(This is a contributed post)
Starting a small business and dealing with customers, suppliers and relevant permits, licenses, insurance providers, etc., is all part and parcel of going it alone and being a small business owner.
But what happens when things don’t go to plan, and the worst happens. Customer complaints, accidents, relationship breakdown with suppliers, contract terminations, the list is endless.
Protecting yourself, your staff and your business should be something you are doing from before you even start trading. Cutting corners with regards to how you plan to protect your business legally will no doubt leave you open to potential legal issues further down the line. But what should you be doing when it comes to protecting your small business?
As a minimum, you need to make sure you have liability insurance. On the off chance, someone looks to sue your company, having liability insurance will remove the likelihood of you having to payout should their case win in court. Errors and Omissions Liability Insurance is a must for people offering products or services. E&O insurance doesn’t cover bodily injuries, but it does cover legal costs due to failure to perform professional duties.
Working with the public in any capacity means you need to be on your best behaviour. Say or do the wrong thing and before you know it. It would be best if you worked to protect the image of your company and make sure that you are presenting the best image possible not only to attract clients and make sure you retain their business but also protect your company from lawsuits.
Train your staff members on appropriate conduct outside of work and have a clause to include online activities. Publically making statements that could be considered questionable.
Ideally, you need to hire a competent attorney who is knowledgeable in business and commercial law. Hiring strata lawyers can help protect your assets when building your company.
Find a good lawyer through professional recommendations or by reading testimonials from previous clients or online reviews. Try to locate an attorney in your local area to make sure they are aware of local laws and customs as they will have more in-depth knowledge of the best processes to follow to keep your company legal.
Putting security in place to protect all the data your company holds on clients, suppliers, and staff is vital. 627 million data files were breached in 2018 alone, and the fines for data breaches exposing private information can run into the millions of dollars!
Install firewalls, use encrypted files and maintain good online and internal security procedures for both physical data records and virtual files too. Avoid a security mishap by following recommended protocols when storing personal details and making sure your staff are aware of how to protect private information. Regular change passwords, avoid opening links from unknown sources or using company equipment to access personal sites or for personal browsing.