Just the idea that your business might one day be at the receiving end of a lawsuit probably is enough to send your blood pressure through the roof. As an entrepreneur, you work hard every day to provide your customers and staff with the highest caliber of professional treatment and service, but the fact is that sometimes that just isn’t enough. Because lawsuits can seem to come out of nowhere, it is best to be prepared in advance. Do everything you can to save your money, your time and your reputation by avoiding this troublesome issue. In addition to getting some business liability insurance quotes, here are some valuable tips that can hopefully keep you out of the courtroom.
Be Proactive by Hiring a Lawyer in Advance
Believe it or not, lawyers can be invaluable members of your team even if you are never at the business end of a lawsuit. A good one can help you clarify the purpose of your business, assist you in streamlining protocols and policies and ensure that everything you do is above board. That way, your employees, their contracts, your goods and services, and the safety of your data can be protected.
When you hear the word “lawsuit,” personal injury issues probably jump first to your mind. It just takes one wet floor in your store and an accidental slip and fall for you to be embroiled in court, but that isn’t the only danger. Let’s say you or one of your staff makes a costly mistake or a customer believes you have not honored a contract. These are also grounds for time-consuming, expensive lawsuits. Cut them off at the pass by purchasing each type of insurance your business needs. The proper insurance coverage can provide you with the protection you need during the daily course of running your establishment.
Separate Your Business From Your Personal Affairs
Resist the temptation to simply form your company as a sole proprietorship. Should anything go wrong and you get sued, your personal assets, including your car and your home, can be seized. It is preferable to make your business into its own legal entity that files its own income taxes, owns its own assets and responds to lawsuits in its own name.
Before you put anything into writing or even make a verbal statement, think carefully about how it might affect your enterprise down the line. Furthermore, work hard and consult your lawyer to ensure that your contracts guard you against accidental or unforeseen events. Having this in place will keep acts of nature from ultimately landing you in bankruptcy court. Finally, make it a strong part of your ethical business practice protocols for yourself and your staff to represent your company honestly, even if that means losing a sale now and then. This attention to honesty and ethics might one day save you from painful legal action.
Protecting your business and its reputation is as crucial to your survival as having products or services to offer and customers to buy them. Don’t let worries about your wallet keep you from safeguarding what you have worked so hard to build. Of course, you hope the day will never come; however, if it does, it will be far better for you if you have taken these steps.