There are many kinds of lawsuits that small business owners should look out for if they run their own businesses. These lawsuits can quickly become a problem for a business, costing it all its profits or threatening to force the owner to shut down.
There are a few kinds of lawsuits that are common among businesses. These include employment law actions, intellectual property rights, contractual disputes and fraud. Each one of these has the potential to get your business into hot water.
How do these lawsuits affect businesses?
Each one has the potential to get the business shut down or to make the business owner pay thousands in compensation to those who have been wronged. Many business owners work with attorneys to prevent situations caused by these kinds of lawsuits. Here's a little about each one that you should try to avoid.
1. Employment lawsuits
With employment lawsuits, your business is accused of violating some part of the employment process. That might mean you are accused of harassing a new employee, terminating someone wrongfully or even having racist hiring policies. Each of these can threaten your business if an employee has enough evidence, so making sure you follow applicable laws as closely as possible is key to avoiding employment lawsuits.
2. Intellectual property right lawsuits
With intellectual property rights, it's possible to end up using someone else's property for your own business. You might not have intended to do so or you might have "borrowed" something with the intention of plagiarizing. Whatever the case is, you can avoid these lawsuits by avoiding using logos, sayings or other property that belongs to another business.
3. Contractual disputes
Contractual disputes are disputes that occur because of conflicts between two or more parties who have a contract. For example, if you have a contract to only use a certain kind of coffee at your coffee shop but use a different brand for a special event, you could be accused of breaching a contract. This could result in a contract dispute.
Finally, there is fraud. Fraud lawsuits occur because someone deliberately and maliciously misled customers or consumers. For instance, if you claim your food has no gluten and will absolutely result in weight loss, there's a chance you could be accused of providing misleading information and involving your business in fraud.
Lawsuits are avoidable, but your business needs to take steps early on to make sure you follow all applicable laws. If you face a lawsuit, then you need to educate yourself and be prepared to fight back.