Keeping Your Business Above Legal Hot Water
Amongst all of your other responsibilities when starting a business, it is essential that you recognize you also have legal responsibilities. Depending on how the business is structured, you may even be personally liable for what legal charges might be levied against the business. Here, we’re going to look at how you can protect your business, legally, and how you can prevent any repercussions from reaching you.
Nail your policies with some help
Business owners have to stay abreast of a range of different legal requirements, such as workplace safety, employment law, data protection law, so on and so forth. However, if you’re setting up your business, it’s not realistic to expect you to be an expert in all of your legal responsibilities. As such, you should consider working with a lawyer who can help you put together the policies that ensure you’re following all of your responsibilities as closely as possible. Other teams, such as outsourced HR experts can also be invaluable in helping you put the policies that you need in place.
Write it down
When it comes to making a new agreement, be it an employment contract, a contract with a client, with a supplier or otherwise, it’s important to make sure that both you and the other party are provided with a written copy. Document management tools can help you ensure that they are kept safe and backed up in case you lose the originals, as well. If legal action is launched one way or another, you want to avoid it from becoming a game of “he said, she said,” and having the letter of the agreement accessible can help with that.
Manage your own liability
Your business may, at some point, face some legal action, whether or not it is rightfully being aimed at you. However, depending on how you set up your business, you can be at great personal risk of any liability, putting your own finances and safety at risk. As such, it might be a good idea to work with a company formation service and restructure your business if possible. A limited liability company treats the business as a separate legal entity from you, unlike a sole trader-ship. You can still be found legally liable in some cases, but you have a great degree more protection.
Protect your brand
One form of protection that needs a little extra attention is that of your intellectual property. Especially in the world of online business, intellectual property is becoming more and more important to the success of businesses. As such, you should register your trademarks and copyrights to ensure that if anyone ever tries to challenge your IP ownership, you have proof that you legally own them. Furthermore, it can help to prevent copycats who might want to use them.
The tips above are just that, they do not cover the wide range of legal responsibilities you have. Keep the advice in mind, work with a business lawyer and take what steps you can to protect yourself, first and foremost.
Categories: Outside Contributors