Tips for Protecting Your Small Business from Being Sued in Washington DC
It’s understandable, as a small business owner, that you are very concerned about your assets and the possibility of being sued. Even a single lawsuit has the potential to cripple your business, which is why it’s imperative you take extra steps to help reduce the risk of being sued. One of the most important steps in your long-term business plan is to have a trusted Washington DC small business attorney available to retain when you do run into issues or need assistance.
The impact of a lawsuit can extend beyond finances. They are time-consuming, stressful, and the outcome is often unpredictable. Here are several tips to help you reduce the risk of your small business being sued.
Have All Your Contracts in Writing
It’s not uncommon for small business owners to rely on “handshake” agreements. You absolutely don’t want to do this, as it leaves the door open to misinterpretations and disputes that can easily escalate into a lawsuit. Your written agreements should always include all pertinent details. You may not need a formal contract for every business transaction, but you need to at least document information like the price, scheduled delivery date, and what the services / products are.
Verify Your Employment Policies Comply with All Regulations
It’s critical that your employment policies and guidelines comply with all applicable rules and laws. These regulations are designed to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace. You need to ensure you are classifying employees correctly and that you are paying overtime properly. Otherwise, you could be facing a claim for discrimination against a worker in a protected class or a wrongful termination suit.
Get Proper Liability Coverage
It may be an added expense, but liability insurance can protect you from a variety of risks — from a massive data breach to someone slipping and falling in your store. Insurance will minimize the risk of you being personally sued and your assets being placed at risk. There are different kinds of liability insurance, so you’ll need to do research and find out which works best for your type of business. At least if there is a lawsuit, your insurance company will handle the case provided there is coverage for the particular loss.
Consider Creating an LLC or Corporation
Keeping your business as a sole proprietorship opens you up to the most personal liability. Consider creating an LLC or corporation to protect yourself and your business. A skilled Washington DC small business lawyer can advise you which one is right for your particular situation.
Keep Your Business Income Separate
You need to keep your personal funds and business income separate. When you mix personal and business income, it is known as commingling funds. If you have your business set up as an LLC, you could be opening yourself up to personal liability when you mix personal funds with the business income.
Contact a Washington DC Small business Lawyer
If you need assistance with your Washington DC small business lawyer, contact the attorneys at Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing today at 202-362-5900 to schedule an initial consultation.