5 Tips to Help Small Businesses in Florida Avoid Lawsuits
March 14, 2019
1. Get Your Agreements in Writing
While it can be tempting to forgo the paperwork and rely on verbal agreements, especially with people you already know, do the smart thing and get all your business deals in writing. After all, even small misunderstandings between parties can escalate into expensive litigation. Relevant details such as pricing and services rendered should be documented, especially those that could be disputed later. Long, traditional contracts are not always needed. Emails and estimate sheets can serve as important records too.
Whether you already have a contract in place or need help writing one up, don’t hesitate to reach out to our contract attorney in Florida to learn more.
2. Comply with Employment Laws
It might sound obvious, but one of the best ways to keep from getting sued is to make sure that you are following the letter when it comes to managing your employees. This includes everything from workplace harassment and discrimination to pay and hours worked. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these laws, both those required by the federal government and by the state of Florida. No matter how honest the mistake, any violations of employment law can cost you. When in doubt, consult with a business lawyer – even a short conversation with the right one can save you thousands!
3. Remember That Communication is Key
Just like in your personal life, your business relationships can only survive with clear and open lines of communication. Mistakes happen. Being honest and direct with these mistakes can keep things from blowing up into full on disasters. Whether a project is going over budget or if you have experienced a death in the family and require bereavement time, explain your situation to those affected and there’s a good chance that you can find a solution that will be good for all of you. But remember our first tip! Follow up any verbal communications with an e-mail so that you have a record in case of future disputes.
4. Liability Insurance
Although not required to operate under Florida State Law, Commercial Liability Insurance is an essential tool in guarding against lawsuits. The specific types of insurance that will best suit you depends on the specific needs of your business. A business lawyer or insurance agent can help you with this decision. Insurance companies come in handy beyond loss mitigation, however. Their experience in investigating claims and negotiating settlements can nip frivolous lawsuits in the bud.
Forming a Limited Liability Company is another way to protect your personal assets if your company is sued. For more information on how converting your business entity, visit our website.
5. Hire a Small Business Lawyer
A good small business lawyer is an unparalleled asset for any entrepreneur. No amount of online research can match their legal knowledge. They can also spot problems that you wouldn’t know to look out for! Ultimately, forming a long-term relationship with a lawyer that you trust is one of the best moves that a small business owner can make. It isn’t just about having someone to call for advice or whenever you have a legal question – it’s about finding an ally to help you succeed.
If you have a question about starting your business, want to discuss a contract, or would like counsel on a specific matter please do not hesitate to contact us. We provide a free 30 minute consultation for all new clients.