According to the Small Business Administration, up to 53% of small businesses are involved in a lawsuit at any given time. Unfortunately, small and medium-sized businesses are most susceptible to these kinds of situations.
If you own a business, you need to protect it before anything like this happens. Otherwise, you're going to start swimming in costs, fees, and financial debts.
So, what are three ways to protect your business? Keep reading to find out.
What Are Three Ways to Protect Your Business?
As a business owner, you have the duty and the right to protect your business from legal recourse. Examples of what you can do to protect your business today include:
1. Create a Company Policy and Procedures Manual
It doesn't matter how small your business is. You need a company policy and procedures manual!
The purpose of having a well-written manual is to improve your business by establishing clarity on guidelines, goals, and organizational knowledge. It can also help enable more focus on the company's growth and scale. To maintain a successful workflow, your company needs rules and guidelines to manage employees. They also, in turn, need constant assurance that the company has their best interests at heart.
It’s important to make sure that, when you're writing this up, you do a thorough review of your policy and procedures manual. Keep your employee's needs in mind and make sure it's accessible and usable for them. Ensuring that your manual is clear and understandable for the employees is essential so they can find what they need to avoid difficulties within the workplace.
Here are some of the items that you can to your policy and procedures manual:
- Employment policies and benefits
- Workplace guidelines
- Employee conduct
- Communication and Technology use policies
- Organization culture
An effective policy and procedures manual reflects your company’s ways of communicating, getting the service performed, and boosting employee productivity. Overall, it will be a fundamental item to cultivate your business.
2. Invest in Business Insurance
If you haven't done so already, you should start looking at business insurance. It can't solve every problem your business may run into, but it can help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. When you do run into legal problems, business insurance can back you up financially and legally.
Business insurance can also help when it comes to damage and liability claims. If your property becomes damaged or something happens to an employee, you could be liable. And, the cost could be financially devastating.
If you have business insurance, you don't have to worry about these scenarios destroying your business. You'll have funds to help cover these unexpected costs. With this protection, you'll also get peace of mind and you won't have to worry about the unknowns.
As you're looking for business insurance, you'll notice that there are several kinds to choose from:
- General liability insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Product liability insurance
- Property insurance
- Data breach insurance
When you're choosing business insurance, consider each type. Depending on your business structure, you may want to bundle different policies or focus on a specific type.
3. Use Legal Notices When Applicable
Legal notices are statements or documents that detail the policies and procedures of a company. There are three popular legal notices that all businesses should use:
- A disclaimer
- Terms and conditions
Privacy policies detail the personal information that you collect from your site's visitors. This could include emails, phone numbers, or other similar bits of information.
It also tells visitors what you're using it for. You may be marketing to them, fulfilling orders for them, or something else.
A disclaimer details a business' effort to limit visitor liability. Suppose your site offers advice, education, or other instructional information. In that case, you need to reduce your liability by placing a disclaimer that states that you aren't at fault if someone uses this information and has a bad outcome.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions allow you to set rules and regulations for visitors who are visiting and using your site. They also protect you in the case that someone does take you to court.
If you don't place these on your website, someone could sue your business. Often, these notices go at the bottom of a website in the footnotes.
You should also make sure that each of the legal notices is easy to see as well as easy to understand. If each statement isn't clear, that could also lead to a lawsuit.
Why Should a Business Seek Legal Counsel?
Usually, people only turn to lawyers when they're in trouble. They may have a divorce case or a work problem. But, it's different for businesses.
Each business, big and small, should hire an attorney. These experts can provide counsel on plenty of legal areas that you may not be familiar with:
Depending on your needs as a business, your lawyer may decide to perform and offer different services. The exact counsel that you get will depend on your current needs and wants.
What Can a Business Lawyer Do for Your Business?
Your business lawyer can help with a variety of tasks. Whether your business is big or small, a lawyer can help with:
- Selecting the business entity that best suits your company
- Picking a name for the business that won't infringe on current copyrights
- Creating contracts for different business needs
- Acting as a defense during legal battles
The lawyer that you hire will have a lot of experience helping with a variety of business needs. There are so many liabilities that you take as a business owner. And, a lawyer can help you sort and manage those liabilities.
For example, you may have a former employee sue you for discrimination in firing. Another employee could sue for personal injury reasons. In some cases, local, state, or federal governments may file complaints against businesses for practices as well. And, a lawyer can help with those cases too.
Lawyers can even assist with environmental issues that your business may be involved in. Even if you didn't cause the environmental problem, you should have a lawyer ready to help you navigate the problem.
How Do I Find a Good Lawyer to Protect My Business?
If you're looking for an excellent lawyer to protect your business, you need to do your research. Don't settle for a run-of-the-mill law office. You want law professionals that care for your business and want you to succeed.
You can always ask people you know whether they know any good business or general practice lawyers. Or conduct online searches in your area. You'll be able to find a lot about a lawyer's education and experience online. Based on this, you'll be able to find an attorney who can handle the cases that your business may experience.
Always consider billing. You should be able to afford the lawyer that you're going to be working with. You don't have to go bankrupt protecting your business.
Key Takeaways – How To Protect Your Business Legally
So, what are three ways to protect your business? The answers are:
- Establish a business account
- Invest in business insurance
- Use legal notices when applicable
Moreover, the overarching rule in protecting a business is to hire an attorney. If you're looking for a great lawyer who's going to do their best in protecting your business from any legal issues, you can trust the Martino Law Firm.
Contact us today with any questions or concerns. We can't wait to work with you!