Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Keep Your Small Business Safe from Litigation

For many small businesses, being sued in court, regardless of the outcome, would be the end of them. Sometimes, even when a business is in the right, it just can’t survive with all the associated court and lawyer fees weighing on its shoulders. Thus, it’s always better to just avoid litigation in the first place. While there’s no guaranteed way to keep your business out of the courtroom, there are some pretty good strategies that work the vast majority of the time.

Keep Your Mouth Shut!

Many businesses believe strongly in that old saying, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And, while it is true that you want your business to be known, you don’t want it to be known for the wrong reasons. You can talk to the general public about what your business does, but don’t make any big promises or claims. If they don’t come true, you might find yourself in legal hot water. Also, when it comes to making statements of a political or religious nature or about other businesses or persons, just don’t do it. Keep your opinions to yourself, and you’re not very likely to end up in court. Say everything you’re thinking, however, and you’ll likely find yourself in a courtroom before you know it.

Have Go-To Legal Help

Even if you never have to go to court (knock on wood), you still need the right legal counsel and advice. In fact, a good business attorney’s advice could be the very thing that keeps you out of court! You might have to pay a small retainer to get legal counsel and defense as-needed, but it’s well worth it. That way, if you have any questions about whether or not a particular practice is legal or if you should go through with a big move or decision, you’ll be able to instantly get professional advice that’s guaranteed to keep you out of trouble.

Maintain Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is the absolute most important type of insurance a business can have. It protects the business in the event that an accident or injury occurs on the business property. This kind of thing happens, with legal consequences, more often than you might think. Remember the woman who sued McDonald’s because its coffee was too hot? The average small business doesn’t have millions to spare, so protect it with adequate amounts of liability coverage. A knowledgeable insurance provider can help you to select a policy that meets your coverage needs and works with your budget.

In many ways, owning a business is scary. It’s filled with lots of uncertainties and plenty of ups and downs. Fortunately, though, you do have some control. Make use of it and do everything within your power to protect your business and your livelihood.

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