As an entrepreneur, you may be too focused on developing your business and finding your niche within an established market to think about the ways you may be at risk of litigation. Here are some of the areas that business owners need to take special consideration to protect themselves:
Business formation: Creating a legal business entity can separate your personal assets from your business’s assets. This way if a venture fails or your company gets sued, the structure can protect your personal assets from creditors. S corporations and LLCs are popular structures for reducing a person’s liability for their business debts and liabilities. With a sole proprietorship, there’s no separation between your property and the business.
Creating custom documents: You need to create contracts and documents specific to the transaction and agreements your business is involved in. Choosing generic or stock contract forms can create confusion and obscure the intention of the agreement. You want each party in a contract to understand the expectations and liabilities defined in the language of the document.
Use the company name: When you guarantee a business agreement under your name or sign your name instead of the business’s name on a business contract, you may be responsible for those debts.
Find the right insurance: It’s important to choose the right insurance for your company and to budget for that expense early on. Insurance can help you deal with many unintended outcomes. It may be necessary to have multiple policies for the needs of your business’s different aspects and to update those regularly.
Making timely decisions for your company
When starting a new business venture, you might not be sure when it’s time to formalize your business and put those protections in place that could safeguard your finances from your company. Make sure that you research the compliance necessary for a business and understand the risks your company has before you launch it.