As a business owner, it’s your duty to do everything in your power to keep your business running efficiently. A large part of this is protecting it from anything that could undermine or hurt the company. A surprising number of businesses run into major legal issues in their first year, many of which could have easily been avoided. Here are three essential steps you should take to protect the future of your business…
Hire a Great Attorney
Hiring attorneys is one of the first things any business owner should think about after setting up. Having a ready legal contact in the phonebook can mean the difference between bankruptcy and survival in many cases. An experienced attorney who’s familiar with the kind of laws applying to your business will be able to tell you what kind of clauses you should include in various contracts, and the best way to comport your brand if and when you run into legal troubles. They’ll also be able to guide you through big, difficult decisions, such as whether to let the authorities deal with a certain problem or to look into forensic business investigation. As an added benefit, tax attorneys will be able to open your eyes to breaks you may have overlooked otherwise. An attorney is absolutely essential to protecting a business’s future, so don’t go too long without one!
Put a Barrier Between You and Your Business
A lot of business owners, especially when they’re first starting out, will simply carry on operating as a sole proprietorship as their operations grow. The issue with this is that if the business runs into any serious legal trouble, your individual assets, such as your house and cars, could be at risk. There are many ways to prevent this from happening, and though you may like the simplicity and familiarity of a sole proprietorship model, as your business expands, you need to have some kind of hedging between you and your business. Getting your business owned by a trust can be hard to execute, but once it’s done, it will ensure that your personal assets are well protected in the event of a lawsuit. Incorporation is another good way to go, although this will require you to understand and keep on top of the laws, taxes and reports that are required of an incorporated business.
Watch What You Say and What You Do
Your brand image is one of the most valuable things you have as a business owner, and needs to be protected to the best of your abilities. You need to have a policy in place ensuring that both employees and managers can’t make any public announcements, or conduct any activities, that are suspicious or questionable, and have the potential to sully the brand. Aside from this, you can also protect your business’s public image by avoiding any conflicts of interest. There have been countless businesses that have been driven into the ground over one little dispute between the higher-ups. Make sure your company doesn’t become one of them!
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