As a business owner, you probably have a lot on your plate to worry about. Every business owner should be concerned about preventing legal issues, especially in an uncertain world and economy. You can’t control everything, but there are six tips to help protect your business from legal issues.
1. Have Everything In Writing
One of the most important tips that any business should follow is to have everything in writing. This should be in the form of typed, clearly legible contracts. Sometimes it’s wise to also have these contracts notarized or written by a lawyer. By doing so you’ll avoid any hearsay regarding disputes. When everything is clearly in writing, there’s no guesswork involved in situations that could lead to legal issues.
This is also wise in terms of creating legal agreements, such as waivers or disclosures. However, it’s important to note that all legally binding documents may only be signed by those over 18 and who are legally component. Special considerations regarding age may be circumvented by having a legal guardian sign in place of the individual.
2. Keep Your Paperwork Up-To-Date
Paperwork is essential when it comes to keeping track of the ins and outs of your business. Keeping a paper trail is important for running a successful business. Once important paperwork is drafted, it’s crucial that this paperwork remain current, such as with tax documents and other binding documents which may result in legal difficulties due to misinformation. The easiest way to manage this is by hiring a professional to manage these matters for you. This move also gives you peace of mind as well as extra protections should your business be audited.
3. Utilize Tech
A major part of avoiding legal issues is staying organized and having all your matters in order. For many people managing matters on their own quickly becomes difficult, and sometimes even impossible. This is especially true if your business grows quickly. Utilizing technology to help you track your data and documents, as well as other important functions, is crucial to being prepared and preventing legal issues. One such option is to hire help with eDiscovery solutions. This helps you maintain your documentation and data easily. By doing so, you’ll be well-equipped should legal issues arise, but may also help prevent them as well.
4. Insure Everything Possible
Having insurance is important for nearly every aspect of your life. The same applies to your business. Having insurance such as liability insurance helps protect your business from a variety of dangerous situations. It’s also a good idea to consider errors and omissions insurance. This insurance helps to ensure that your business is protected should a customer or client accuse the owner of not living up to a contract or making an error. D&O liability insurance should also be considered to protect your business even further when applicable.
In addition to having proper insurance, another useful tip is to cover your liability by writing it into your contracts. Many people do this by way of a waiver, such as a waiver of liability for death or injury with a company that provides sky diving tours. By doing so, you’ll be adding an extra layer of safety for your business, protecting it from all ways and possibilities.
5. Obtain Help Early
Those who own businesses should always be prepared for a legal situation. Because of this, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer waiting should an issue occur. This is often done by paying for an initial business consultation or two and getting acquainted with a lawyer. Once you establish a relationship with a lawyer, they’ll be more familiar with your business should you need to use them. You don’t have to have any current legal issues to retain a lawyer, in fact, doing so is wise and protective. If a lawyer is ready to help you, this may also deter potential lawsuits and will protect you should any occur.
6. Protect Your Files
Protecting your databases is important for both personal and business systems. However, most businesses store sensitive materials, such as passwords, payment information, and more. Because of this, it’s important that you have a strong network. Hiring a network security professional will help keep your network strong and resistant to any breaches.
All too often are businesses sued due to network and data breaches. Consider this, data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records in the first six months of 2019 alone(Forbes). These often could have been prevented by hiring a specialist to help secure the integrity and security of the network every few months. The number of security breaches rises yearly as technology becomes more advanced and available. Making sure that your files are secure and that your network security is in top shape will undoubtedly save you a lot of grief and even legal trouble later on.
Protecting yourself and your business from legal issues is important. Following just a few tips may help prevent your business from legal and financial ruin. It’s never a bad idea to protect your business. One lawsuit is sometimes all it takes to completely wreck a business. Doing things like utilizing ediscovery and hiring legal professionals helps your business stay in good standing. Legal issues happen, but they are preventable, especially when you take steps to help prevent them.