The risks that could face your business aren’t all financial. There are some risks that could prove even more serious in the end. Particularly, we’re talking about getting into legal trouble. Legal issues could not only cost you money. They could cost you your license to do business and even your freedom if you’re not careful. So here are six legal issues that more business owners need to spend time thinking about.
Let’s start at the very beginning. One of the choices you need to make when setting up your business is the kind of structure it’s going to be. The way that businesses trip up is in failing to pay the right amount of tax necessary for their structure or do the right paperwork. So take more time to consider what structure you want your business to be. After it’s decided, make sure you’re kept up to date on your obligations as to that structure.
Another stumbling block that hits a lot of businesses early on is the danger involved in intellectual property. Particularly, you have to ensure you’re not treading on any toes. Make sure you’re not infringing on trademarked language or patented ideas. It can be a good idea to go a step further and apply those protections to your business. If not, a bigger business could steal them away and spend the resources making sure you never use them again.
Health and safety
If you have employees, then you are also obligated to making sure that they have the safest environment they can have. Worker’s compensation will help you cover a lot of cases of injury, but in some, you may be liable to lose a lot more. So set up a safety officer within the business to help you keep abreast of the risks and the steps you’re taking to eliminate them.
Disputes regarding employment can be another significant drain. Not only can they be financially painful, they can bring your business to the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Do your best to ensure your business is free of harassment, discrimination and other litigious risks. You should still prepare that someone may take fault with your employment practices anyway. To prepare, try considering services like employment litigation specialists.
It’s not just about problems regarding how employment ceases, either. It’s about the conduct that runs throughout the company. If you’re found lacking and it turns into a case, your lack of human resources policies could be a problem. Before you hire anyone, take the time to sit down and study the ethical challenges the company might face. Having codes of conduct and HR procedures set in stone are a necessary protection.
Finally, we should look outside the company itself. Particularly, looking at the customers. A lot of days, business is done online or over the phone using sensitive data. So a business needs to make sure that they’re taking care of that data. Invest in protections and creating a security strategy. For example, consider ethical hackers who can find and fix the exploits in your system before real criminals do.