Every year, over 627,000 new businesses are launched, according to SBA data. Small business entrepreneurs are seen as the backbone of the American economy, yet they face one of the highest failure rates when launching a new business. While 42 percent of them fail because they offer products/services customers do not need, and a similar percentage fail due to mismanagement of their business finances, others face difficulties in getting their business off the ground thanks to not having their legal processes in order. Ensuring your business is compliant with the relevant rules and regulations increases your chances of succeeding in your venture.
Map Out An Insurance Strategy For Your Business And Workforce
Every new business owner should think about protecting their business. A comprehensive business insurance policy aims to protect all valuable assets in your business and ensure its recovery should incidences like theft, fire or legal action occur. Every business should consider insuring its physical business assets such as office space, vehicles and machinery. Businesses are also legally required to have workers’ compensation cover in all states, except Texas. This protects the business if a workplace injury, sexual or defamation claim is filed, which can cost businesses millions. A good example is the JJS Justice and John Hopkins hospital case, which resulted in a $180 million settlement.
Business owners should also consider general liability and professional liability insurance coverage if their business will be providing a professional service such as medical or legal advice. Finally, cyber insurance is quickly becoming an essential part of any business insurance strategy. Small businesses lose over $200,000 annually to cybercrime.
Spend Time Creating Your Employee Handbook
If you intend to hire new employees for your business, or even outsource business functions to freelancers, you should create an employee and company handbook. An employee handbook’s functions are twofold: it protects the company and employees. It sets out clear guidelines and code of conduct for employees in your business, while also outlining the procedures for employee processing, such as requesting time off, expectations of employee behavior, and procedures for unauthorized absences.
Certain state laws will also mandate what you need to include in your employee handbook. For instance, in California, businesses are required to observe a new anti-harassment policy and update their handbooks to reflect this. Businesses with five or more employees are now required to provide two-hour sexual harassment prevention training. Meanwhile, AB 2770 states that employers can now share information about harassment complaints with interested parties, including the worker who made the initial complaint.
Check On Your Copyright And Branding Compliance
An important part of establishing your new business will be the design of your business’s brand. As businesses design a business logo, products and designs, they should be mindful that they are not infringing on the rights of other businesses. Failure to observe copyright laws sets the business up for legal action based on trademark and copyright infringement. While copyright occurs automatically from the time the design is drawn, you may want to register it, particularly if you are having an outsourced graphic designer create it. Registering your copyright also allows you the option of taking legal action against other businesses that use your logo, business idea, or other branding materials.
Lastly, be sure to schedule regular compliance and audit checks within your business. The legal rules and regulations are constantly being updated, and failure to do so means you risk your business being non-compliant and vulnerable to lawful repercussions.