Growing your business means bringing on new talent and having more interactions with fresh clients and customers than ever before.

Good news, right?

Sure, but bear in mind that a growing business is arguably the most susceptible to legal trouble.

Business - meeting in an office, lawyers or attorneys discussing a document or contract agreement
Business – meeting in an office, lawyers or attorneys discussing a document or contract agreement

How so?

The unfortunate reality is that we live in a somewhat sue-happy society. Meanwhile, security breaches happen all the time.

While you shouldn’t going around assuming the worst of your employees or clients, it’s crucial to have protections in place to ensure that you don’t open yourself up to a legal nightmare.

After all, you never know what might happen. That doesn’t mean it should keep you up at night

So ask yourself: what do you have in place to protect your business from “what-if” legal situations? Regardless of how prepared you may or may not be, keep the following six lines of defense in the back of your mind.

Lawyer Up

Every business owner, despite what they may be selling or the size of their company, should have the contact information of a lawyer handy. Beyond giving yourself peace of mind, some of the biggest benefits of a positive legal relationship include…

Locking down the correct tax structure of your business to ensure you’re not losing money

Crafting airtight contact contracts for employees, clients and customers

Having someone to talk to in case you do get sued or get unexpectedly caught up in legal red tape

Make Sure You Cut Ties With Former Employees

Pop quiz: do you know what happens to your company from a legal standpoint if a former employee messes with your digital property?

Between regularly reviewing your own internal security and having contracts in place to keep your employees’ lips sealed regarding intellectual property, never put it past a former employee to hold onto your information. That’s why coming up with an internal user review process to ensure that employee access to passwords and permissions is an often overlooked step of protecting your company.

Assess Your New Hires

You can squash a lot of potential legal problems depending on how you treat your new employees and people you bring into the fold. For example, coming up with ethics-based questions for potential employees can help you better understand whether or not your new hire shares your principles.

Furthermore, you should examine the references of any new hire to guarantee their trustworthiness.

Reexamine Your Company Culture

Your own team is less likely to cause problems if you boast a supportive, positive company culture. If your coworkers have no reason to feel vindictive towards you, they have fewer reasons to open up a legal battle once the time comes.

Take Proper Cybersecurity Measures

Given that SMBs are the targets of over half of all cyber attacks, keeping your business’ security information under lock-and-key is an absolute no-brainer. You can’t solely rely on software solutions to keep yourself safe, though.

Much of your ability to protect your business’ property comes down to the habits of your team. Again, stressing security can’t be done enough.

Be Mindful of Your Decisions

Finally, simply be conscious of any client, customer or employee who might be causing to cause you trouble or draw you into a legal battle. Staying level-headed is always and the right move it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes time to call up a lawyer if you have any questions.

Legal problems come in all sorts of shapes and sizes regardless of what your business actually does. Rather than be blindsided by a potential “what-if” problem, you can start taking steps today to protect your empire for the long-term against threats both big and small.

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