate your business. Most event planners, however, tend to be sole proprietors.
Ensure that you always pay your taxes on time. You can consider setting a portion of the amount aside every month. It will ensure that your liquid capital isn't affected during the month you pay your taxes.
If you're running your event planning business under an assumed name, then you may need a 'doing business as' certificate.
At the same time, you can't choose a business name that's already been legally registered for another business. You could end up facing a lawsuit if you use a trademarked name.
Instead, opt for a name that helps clients connect your business to your products and services. Then run a search to ensure that that name hadn't already been taken by someone else, before you register it.
You'll also need to procure permits from the health department. This may be necessary, especially if you provide food or snacks at any of your events. Without a proper health department permit, your business could face closure.
If you include activities that could potentially lead to accidents at your events and celebrations, then you may need to consider accident waivers. When a client signs an accident waiver at your office, they absolve you of legal liability in the event they get into an accident.
A client could cancel ahead of an event. If this was an event you had been planning for months, They may also not pay you for your services as the event never happened. If this happens, you may usually not be able to do anything about it. However, if you integrate your cancellation terms within the contract you sign with your client, then you can sue to get that money. This means cancellation terms can be very important.
You also need to be aware that errors and omissions on your part could lead to you getting sued by your client. This can happen if you or your employee causes bodily injury to the client or an attendee an event. Financial loss or an unsuccessful event could also lead to a lawsuit.
Event planners can be vulnerable and exposed to various risks while they plan and execute their events. From not having the right permits to being held legally liable for issues at the event, an event planner can face potential legal problems if they aren't careful.
You can consider protecting your event planning business with the right insurance investments. If you want to learn more about how insurance can help you protect your career as an event planner, click here .