As an entrepreneur, you should know that any business, no matter how big or small, has the possibility of encountering some form of liability. It's important to protect your business beforehand in order to minimize the damage from liability. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your new business.
There is no question that your business needs insurance. There are several types of business insurance, but the four most important ones you should consider without a doubt are:
- Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, also called professional liability insurance
- Property Insurance
- Worker's Compensation Insurance
- Product Liability Insurance
Out of these types of insurance, the professional liability insurance is the one that you will probably need before the others. This covers any liability that your business would incur due to damages or harm caused by negligence. Hopefully you'll never need the insurance, but it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
You should never open a business without first consulting a lawyer. As a new business owner, obtaining and using a lawyer can be a big chunk of your budget, but it's important to choose the right lawyer based on other factors besides price. Lawyer review sites such as Avvo use different sources to provide potential clients with information to help them make a decision about a lawyer. It's a great resource that can cut your search time for a lawyer significantly. Make a list of several lawyers and question each one thoroughly to find the one that's right for you.
Your staff should be properly trained in all aspects of the business. Proper staff training will lead to less accidents that can lead to liability. Safety protocols should be drilled into employees' heads when they're first hired. They should also be familiar with all policies to avoid any mix ups and confusion for your clients. You should train employees on what they can and can't say to people as well as how they should behave. This reduces the risk of harassment, discrimination, and terrible morale among your employees.
You've put a lot of work into opening your business, so you shouldn't leave all that work vulnerable to risks. Insurance, good lawyers, and proper staff training will set you up for success. Once you've done these, you can open for business with the confidence that your business is protected.