If there is one thing that’s hard to argue about, it’s the following: starting your own company is extremely exciting!
You cannot wait to fill the gap you’ve spotted in the market years ago and offer the world a great new product, paired with sublime service, all under your own name. With your own company, you get to call the shots, stir up changes in your industry, not to even mention you get to be your own boss.
So far, the prospects are thrilling and the road ahead looks splendid. But, in order to keep things running smoothly, one has to play by the legal ball. There is nothing like a lawsuit (or any legal complication in general) to put a damper on both your professional and personal enthusiasm. So, how do you protect your business?
First, you must arm yourself with knowledge of the subject.
Choose Your Employees And Partners Wisely
It seems so simple and so obvious it’s almost pointless to mention it, yet many fall prey to this potentially very dangerous oversight. Firstly, make sure you carefully select your employees and colleagues, especially if they are going to deal with confidential information or substantial amounts of money. Secondly, set a firm ethical code that will become the backbone of your company’s culture and identity.
Sexual harassment, discrimination upon any ground, nepotism and other illicit practices are not only deeply immoral and bad for your reputation, but they will eventually and palpably harm your business. Even if you manage to dodge a lawsuit, the smear on your company’s name will linger longer than you think.
Same goes for whom you choose to do your business with: your partners should reflect your own professional values. Resist the temptation to get involved in business deals with fishy partners, no matter how profitable everything seems to turn out. If the partners go down, they could take you down with them, too – even if your hands remained clean.
Protect Your Business By Knowing The Law
Laws can be intimidating, complex, and more often than not, they bore us to tears. So most of us choose to tap in the ignorant dark and collect scattered pieces of information from different sources as we go. However, we highly recommend you take some time to learn the ropes on the laws relevant to your area and your industry, as well as some basic ones (taxes, intellectual property, employment contracts, etc.).
Learn what you can do vs. what you can absolutely not do. Nothing will better protect you from committing any accidental legal transgressions, or empower you to get a firmer grasp of your business possibilities.
A Competent Lawyer Will Help Protect Your Business
Following the previous point, a good understanding of the law is what will help your business stand out. With that in mind, you will need a lawyer’s service at some point – whether it’s to draft a contract, protect your intellectual property, handle litigations, or represent you in a case of lawsuit, having a reliable lawyer nearby is your ticket to the legal health of your firm.
Aim for one with a vast expertise in your field of work, that’s adept at local laws, and that you completely trust. We have put down our best tips on how to find and compare just the right lawyers for you.
Good Insurance Will Help Protect Your Business
There is a platitude of corporate insurance types available, but the one which is considered an absolute imperative is the so-called general liability insurance. Put simply, this insurance covers you in case you, your employees, your products or services cause some kind of damage to a third party, which can also result in a civil lawsuit. On the other hand, professional liability insurance (also known as the errors and omissions insurance) protects you in the case of improperly rendered professional services.
In general, the type of insurance package will really depend on the nature and size of your business: for example, if you have other people working for you, then workers compensation is a must. Should matters go in the wrong way, property insurance, data breach insurance and commercial auto insurance can also take a great load off your already encumbered shoulders.
If you seriously want to protect your business then insurance should be a no-brainer.
Keep Your Company Records Safe And Tidy
There are so many things needed to start a business, we tend to kick back and relax once our entrepreneurial wheels finally get in motion. Nonetheless, do not fall into the well-known cliche of a small new company who just cannot keep its paperwork straight. Repeat it to yourself like a mantra: keep track of your company records, or regret it later.
This means you have to document your meetings, record stock issuances, keep all of your contracts, etc. Losing an important file, for whatever reason, may cause you serious trouble later with your clients, partners, or legal bodies.
Lastly, make sure all of your computer files are well-protected, with a regular back-up keeping copies of everything you store in your system. Investing in a superb antivirus is crucial to making sure your files and documents (and consequently your business) are safe from a potentially catastrophic loss of data or data breach.
Final Words: Protect Your Business And Protect Your Profit
Starting your own business can be a daunting task – hey, we’ve been there ourselves. Therefore never, and we do mean never, be afraid to ask for help because it’s essential you protect your business at all costs. Everybody needs a hand, especially striving entrepreneurs – so we thought we’d cover the essentials in our free e-book on startup logistics.