If you’re a business owner, you probably have quite a few responsibilities and concerns on your hands as it is, and unwarranted legal hassle is the last thing you need. Still, keeping your brand’s legal bases covered can at times be tough, which is why every entrepreneur eager to keep their corporate fortunes safe from harm should check the list below and use it as a roadmap to steer their business ship away from troubled waters.
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1. Documentation irregularities
If you have been neglectful of your business records, don’t be surprised if the inspection lands a hefty fee in your lap. Mislaid or missing documentation, accounting irregularities, and a range of other bookkeeping glitches can cause entrepreneurs a lot of legal and financial hassle down the road, which is why you should strive to keep your business records accurate, updated, and neat. Shipshape documentation will both help save your brand from unwarranted legal complications and make your daily business conduct much easier and less stressful. You can never know when inspection authorities may come knocking on your company’s doors, so it’s best to be prepared.
2. Intellectual property issues
Intellectual property is another legal aspect of business conduct which can make or break your brand’s success. Before you dive into business waters, it would be smart to run all the necessary intellectual property checks and have your trademark and patents registered to avoid copyright suits and prohibitive court fees later on. By keeping your company’s intellectual property bases covered, you’ll also prevent competitors from using your patents and trademark to scoop up your rightful share of profit and you’ll also avoid suits for intentional or unintentional copyright infringement which could otherwise set you back or drive your business out of operation.
3. Discrimination lawsuits
Workplace harassment and discrimination are all too real a problem many small businesses face, and such legal hitches can lose your company both a good reputation and a good portion of the capital. If you want to stay safe from harassment and discrimination lawsuits and complications and costs these entail, you should make it possible for your brand’s human resources and legal department to efficiently handle the issues as soon as they arise. Also, you should specify what discrimination and harassment stand for in employee contracts, just to stay on the safe side of the labor relations.
4. Disgruntled employees
Many a brand has seen an untimely demise through legal fuss caused by disgruntled employees. To stay safe from costly court proceedings over lawsuits filed by injured staff, you can consult an experienced employment or personal injury lawyer about the clauses and provisions to include in the employment contract. It’d also be wise to go over the reasons for wrongful termination of the employment contract and dismissal terms a few times before you finalize the draft contract and other vital hiring documents. Bracing your business against court proceedings launched by disgruntled employees will help save you a lot of cash and prevent public image smears.
5. Dissatisfied customers
In some cases, legal action can be launched by customers seeking justice or reimbursement for false promises, faulty products, or delivery delays. To stay on the safe side of the courtroom, it would be a good idea to hire a team of legal experts specializing in consumer lawsuits, be true to your marketing, and keep the promises made to your customers. Also, if you’re using surveys, questionnaires, and other online forms to collect data about potential prospects, you should clarify the purpose and confidentiality conditions to minimize the risk of lawsuits for incomplete, misleading, or fraudulent data collection specifics.
6. Tax issues gone wrong
Taxes are another important aspect of business conduct that can easily bring your brand down. To prevent unwarranted legal hassle with tax authorities, try to coordinate accounting activities and observe relevant tax laws which apply to your brand’s business structure and income level. You should also take proactive steps to cover outstanding tax debts and other dues: by doing so, you’ll avoid both high interests and legal complications which can additionally set your brand back in the long run. If your company can’t make ends meet with existing income and expenses, you should go back to the drawing board and see if, how, and where savings can be made.
From disgruntled employee and customer lawsuits to outstanding debts and taxes, intellectual property issues, and business record irregularities, legal hitches that can bring an entrepreneur’s ship down are quite numerous. Fortunately, if you’re still here, you now know the basics on how to keep your business boat away from legal icebergs, so go ahead and brace your brand against the biggest administrative glitches before it’s too late. Good luck!