As well as being challenging, invigorating, and rewarding, running a business can be a huge undertaking – and generally, the bigger your business, the bigger the risks involved.
Whether you’re a start-up selling your own wares from home or you’re a business leader overseeing a large workforce, there is the possibility that you will run into difficulty. You might encounter a disgruntled customer, or you might find that you have a copyright or intellectual property challenge on your hands.
There have been famous legal battles between world-renowned names, recent lawsuits that have seen major brands pitted against each other, and smaller businesses sued by customers. This shows that, whatever type of business you run, and whatever its size, you’ll find there’s the potential to face a legal challenge at some point.
So, what to do if your company is facing a legal crisis? Here are some ways to approach the situation.
Whether you’ve been up and running for a while or you’re relatively new to the world of business leadership. It’s worth investing time in planning for all eventualities. Assess what the risks are and work out what could happen if these play out.
For instance, there might be a health and safety hazard that could pose a physical risk. Or there may be external risks that affect the cash flow of the company. Once you’ve established what these are, you can assess the situations and implement ways of managing them.
So, if there’s a safety hazard, look at how you’ll train staff up to manage machinery properly or introduce handling guidelines. Similarly, if there is a financial issue, for instance. An investor could back out while you’re setting up your business. Look at adding financial safety nets to secure the future of your enterprise.
Introduce your business
Should an employee file a lawsuit against you and they win, you could find that you have to settle the damages by giving up your personal finances or house as these are collateral? To avoid this, incorporate our business as collateral and this separates you from your company. This means that your employee has to sue for the assets offered by your business. And you don’t lose your personal finances or home.
One way to help separate your business from your personal finances and property is to take out insurance. This will cover you for legal fees and any liability payouts if you lose in a lawsuit.
Before taking out cover, be sure to do your research. Different policies offer different levels of cover. So use your risk assessment to work out what level of liability coverage you’ll need.
Seek legal help
You’ll need legal advice at different stages of business ownership. From creating contracts to ensuring you’re following employment law, there are lots of legalities associated with running even the smallest-scale company.
However, if you reach the point where you are likely to be sued or needing legal representation is something that may be a risk for you. It’s important that you seek legal representation from experts. There are law firms that are dedicated to helping business owners and leaders form a defense in the face of a lawsuit, so it’s worth seeking guidance from these wherever necessary.
Keeping accurate records from the very start of your company will stand you in good stead. From financial records and proof of purchases to any agreements that have been signed. Every detail should be noted and stored on file. Additionally, calls and other forms of communication should be accounted for, especially if these are important communications.
What does all of this record-keeping do? It is proof that these things happened and forms evidence if needed. These are your defense if you are taken to court. They prove that communications happened and that terms of service were agreed to.