If you want to operate your business successfully, one salient key is to avoid lawsuits, which isn’t always easy in this litigious 21st century.
So you must be careful to avert unnecessary legal threats.
Lawsuits are a huge waste of time and money. Worse, damage to your bottom-line or reputation can put you out of business.
Even big companies worry about legal threats. Economic uncertainty, and regulatory compliance and enforcement are the biggest concerns of in-house business lawyers.
For small businesses, the risks are also numerous – here are a few examples:
— If you blog, you must comply with FTC guidelines.
— If you recruit people, you must avoid common background screening gaffes.
— If you manage a staff, you must take precautions to avoid EEOC discrimination suits.
— If you encounter legal HR issues, you must use best practices in workplace investigations.
Of course, there are many more legal risks for businesses.
So here are three basics to implement:
1. Hire the right legal representation
Get a good lawyer who has proven expertise in your niche. You should do it early in your startup phase. If you’re already in business without a good lawyer, get one now.
After all, you need to establish the right legal structure – LLC or S-corp. Notice, sole proprietorship isn’t listed here. Why? If your business is ever sued, your house or cars can be easily taken away from you.
You must develop the right legal agreements with your stakeholders – customers, employees, and subcontractors. And you have to take proper precautions with yours and their data.
So this starts with hiring for the necessary talent and skills – the right attorney for your business.
“Where there is a will, there is a lawsuit.”
2. Get the right insurance
There are countless news stories about frivolous lawsuits. Some are valid but many are not.
Customers can slip and fall in your business. Traffic accidents resulting in death or injury are common.
Opportunities for lawsuits are everywhere. Life and casualty insurance are commonly known. But does your business need good professional liability insurance?
On a regular basis, cybercriminals are creating hardship for businesses. If your business is not insured for cyber theft, read this!
3. Take care in speaking and writing
Avert legal issues with the best protection clauses in all your agreements. Natural disasters aren’t uncommon – acts of nature or acts beyond your control that prevent you from fulfilling contractual agreements.
Be careful in what you say either about people or in your representations about your products and services. There are laws about libel, slander and misrepresentations.
From the Coach’s Corner, more legal tips:
HR: Is it Time to Rethink Your Marijuana-Testing Policy? — For HR departments, it was once-unthinkable: Deleting Marijuana from the list of drugs in workplace drug-testing programs. But should you? And what should you do about your handbook policies?
Best Practices to Protect Yourself in a Business Partnership — Business partnerships often end in catastrophes because they’re not based on solid legal foundations. Here are five best practices in due diligence for your protection.
First Step in Fighting Lawsuit Abuse – Risk Management — Published reports on two southern California media Web sites illustrate the polarizing effects of laws affecting business. They’re applicable now even though they were published in November 2011.
Why Companies Fall into the Management Lawsuit Trap — Small and many big companies are ripe for EEOC complaints. The majority of lawsuits targeting management usually stem from a half dozen poor practices. You’ll get into trouble using these six bad practices.
Effectively Manage ADA Issues in Your Facilities and HR — Disabled persons have had both valid and invalid complaints about the workplace. Such complaints concern your facilities and human resources program. Here are strategies to consider implementing.
4 Tips to Protect Your Business with a Trademark — The last thing you want as a business is for your company logo and name to be stolen. The trick to avoid such a travesty is to be trademarked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Risk Management – Lawyer Explains Basics in Protecting Intellectual Property — Entrepreneurs are well-advised to consider ways to avoid legal entanglements over their inventions and intellectual property.
“Where there is a will, there is a lawsuit.”