When you considered the various aspects of starting your own business, you may have focused on the positive aspects. MFocusing on future success, how you would finance your endeavors and where you would set up shop may have all been exciting and important aspects of your plans to consider. However, you may want to remember that every part of running your business will not be positive.
Businesses often have many legal responsibilities to contend with, and while some of those obligations may relate to obtaining permits and ensuring that operating procedures are in order, you could also face more serious issues in the form of litigation. While you certainly intend on conducting business in a professional and upstanding manner, you may still want to prepare for the possibility that someone could file a lawsuit against you.
Understanding common business lawsuits
There are some lawsuits that are filed against businesses more commonly than others. In some cases, the issues will involve your employees, other individuals with whom you conduct business operations and even your customers.
Some of those lawsuits may involve the following issues:
- Employment discrimination: If an employee feels that he or she has been treated unfairly based on a legally protected attribute, such as race or religion, your company could come under fire in the form of a lawsuit, especially if an employee believes that complaints of mistreatment were improperly addressed.
- Wrongful termination: In some cases, wrongful termination and discrimination could go hand in hand. If a person feels that you or another individual in a management position unlawfully dismissed him or her, a lawsuit could arise.
- Wage theft: If an employee feels that he or she has not received proper compensation for services, whether that relates to a lack of overtime pay, minimum wage violations or other compensation issues, litigation could ensue.
- Breach of contract: You may have created employment contracts, partnership contracts or other service contracts to help everyone involved understand their roles and responsibilities. If you believe that someone did not uphold his or her end of a contract or if other parties believe that your company failed to adhere to terms, a breach of contract suit could take place.
- Other accusations of discrimination: In some cases, claims of discrimination could come against your company from other parties. Customers, vendors, suppliers or other individuals could file suit if they believe that your company mistreated because of their protected status.
While a best-case scenario would involve your company never having to deal these issues, it could benefit you to remain realistic about the possibility of these types of lawsuits. Fortunately, you can take steps to lessen the likelihood of litigation.