If you are a small business owner in South Carolina, you may worry about things like cash flow and making another sale. Facing a possible lawsuit generally is not high on your list, but it should be.
Small businesses in South Carolina do get sued and the legal fees alone could cost you a lot of money if your case goes to trial.
The impact a small business lawsuit will have on your business goes way beyond finances. Lawsuits can be stressful and time-consuming, not to mention unpredictable.
However, there are steps you can take that can decrease the chances that your small business will end up in the middle of a legal battle.
Keep Your End of the Deal and Put Everything in Writing
In the small business, there are a lot of so-called ‘handshake deals.’ However, if you don’t put things in writing there could be misunderstandings that can easily turn into lawsuits.
Every transaction your small business does should be in writing that spells out exactly what the terms of the deal are, the delivery dates, and what products or services you will provide.
While you may not need a formal contract for every transaction, you should at the very least have an email that includes an estimate sheet or other types of documents that show what you have agreed to.
The business lawyers at the Greenville law firm of Bannister, Wyatt, Stalvey, L.L.C. can advise you on the types of contracts or other business forms you need for your individual type of business.
Once you have the agreement, do what you said you would do in the time you said you would do it. Be ethical and honest in every part of your business dealings.
Create and Follow Good Employment Policies
Like any other small business in South Carolina, you may have to follow employment laws, wage and hour laws, safety regulations and other laws that eliminate harassment in the workplace and discrimination. If you violate these laws, even if it was unintentional, you could end up in a very expensive lawsuit.
The secret to avoiding this is to know and understand the employment laws that apply to your business. You will need to create and then enforce these policies to make sure you are in compliance.
There are times when things may go wrong through no fault of your own. It could be that the supplies you needed didn’t arrive as scheduled, or you find out a project will take longer than you originally thought and cost more than expected.
It’s vitally important that you communicate regularly and clearly to the people who you are conducting business with and work with them to find a solution to a problem. If you communicate with them over the phone or in person, send a follow-up email afterward so that you have it in writing.
Hire An Experienced South Carolina Business Attorney
Your South Carolina small business, like so many others, often make wrong decisions that may put you into a lawsuit. If you have a relationship with a South Carolina business lawyer, you can call them for advice when and if you need it. Your investment now could save thousands in legal fees later.
Obtain the Proper Liability Insurance
A good liability insurance policy can cover a whole gambit of risks that your business faces every day. Insurance can minimize the chances of you getting sued because money is available to pay for any losses. Additionally, if a claim leads to a lawsuit, your liability insurance company should handle the case for you.
The truth is, even if you do everything right, you can’t make your small business lawsuit-proof, but you can take steps to minimize the impact a lawsuit may have on your business.
If you have questions and/or concerns about your small business please contact the business lawyers at the Greenville law firm of Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, L.L.C. They can advise you of the best way to form your business, whether it’s through a limited liability corporation or another business entity.
They can also assist you in any lawsuit that may be filed against your small business in South Carolina.