Running a business is nothing short of climbing a mountain- you have to play multiple roles as an entrepreneur, accountant, salesperson, and more. Things get even tougher if your small company grows into a successful brand as you have a reputation to protect. The last thing you would want is lawsuits but they are more common than you may believe. Time and again, you may face one from customers, employees, partners, or third-parties due to various reasons. What’s more, you may not be guilty in a majority of cases.
Obviously, it makes sense to have a legal protection strategy in place to safeguard your brand, whether you are at fault or not. Although there is no one-size-fits-all formula to stay safe, you can take some measures for adequate protection according to your needs and situation. While these measures may vary from business to business, here are some common ones that you can depend on.
Know your regulations
First things first, it is vital to know the regulations that your business needs to comply with. These may vary according to your business niche, legal structure, and corporate governance. From taxes to data privacy and environmental regulations, there is a lot more to deal with. You may also come across special regulations like the ones applicable in the COVID era. Ideally, you must do extensive research to understand the norms that apply to your business. Taking legal guidance from an expert is a better approach. The implications for non-compliance can be serious, so you must go the extra mile for knowing all the laws and policies and adhering to them.
Keep your paperwork strong
The biggest concern for relatively new brands is that they tend to go slack with the paperwork, which often lands them in deep trouble. Whether you are a newbie or an established brand, keep your paperwork strong. Every time you start a new relationship with another party, whether a client, supplier, or partner, you should have a well-documented written contract. It is vital to ensure trust and manage disputes if they arise at any point in time. Not just having agreements is important, make sure that you update them regularly if they expire or there is a change in clauses.
Download Branding Resources Guide
Building a brand starts by having the right tools and advice. Download our top 10 essential tools and resources to kick-start your branding.
Prioritize safety for employees and consumers
One of the most common legal pitfalls for brands is personal injuries of employees and customers. You may come across personal injury litigation once or more, with reasons varying from workplace injuries, slip and fall accidents, product liability cases and business vehicle accidents. Mishaps with business vehicles can be the most complicated because they can involve injuries of an employee, customers or third parties. The victims will probably hire the best car accident attorneys with years of experience to file a compensation claim costing a fortune. Having a safe work culture can prevent such incidents in the first place. Further, you will need an expert to defend your brand in case of a lawsuit.
Learn about labor laws
Since you will probably have a team of employees working for you, there is a need to understand your legal responsibilities and obligations as an employer. Understanding employment laws is the key to preventing labor disputes that can be expensive in terms of time, money, and reputational implications. Moreover, you may end up losing good talent in the market because no one wants to work for a brand that is negative in terms of workforce wellness and culture.
Get familiar with intellectual property
One of the tricky subjects for brands is intellectual property but it deserves attention because it also happens to be a common cause of lawsuits. To make things worse, infringement of intellectual property can cost you millions of dollars in damages. So it is valuable to know all about IP laws and make sure that you are not using the registered intellectual property for your branding initiative at any stage. Extensive market research plays a significant role when it comes to steering clear of copyright issues.
When your brand faces a lawsuit in the course of business, you will need a lawyer to defend your case. But it would be a smart move to have a legal expert in your team on a regular basis. They can save you from a lot of trouble with relevant advice and quick action if a lawsuit appears to be around the corner at any point in time. Look for a lawyer or law firm with a good reputation in the corporate landscape and check their expertise and experience as well.