One of the biggest concerns for small business owners is legal protection. How can you protect your business online? What steps should your business take to ensure that you are protected? In this post, we are going to discuss a few different steps you can take to ensure that your business is legally sound.
Take Ownership Of Your Business Name
The first thing you want to do to ensure that your business is protected is to make sure you secure your business' name. This means checking to make sure that your business name isn't already taken and registered. Taking ownership also includes securing the domain name for the business.
Give Your Business A Legal Entity
The majority of the time, if you start an online business, chances are that you started as a sole proprietorship. There is nothing wrong with starting this way. Still, as your business grows and expands, it is wise to move on to a different entity to better separate yourself from the company and to ensure that your assets are protected.
Monitor Your Online Actions And Affiliations
As a business owner, integrity is everything. You never want your customers to be ashamed to do business with you, and you never want to be caught up in some controversy that will put your business in a negative light. Be mindful of your business practices and partnerships, as well as what you publicly post even on your personal profile. The internet is notorious for exposing the less-than-stellar pasts of individuals, and they wind up paying for it big time.
Consider Getting Business Insurance
Another solid yet optional way to legally protect your business is to pursue business insurance. Business insurance can protect you against liabilities and issues that may arise that merely having a specific business structure may not cover. If you have an online business, such as a membership site that directly offers services to customers, this would be a great way to protect your content and your assets if a lawsuit occurs.
If your business offers goods or services to individuals or if you plan to enter into a partnership with another company or entity, it is always smart to have a paper trail. Contracts are another way to protect yourself and to keep a record of exactly what both parties agree to. If an issue arises, both parties can also refer back to the contract for clarity. This can be a lot cheaper in the long run – lawsuits and legal fees add up!
Add Legal Documents to Your Website
Become GDPR Compliant
GDPR, simply put, is a set of regulations that have been put in place to protect consumer data. Although it is primarily enforced in the EU right now, chances are that this regulation will spread to the United States, and if you have customers overseas, this rule applies to you RIGHT NOW. Ensure that you check with your email marketing service to make sure that your customer permits you to use their email addresses. If not, you could pay a hefty fine.
When you are first starting out in your business, you may think that a lawsuit is the last thing you need to be worried about. Either way, it's better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. We hope that our tips above will help you to better prepared legally for anything that may come your business' way!