10 ways to Protect Yourself Against Lawsuits
The best protection against lawsuits in business is to practice honest business ethics, resolve complaints promptly, and follow these 10 Tips.
1. Choose the Right Business Structure to limit lawsuits.
Choose a legal form of business that protects you from personal and financial liability risks. Change your form of business if you are not protected. This includes “independent contractors.”
2. Get Insurance to protect against lawsuits.
Get business liability insurance! A good insurance policy may help you with “claim repair” before you are sued and will provide a legal defense if you are sued, and have not broken the law.
3. Know the Law to Follow it.
Take time to know federal and state laws that govern your business. Obtain the right licenses, permits, and registrations. File all required documentation on time. Ignorance is not a defense. Antolak & Ongeri can inform you about these laws.
4. Don’t Mix Personal and Business Finances.
Keep accurate financial records. Do not pay personal bills from a company account. You may expose your personal assets to business claims. Sound accounting practices are important.
5. Help Your Customers Understand Your Practices and Policies.
Make sure your customers know about your business practices . Customers want to know your rules about cancellations, warranties, refunds, returns and collections. Making your practices clear will help your business image and probably will help to protect you from unfair claims.
6. Put it in Writing.
Every business transaction is actually a contract, so put it in writing. An attorney from Antolak & Ongeri can suggest language for your transaction and sales documents to maximize your protection.
7. Keep Legal Documents Simple.
Legal documents should be easily understood. Legalese does not offer you any more protection than simple English. In fact, a contract that cannot be understood by the average person may be more difficult to enforce than one that is full of legal terminology that only an attorney could decipher.
8. Keep Customers Happy and Stay Out of Court.
Work to resolve customer, employee, and other business complaints as quickly as possible. Never ignore a complaint or concern. It is very easy for people to make claims, and in many cases, even to file a small claims or other lawsuit against you. If you are forced to defend yourself in court, you have already lost.
9. Business Ethics: Be Smart, Be Honest.
Never assume you can “get away” with breaking the law. Strive, in all your business practices to know and obey the law. If you are sued, you will be glad you did not cut legal corners.
10. Engage Antolak & Ongeri, The Transatlantic Law Firm PLLC to help you accomplish Items 1 through 9 and avoid lawsuits.
Our attorneys have accumulated more than 40 years of legal experience representing small businesses and their owners. We can provide timely, affordable, and effective legal advice so you can concentrate on what you know best: running a profitable business enterprise.