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General Liability Insurance for Self Publishing via an LLC

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GrandCaliph
GrandCaliph's picture
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Joined: 10/10/2009

Greetings Fellow Creators,
I am currently in the process of forming an LLC for the self publication of board games, card games, and dice games targeted at the teenager and adult. In researching the many different facets of this process I have usually found what I needed somewhere on the internet. However, I am having difficulty finding specific information about GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE for a game design company.
Do any of you self publishers, or publishing houses have any info that I might find useful regarding this matter?

Benster
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Joined: 10/28/2009
If you are self-forming your

If you are self-forming your LLC, I would highly recommend getting a lawyer on-board. The LLC formation stuff generally looks easy, but is also fairly easy to mess up. The lawyer should also be able to advise you on liability insurance issues. LLC formation is fairly routine work for a lawyer, so doesn't generally take too much time and thus the lawyer fee is likely smaller, although get an estimate up front.

LLC's provide limited liability for the members of the LLC. So that means, generally, that the only money you personally risk is the money that you have invested into the company. The LLC is a separate legal entity, and any liability coming out of the business becomes the business's debt, so not yours personally. This is a good thing (although if you don't treat the business formally, by doing things such as keeping it undercapitalized or using it as your piggy-bank, there is the possibility of losing this protection).

In terms of the insurance, then, you should be ensuring just the LLC itself, and not you. It is usually adviseable to get as much liability insurance as you possibly can afford and still be a profitable company. If something, God forbid, were to happen, juries are unpredictable enough that damages can get pretty high (depending on what happened). In determining how much you want, you should also look into how risky your products are going to be. So, for example, if you are making games for younger kids, you probably want more insurance, because the chance of something happening (choking on stuff) is higher, and a jury is likely to award much higher damages. For teenagers and adults, you may not have as big of a risk.

Also, think about ways of reducing your liability pre-insurance through the use of adequate warnings on-box, use of safe materials, and full compliance with consumer safety regulations.

Again, I'd highly advise seeking an attorney who can help you sort some of this out, if you possibly can. An experience transactional attorney will know the pitfalls you should look out for and should also have the experience and knowledge to handle your stuff in an efficient way to keep the cost from getting to high. Most of the really expensive legal fees out there are paid by people who tried to do things themselves on the front end and need an attorney to clean up a really messy situation on the back end.

I'm not sure I even answered your question, but I hope this helps. All the best luck with your company! I'm hoping to be there myself a few years down the road.

truekid games
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Joined: 10/29/2008
also, a reasonable

also, a reasonable percentage of accountants/tax dudes can help you set up an LLC, and can probably similarly advise you as far as insurance, etc. plus they can tell you what expenditures to keep track of and whatnot... and they can do your taxes ;P

gameprinter
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Joined: 08/06/2008
Saw Insurance companies at Toy Fair

I saw one or two insurance companies at NY Toy Fair this week. Wish I'd known about this post beforehand - I would have gotten their cards. They seemed more focused on the Toy side of the industry than on games, so maybe focus your search on that rather than on insurance for games.

Good luck!

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