Remember, prevention is better than cure. With a lawyer on hand, you can run your business without worries.
Starting a business is the first step on a challenging journey through the turbulent sea of laws and regulations. It’s not just the big companies that have to worry about being sued, but small businesses too. As your business grows, you will encounter dissatisfied employees, angry customers, dishonest suppliers, and cunning competitors who will bring you to the end of your joke.
Fortunately, you can prevent these stressful scenarios with one simple step: hiring a trusted lawyer. Below are five general legal claims you may encounter while running your small business. It pays to have an attorney available for any of these situations:
1. Breach of contract
Breach of contract is the violation of provisions in an agreement. It is also possible that one of the conditions specified in the contract is not complied with. It’s a broad term that covers a wide spectrum, from late payments to delivering faulty goods.
There are four types of breach of contract:
- A material breach is a party’s failure to meet its obligations or failure to deliver them in a timely manner.
- A minor breach is when one party succeeds in completing the result but fails to meet part of its obligation.
- A premature breach is not necessarily an actual breach. It happens when a party declares that it will not perform its part of the contract.
- An actual violation is the most serious type. The relevant party has already committed the breach but continues to refuse to comply with the terms of the contract.
Note that a breach of contract can violate both a written and an oral agreement. However, it is more difficult to prove an oral violation as there is no concrete evidence. However, the parties can resolve the matter themselves or take the matter to court.
As a business owner, be careful about signing your name on a piece of paper. Check every word on every page whether you are hiring or dealing with a supplier. If you are involved in a lawsuit, a breach attorney can help you prepare your defense or initiate the lawsuit. More importantly, he can provide legal advice, draft contracts, and tweak your terms to reflect your company’s interests.
2. Complaints from employees
Lots of things happen in the workplace. You need to be careful when making decisions, especially when it comes to people. Unfortunately, no matter how fair you are, you can’t please everyone. Employees can sue their employers for harassment, improper pay, wrongful termination, and discrimination based on gender, age, religion, or disability. These scenarios are common in small businesses. In this case, an attorney can step up your defense and make sure your assets are protected.
3. Injuries or illnesses to employees
Make sure you comply with all OSHA regulations to protect your employees and yourself from litigation if someone is injured at work. Image from Sams Solutions via Unsplash.com.
Nobody knows when an accident can happen, and this type of litigation occurs even when you are not in complete control of the situation. To prevent this from happening, always make sure that your security logs are up to date. Don’t hesitate to purchase protective equipment for your employees and follow all OSHA protocols if necessary. And if one of them gets sick, you don’t skimp on mandatory employee compensation. However, if you find yourself in legal proceedings for this reason, an attorney can help mitigate the penalties you face.
4. Intellectual Property Rights Disputes
While the above cases mostly concern people, this one deals with the intangible aspects of a business. Trademark infringement is a serious criminal offense, but thankfully it can easily be remedied with an injunction. However, some companies may be brave enough to challenge your logo or slogan claim. A lawyer can help you prepare the resources to fight for your trademark in court in this case. More importantly, they can help you register your trademark in order to secure your claim to it. It can also take preventative measures against potential intellectual property violations that you may be unknowingly experiencing.
5. Partnership disputes
No matter how long you’ve worked together or how much you trust your partner, business is still a business. Misunderstandings happen and sometimes things can get out of hand. In this case, you may find yourself in court dealing with a partnership agreement breach, non-compete breach or competition for disclosure clauses, and settlement disputes. These matters are rather technical legally, so only a lawyer can save you from such a mess.
Many companies still face fraud and litigation issues despite efforts to provide quality service. The thing is, you can never please everyone. Sooner or later, someone will take action against you and try to bring you down. But do not worry. Remember, prevention is better than cure. With a lawyer on hand, you can run your business without worries.