As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your enterprise on the right side of the law. You owe it your employees, your customers and clients, and your own hard work and dedication to limit your risks and keep everything running smoothly. Besides, litigation is an expensive affair, and that alone should encourage you to avoid it.
That’s why we’ve compiled this brief guide to help you get started…
#1: Guard Your Tongue
One of the easiest ways to avoid finding yourself confronted by a lawsuit is by keeping negative comments to yourself. A defamation claim can be launched against anyone accused of either libel or slander, which means that should you transmit defamatory statements, either through written or spoken means, you could be held liable.
Were your business to get caught up in such a dispute, it would not only eat into your coffers, but also severely damage your reputation. Thus, where your negative opinions regard a particular person or company, the less said in public, the better. Such an attitude should also be encouraged in your employees, to keep your venture safe from the fallout of a costly and easily avoidable legal battle.
#2: Hire a Competent and Reputable Lawyer
Although the hope is that you will never find yourself in a scenario where you need legal backup, it’s important to have a competent law firm on hand regardless. The reason for this is simple: you need to have ready legal contact if any issues should arise, so that you can handle the situation correctly from start to finish.
When you’re choosing such an enterprise to work with, it’s a good idea to look for those who specialise in the relevant area, as the greater their expertise in a particular field, the better they will be able to defend you if the need arises. Thus, if you’re worried about potential tax issues, hire a tax specialist; if you’re concerned about a challenge from an employee, hire someone who specialises in employment law. In some cases, such professionals will be available within the same firm, as is the case with larger companies like Withers Worldwide, who can deal with complex international laws that may affect your company.
#3: Insure Yourself
Thirdly, always make sure that you’re fully insured for every eventuality. This means liability insurance in case of accident or injury, errors and omissions cover in case of professional mistakes, directors and officer’s liability insurance, and so on. In short, the more wide ranging your policy is, the better.
To give yourself a little extra protection, you should also try to build some type of indemnity into your contracts. This should cover possibilities such as an inability to complete contracted work, for example. Your lawyer should be able to help you craft a watertight contract, and in doing so, will reduce the likelihood that you’ll need to rely on them if things should go awry.
As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’, and the best way to avoid becoming embroiled in a costly legal dispute, is by doing all that you can to lessen the chances of this happening. Follow the steps we’ve outlined above, and you should be off to a very good start.