Opening new business premises can be an exciting prospect. This is the physical manifestation of your company and no doubt it will become the heart of your operation. These buildings require an incredible amount of work to open up, having to consider the layout of the building, which office goes where what color to paint the walls, and so on. However, there are also some practical considerations to take into consideration and this article will hopefully shed some light on the perhaps less fun aspects of opening a business.
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What is liability?
Liability is where you are financially responsible for an event. All premises have safety duties to their customers. You are liable if the event has taken place in your business or property, or if an accident has occurred because of something that you did or didn’t do. This can include wet floors that you failed to clean or warn people about as well as leaving tripping hazards. It is something to be constantly aware of when you have people coming in and out of your business.
Fortunately, there is insurance for this. Having liability insurance can protect you from any financial damage that you may incur. Whilst one of the best protections to have against liability concerns is to follow through with your due diligence, accidents can happen at any time and anywhere. Having the insurance not only protects you from lawsuits but may also help you reduce any other costs that weren’t your fault. For example, if an employee has moved an object into a walkway.
There are also several different options when considering liability insurance. Some options cover only the most basic claims such as regular accidents that happen e.g. slips and trips whilst others protect you in the case of products that you make. There is also professional liability insurance that can cover accusations of malpractice as well as employee compensation that will cover you if any of your employees injure themselves at work. So, make sure to canvas the options and pick the best option for your business.
Incorporation limits liability
One thing to be very conscious of is that if your business operates in a way that makes you the sole proprietor of your business then you will be personally responsible for the liability claims. This means that all of your assets would be taken into account such as your home, personal bank accounts, your car as well as your business.
You can combat this by forming your business into a corporation or LLC making it a completely separate entity. Any lawsuits will be served in the name of your business rather than yourself protecting your assets. Still not an ideal situation to be in but certainly better than having your house on the line for an accident in your business.
So, what does it all come down to? Make sure that you have insurance that fully protects your business and yourself. Do this and ensure that your business is safe through your due diligence and you will be absolutely fine.