No business relishes the prospect of having to instruct their lawyers. But making plans for every contingency will help you to safeguard the business. Legal problems can arise from a variety of sources and being pro-active in your harm-mitigation measures will make them that much more effective.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which businesses, large and small, might protect themselves against problems of this kind.
Hire a Competent Attorney
When it comes to the law, there’s no sense in taking risks. Bring in a solicitor who knows what they’re doing, and whose expertise is specialised toward the kind of business you’re running, and the kinds of risk you’re exposing yourself too. If you think you might be at risk of a dispute with staff, then get in touch with an employment law firm. By making contact with your lawyer pre-emptively, you’ll give them the chance to apprise you of any risks or specific problems of which you might not have been aware. You’ll also be able to react much more quickly when legal trouble does arise, and you won’t have to search for a lawyer to defend yourself.
Protect your Intellectual Property
If your business is reliant on its ideas, then it’s vital that you take swift action to protect those ideas. Apply for patents to safeguard your invention. In the case of copyrights, you don’t have to take any action at all – since under UK law, you’re protected from the moment you create something. There’s no need to even include that little © symbol – though doing so might help to reinforce that you’re protected and deter would-be plagiarists.
Protect Your Files
Maintaining a paper trail is critical in defending yourself against a range of accusations. It’ll help you to evidence the claims you make in court. When it comes to financial paperwork, it’s worth employing a professional accountant – or, if your business is large enough to warrant it, maintaining a full-time finance department. This will give you peace of mind when your business comes to be audited, and it’ll help you to straighten out financial irregularities before they have a chance to fester.
Train and talk to your team
If your team aren’t aware of their obligations, and the procedures you’ve put in place to protect the business, then they can’t be expected to abide by those obligations, or to put those procedures in place.