Lawyers will tell you that litigation once only happened to large businesses; these days, it is also increasingly happening in the small business environment. It can be disastrous for any business, but even more so for the smaller one that doesn’t always have the resources to pay for it and recover. If you own a small business, here are some tips to prevent litigation from happening to you.
- Watch your mouth. Being careful about what you say or write will help keep you out of hot water. These days, some people are on the defensive all the time, which means a thoughtless joke or comment can be taken the wrong way, and the next thing you know, you are up for slander, libel or harassment of some kind.
- Be conservative with your actions. If you are in doubt, get legal counsel or avoid doing it. This can be as simple as using an image in a post that is another person’s intellectual property. It’s essential to ensure you don’t breach intellectual copyright. When it comes to business law, not all is as clear as it could be, and there are many grey areas, so take care you don’t do something that could be a breach of contract.
- If it’s grey, throw it away. Taking care of your actions when interacting with staff is also essential. Simply brushing up against an employee in a crowd can be taken the wrong way. Before you know it, you can be slapped with a sexual harassment case.
- Take out insurance – and enough of it. Many businesses have insurance, but it is not nearly enough to cover litigation, especially if you lose. You need to have enough of the right kind of insurance if you want peace of mind about coping financially should this kind of disaster strike. Some business owners only think about physical damage, but litigation can result in a lot of damage that is unseen, not least the financial cost of the lawsuit.
- Hire legal help you can trust. Not all lawyers have experience in litigation. It is best to have one that is if you ever need help to get through litigation. You may think hiring the best will cost too much, but there is a reason why such lawyers are costly; they win.
- Protect your assets. Many small businesses are not set up for the best outcome. You can set up a limited liability company so that your personal assets are protected in the case of litigation against your company. If you don’t do this you stand to lose your home, car and other assets that are nothing to do with the business, should litigation come your way.