Running your own small business is like every other aspect of your life, as you need to be cognizant of the law. Just as you will know when you are at home how loud you can play music and that you need planning permission to make any changes to your house. And while you are in public, you will acknowledge the importance of not behaving in certain ways, you should also be aware of the things that you have to do in the business world when it comes to your legal obligations and limits.
A lot of laws are ostensibly superfluous because the things that they prohibit are already governed by a sort of tacitly agreed social contract. Many people do not do certain things because they would not want to do them in any case, irrespective of whether there is a law in place that tells them that they shouldn’t. However, with some things, the law imposes obligations on you that you may find to be quite restrictive or expensive. The reality is, that you still need to attend to these things because they often have the benefits of your employees or society as a whole in mind. Failing to do so can result in legal difficulties which can feasibly end the viability of your business. Here are a few things that you should consider to make sure that your business is compliant:
Some things are rather obvious, like the importance of running an office or other business venues in such a way that reduces the potential risk of fire. These measures are sensible not only because they can help prevent horrific injury or death, but also because a fire can be disastrous for business. Taking out business insurance is always a good idea. It is not just for pessimists; in the event that your office does burn down, you will realize that it is for realists. However, there are also lots of fire codes, which you need to know and submit to. They are often detailed and complex and rather than reading, understanding, and implementing them yourself, you may want to hire a fire safety franchise to come into your business and make sure that everything is as it should be. It will ensure that your business is not closed down by government inspectors, as well as keeping you and your employees safe.
Not all of the threats to your business are so impersonal as something like fire, though. The people that you hire can also prove to be a disadvantage to you. Research conducted by the Ponemon Institute in Tucson, Arizona, found that 60% of employees who quit a job or who are asked to leave steal from that company. 65% of those same people took email lists, while 35% took employee records. Remarkably, 16% had the temerity to take financial information. This is illegal and can present a major threat to your business. If that person takes that data to one of your competitors, you may not be able to compete as effectively as you’d like. However, if that data is leaked, it could hurt your reputation and leave you vulnerable to being sued. Encrypting your data and implementing clearance levels and non-disclosure agreements is a good idea.
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