ARTICLE

Lober Dobson & Desai LLC
Attorneys at Law
Atlanta | Macon

Email: info@lddlawyers.com

AVOID GETTING SUED

Just as every business faces obstacles while it expands and develops, every business is bound to have some type of encounter with a lawsuit. In the highly litigious society we live in, no one individual or corporate entity is sheltered from the possibility of being sued. For those who have never dealt with lawyers or been in a courtroom, the mere thought of a lawsuit is daunting. Though, even the most experienced litigators know that dealing with a lawsuit is costly, time consuming and detrimental to business. However, there are some practical things to keep in mind as your business expands and develops in order to avoid getting sued.

Lawsuits can attack from a number of directions, so the best manner in which to protect your business is to be proactive including:

  1. Paying your taxes on time (federal, state, local, sales, employment, use, special, etc.);

  2. Complying with local ordinances (zoning, permits, building codes, etc.);

  3. Maintaining good accounting practices;

  4. Making agreements with vendors, suppliers, clients, tenants, etc. in writing and making sure the contracts and/or forms used are legally sufficient to protect your business;

  5. Obtaining the necessary permits for your business and maintaining them (liquor, professional licenses, etc.); and

  6. Maintaining liability insurance and any other types of insurance specific to your industry to protect your business.

Often times, in spite of taking all of these precautions, your business will be served with a lawsuit. How you react to being served with a lawsuit will determine how excruciating the experience will be. First of all, do not ignore the lawsuit. Regardless of whether you think the suit has merit, you must treat the lawsuit with importance and provide an answer to the complaint filed against the business. However, before you attempt to represent your business yourself, know that it is illegal for anyone other than an attorney to represent a corporate entity. This is a very common mistake made by business owners who want to avoid hiring an attorney to save a little money.

Thus, the best action you can take is to contact your attorney to handle the lawsuit. Call the attorney as soon as you receive the suit instead of the day before the Answer is due so that the attorney can defend your suit properly. Also, keep in mind that it is always in your best interest to settle the lawsuit. Going to trial is extremely time consuming and expensive. There is no use in fighting a suit for the “principal” of the matter. Small businesses exist to make a profit, not to uphold lofty principles.

Most businesses are constantly trying to save money, but a little money spent upfront for the services of a legal professional to look at business agreements can save you a great deal of money and hassle in the long run. In spite of the very real possibility of being sued, you and your business will come ahead if these practices are implemented into your business.

 

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