Let’s face it…we live in a “sue-happy” nation. Lawsuits for this, lawsuits for that. Some are warranted and others are not. Either way no one wants to get caught up in the paper trail and the headache associated with being served a petition. I have a few tips to share to help REDUCE (because of course there are no guarantees) the chances of being sued.
- Incorporate Your Business: If you are sued it would suck if your personal assets got all caught up in the headache! Incorporate your business in your state so that it can exist as an entity separate from you and your personal assets. There are several different types of entities that may provide you with protection. These include: Limited Liability Company, S-corp, C-corp, partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, etc. Each entity is taxed differently. Therefore you should check with a professional in your state to determine which would be the best fit.
- Trademark: You print marketing materials, create branded products, create an amazing website all under a business name that you did not know already existed. YIKES! If you do this you are infringing upon the other company’s trademark rights. In order to avoid this from happening be sure that the name you are using is available.. not just in your state but in all states! If it is a name that you do not want anyone to use in the same business category for which you are using it, you will want to trademark the name.
- Legal Agreements: Of course having legal agreements in place will not prevent someone from filing a lawsuit against you. However what it does is makes things crystal clear between each party so that there will not be any (or at least minimal) confusion later. Popular agreements include an employee agreement, vendor agreement, contract employe agreement and more.
This list is short. There are so many other factos that come into place when it relates to protecting your brand. However this list gives you an idea of some things you can implement if you have not already.
***Sharing this information does not create a professional relationship and it does not replace an attorney. Please seek legal advice for your specific needs.