How to Help Your Business Avoid Lawsuits
Being involved in a lawsuit as a small business can be frightening. It can put your entire business at risk if you are not properly protected. While you should certainly invest in insurance and other risk-minimizing measures, you can take steps to help your company avoid lawsuit long before they become a real threat. Use the following tips and information to get the process started.
1. Keep up with maintenance.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you always run the risk that someone will fall or otherwise be injured on your property. A slip and fall claim could cost your business thousands of dollars. Be sure to keep up with regular maintenance of your property to avoid these situations.
Keep in mind that even as a renter, you have an obligation to inspect your property and take care of any issues that could cause damage. Take that responsibility seriously and address any problems as soon as possible.
2. Treat employees fairly and respectfully. Know your legal obligations.
Make efforts to treat every employee how you would want to be treated. Ensure that your managers and other staff are doing the same. Fostering an environment of respect will cut down on claims of discrimination and harassment.
Employees have all kinds of protections under both federal and state law. Know what you should be doing concerning employee benefits, wages, vacation, and other aspects of their employment. If you do not know, you need to find out—ask a competent attorney or speak with the state agency that handles that particular issue.
3. Protect client information.
If you share private client information, you may open yourself up to unnecessary legal liability. Lock up client files that have sensitive data and take steps to ensure that electronic records have passwords or are not easily accessible.
In many situations, only certain employees need access to this information. Sharing this data with fewer people will decrease the chance that it is shared with others who should not see it.
4. Know and understand your tax obligations.
Taxes can be tricky for any type of business, but they are especially daunting for small businesses that are just starting out. Take some time to get to know your income tax, sales tax, and employee tax obligations before you start making payments. Talking to a tax professional may be a good idea as well.
Getting in trouble with the IRS is never fun, and it can be costly, so make moves to avoid those issues now.
5. Have legal counsel on-call.
You are going to have legal questions. It’s better to have someone you trust available on an as-needed basis than call in a litigation team because you guessed wrong on what you should have done.
The team at Maxwell Dunn offers consulting services to businesses on an on-call basis, so we can be available as little or as often as you would like. Learn more by speaking with a member of our team. Call us at 248-949-1193.See all videos