Running a business, whether a start-up, SME or global corporation, involves many necessary costs. From paying for office space, all the overheads and employing staff, there can be no avoiding any of them. However, there are also a number of costs that many businesses end up paying that could easily be avoided.
Legal issues can end up costing some companies a fortune, even though with a bit of planning and forward-thinking they could be averted. Take note of the following common issues businesses come up against, and work towards reducing their opportunity in your business, or seek professional legal advice from Withers Worldwide.
Thorough research is essential when setting up a new company or expanding your business model. It is important you check that everything from the product or service you will be offering, to fonts and design used, are not too close to those of other companies.
Check that your idea has not been copyrighted already. There are many big companies that will patent everything from good ideas to the most obvious and mundane things. Then, when a start-up comes along and has a similar idea or uses one of them, make easy money by winning patent and copyright lawsuits. Be extra cautious to prevent this from happening.
Employees have a number of rights, and depending on the industry and whether they’re a member of a union, can be fairly powerful. Therefore it is incredibly important that in all employee contracts their exact responsibilities, terms and conditions of employment are laid out clearly and signed.
Otherwise you can end up in legal trouble should an employee be fired and decide to take action for wrongful dismissal. Discrimination and harassment claims are also a worry for businesses. As well as taking a hard line on any such issues, teaching employees about what is/isn’t expected so you can prove to be tackling them should reduce such problems and go some way to covering your own back.
Unhappy customers can cause businesses a lot of expensive legal headaches too. Whether it is complaining about a damaged product that caused them some harm, or terrible customer service that counts as abuse, the legal costs (not to mention bad publicity) will stack up.
Avoid this by having a quality training plan in place and taking time and effort to check all products. There may be instances that slip through, but try to catch them as soon as possible by gaining customer feedback. These can save your company a lot of time and money in the long run.