Graphic & Web Design: Legal issues
If you're hosting other people's websites on your server, you MUST have a Terms & Conditions document that you send out to clients. In fact, one of the most important aspects of running any business is keeping the paperwork in order.
The mantra of all freelancers: 'make sure you get it in writing'. Contracts should be signed by your client in accordance with your terms and conditions, which sets out how you do business (including credit terms, cancellation fee, if any, which expenses are chargeable to the client).
If you obtain, store or use personal details from customers, suppliers or other contacts, it is a legal requirement that you comply with the eight main principles of the Data Protection Act to protect people's privacy.
Copyright gives creators the legal right to control the use of their material, in restricting unauthorized copying and reproduction by others.
Marking your copyright work with the copyright symbol © followed by your name and the date will warn others against copying it, but it is not legally essential in the UK.
Lawsuits by clients
Make sure that your client signs off every stage of work and that you get this in writing, especially when going to print.
Insurance tailored specifically for freelancers is available; many freelancers recommend looking at the various insurance policies which are available to protect you in the event of claims made against you. Further details can be found here
Freelance UK has further information here Contracts & Schedules.
More on graphic designing as a freelancer.