The business world can be cutthroat at times. It’s sad, but just one of those things that we all have to contend with. The simple fact is that when you put yourself out there, you end up being a target. And it doesn’t matter how large or small your company is; you will run into issues at some point.
The critical thing to remember is that you should always have your wits about you – and act fast. Knowing the signs that you might be facing legal issues is a great way to be prepared. Let’s take a look at five areas that problems often show up – and what you can do.
You don’t have a lawyer
OK, so let’s start with the blatantly obvious. It doesn’t matter how small a business you are; you will need legal help right from the start, and all the way to the end. From setting up your tax status with HMRC to finalising contracts with suppliers and employees – it all needs a trained eye. Getting to know a lawyer will save you a lot of pain – and money – in the long run. Plus, they will be able to give you the right advice should any of the following issues occur.
Someone’s sullying your name
The online world is full of angry people wanting to take a pop at others. A snide comment here, a defamatory online post there – it happens more often than you think. And that means that your business could suffer, regardless if it is true or not. And, according to Pinder Reaux & Associates Ltd, it will be incredibly damaging. It’s essential to get help to let the other party you mean business. Online or offline, your reputation is crucial to your success, and you have the right to own that reputation. Don’t let anyone take it away from you under any circumstances.
You get a trademark infringement threat
You can be doing business for years, perfectly happily. And then one day an official looking letter drops through your door, containing a claim for trademark infringement. It might also be for patent theft or copyright infringement. You could be in a lot of hot water, here, and it is vital that you get legal advice. There are lots of counter arguments you could offer, but let’s face it- you aren’t an expert. And in situations like these, a successful defence could be the difference between keeping your business and seeing it fold.
Your suppliers go AWOL
You get a big order from a good customer. You contact your provider and place an order for your raw materials. And you wait – and wait. Your client is on the line because they want their products – and rightly so. But what happens if you can’t track down the supplier? There are ‘old school’ methods, of course – but there are not recommended. Your only option is to go down the legal route – and fast. You need this situation sorted soon, so you fulfill your side of the bargain.
A customer threatens legal action
Again, this situation happens more often than you might think. There are plenty of people out there who will jump on the tiniest little mistake and try and get compensation. In some cases, they will claim something serious has happened – and you should never deal with this alone. Get a lawyer, work with them, and with a little luck you should sort things out for a preferable result.