Tips for Preventing Your Florida Business from Being Sued
As a business owner, you likely already recognize the importance of minimizing risk. However, many business owners aren’t doing enough to protect their companies from being sued for disputes that likely should have been prevented. If you own a business, it’s important to speak with a skilled West Palm Beach business attorney who can advise you on whether you are doing enough to minimize your risk of litigation.
Here’s a look at some of the ways you can reduce the risk of your business being sued.
Have Comprehensive Written Contracts
One of the most common types of business litigation revolves around the failure to memorialize business dealings in writing. You need the details of the transaction, and also the obligations and duties of both parties. Don’t assume that just because you have done business together in the past or you think you can trust this person that things won’t go wrong. Well-drafted contracts can avoid, misunderstandings, countless disputes and reduce the potential for litigation.
If you do have written contracts, make sure you are not breaching the terms of the agreement. If you choose to ignore your duties and obligations, it’s almost a guarantee that you will be facing a breach of contract allegation.
Have an Attorney Review Your Employment Policies and Procedures
The risk of litigation is not only from your business clients and customers. You should recognize that your employees can also present claims and lawsuits against you. Your employee policies and procedures need to be carefully reviewed and monitored. You should have an attorney review them annually in case any new laws have come into effect.
In addition, you should have training for all your employees, including those in supervisory positions. Your management team needs to understand how issues related to discrimination and harassment can result in litigation. Anyone who has the right to hire and fire employees needs to be intimately familiar with what protected classes are. You are prohibited from firing someone simply because they are a member of a protected class.
Make Sure Your Employees are Classified Correctly
Another issue that employers sometimes overlook is the classification of employees. When your attorney reviews your handbooks and policies and procedure manuals, you need to verify that you do not have employees on salary who should be hourly employees who receive overtime payments.
Keep Up to Date on Employment Contracts
If you have employees, contracts for some, you need to make sure that they are not affected by certain changes within your organization. For example, if you have an employee on a contract who is scheduled to receive four weeks of vacation per year, you cannot hold them to a reduction in vacation time that is later instituted. The contract terms are valid for the duration of the contract, unless there is an actionable offense for termination as outlined in the contract. Further, restrictive covenants and non-compete provisions should be discussed regarding certain key employees.
Have Proper Insurance
Even if you don’t sell consumer goods, you should be looking at liability insurance coverage for your business. There are different types of coverage that fit different business scenarios, and you can choose from different liability limits. Having insurance won’t necessarily protect you from being sued, but it can help protect your business and finances.
Contact a Florida Business Law Attorney
If you need assistance reviewing your company’s risk for litigation, it’s important to reach out to a Florida business law attorney. At the Law Office of Larry E. Bray, P.A., we can help your business in a variety of ways, including drafting contracts, updating policies and procedures manuals, business advice, collection, accounts receivable policies, acquisitions, sales of assets, and more. Call our office today at 561-571-8970 to schedule an initial consultation.