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It’s important to protect your company legally. If someone makes a legal claim against you, having protection in place could prevent their claim from being successful (or at the very least it could reduce the negative impact of it). Here are several legal loose ends that should be tied up if you want your business to be fully protected.
8 Legal Factor You Need to Consider to Run Your Online Business
Have a legal advisor on call
Every business owner can benefit from having a legal advisor on call. If you’re dealing with a difficult client or a difficult employee and don’t know how best to proceed, a legal advisor will be able to help you to take the best path. In the event of a claim meanwhile, these legal professionals may be able to defend you if the issue has to be taken to court.
When hiring a legal advisor, always look into their reputation online. Positive online reviews and testimonials are usually a sign of a good legal firm. Meanwhile, make sure to look into the fees to in order to check that their services are affordable – some legal firms charge a subscription, whilst others may charge an hourly rate for when you need a consultation.
Put everything in writing
When making agreements of any kind, make sure to put the agreement in writing. Written evidence is much easier to prove than something said in passing during a conversation. After holding a meeting, get into a habit of sending an email that recaps everything that was agreed on. For important agreements, get a contract written beforehand that can be signed.
You can also use writing to warn people of hazards, which can also legally protect you. If a customer tries to sue you for banging their head on a low ceiling but you signposted it with ‘mind your head’, it will be much harder for them to make a successful claim.
Get your contracts professionally written
When it comes to important legal contracts, consider hiring a professional legal writer to put these together. This can ensure that the wording cannot be misconstrued and used against you. Important contracts could include initial agreements when recruiting employee and initial contracts when taking on clients.
Conduct a health and safety audit
Personal injury claims are some of the most common lawsuits made against businesses. You should ensure that there are no hazards in your workplace that could harm your employees or customers.
It’s possible to hire health and safety experts to come into your company and identify these hazards. These professionals may also be able to recommend measures that you can take against these hazards whether its removing the hazard or signposting it. Some health and safety measures are a legal requirement such as having a clear fire exit as well as following food safety guidelines. Others may not be a legal requirement but could be worth enforcing such as putting a wet floor cone up when mopping.
Consider trademarking your brand
Trademarking is a way of protecting your company’s identity from being stolen. If another company steals your company name or your logo and you have a trademark in place, you can then take legal action against them. It also prevents another company from suing you for stealing their brand when they may have copied you.
You can apply for a trademark with the help of a trademark lawyer. Trademarking an entire brand is difficult and you may have to settle on a specific component of your brand such as your company name, your logo or your tagline.
Take out insurance
Insurance generally won’t protect you against legal claims, however it could make paying these claimants easier. Rather than having to find the funds yourself, your insurer will pay the majority of the compensation. This could be very useful in the case of large claims that could cripple your company were you to have pay the full amount yourself.
There are many different types of business insurance that cover different types of claims. Employer liability insurance is compulsory if you have employees and can provide compensation to any employees that are injured or made sick whilst working for your company. Public liability insurance is also worth taking out and can cover you for any claims made by customers and third-party members that may have been injured or made sick by your company. There’s also product liability, which can cover you against the cost of refunding faulty products. Look out for business insurance packages that may include all these schemes at a cheaper rate.
Consider switching to a limited company
Changing your company’s legal structure could also be important for staying legally protected. Setting your company up as a limited company means that it is legally separated from you. In the event that your business falls into debt and a debt collection agency wants to seize assets, having a limited company will allow you to keep your personal assets safe – only assets owned by your business will be able to be seized. This measure may not prevent legal action being taken against you, but it could reduce the damage it has by protecting your personal finances.
In order to change your company’s legal structure you should seek out the services of a registered company formation agent. These companies can set up all the paperwork you need to prove that you are a limited company.
Other company formations such as sole trader and partnership structures can also have their legal advantages that some people may prefer – these could be worth looking into first. However, in most cases, a limited company is the most legally secure.
Keep your company finances and personal finances separate
You should try to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. Not only can this help when filing your tax return, but it can also legally protect you. Regardless of whether you own a limited company or not, buying business goods with your personal account instead of your business account could make you still personally liable if these goods are to be seized – by only paying for business expenses using your business account and keeping receipts, you can ensure that these items cannot be seized if you have personal debts that need settling.
Wrapping Up: Legal Factors in Your Blog or Business
Host blogger’s comments:
I realize you may have an online business, but website creators need to be concerned about legal factors as well.
For example, online content creators could be sued if people accuse them of stealing their content or images.
Also, the post discussed keeping your personal funds and your professional funds separate. I understand the temptation is often great to mingle the two types of funds together.
Readers, please share so other online and offline businesses become aware of these legal factors and learn how to prepare themselves against legal troubles if the need arises.
This post was made possible by the support of our readers.
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