As a private contractor, you should be doing everything in your power to limit your risks. A single mistake or confrontation could quickly turn into a serious legal battle that drains your resources and drags your name through the mud. Here are a few steps that you can take to avoid liability issues and protect your company.
Acquire the Proper Licenses and Permits
Before you take on your first job, you will most likely need to acquire some type of license or permit. At the very least, you will need a business license that lets you work within your city or county. Depending on what type of work you do, you might also need to get permits from the local fire department or sewage company. You may have a state board that requires specific licensing for your occupation as well.
Develop an Airtight Contract
One of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of any liability issues is to create an airtight contract that all of your clients and customers sign. If you don’t know what needs to be in the contract, then you should consider contacting a local attorney who has experience with business and commercial law. As long as you are fair and honest, that contract should protect you against most frivolous lawsuits.
Invest in Comprehensive Liability Insurance
No matter how careful you try to be, you will have to deal with at least a few accidents and mishaps over the years. When those issues take place, your contractor liability insurance will be your first line of defense. That type of insurance will help you cover a wide array of expenses ranging from medical bills to legal fees. Most companies are required to have at least some form of liability coverage before they open their doors.
Be Careful When Hiring
When it comes time for your company to expand, you must be extremely careful while hiring. Your employees are going to represent your company, and you will be liable for all of their actions and work. During the hiring process, you should remember that an employee’s personality is just as important as their training and academic background. Hard skills like programming or wiring an outlet can be taught to almost anyone, but it will be nearly impossible to reverse negative personality traits.
Protecting your company’s assets and reputation is an ongoing process that requires constant attention. With a little bit of foresight and some planning, you will be able to avoid some of the most common mistakes that drive businesses into the ground.
Author Info: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber.