There’s no doubt about it – becoming embroiled in a costly and time-consuming lawsuit is never good for business. Unfortunately, in our increasingly litigious society, there’s no way to guarantee that you or your business will never be sued – or that you won’t feel compelled to resolve a business dispute by suing someone else. On the other hand, there are some simple ways to reduce your chances of getting involved in a lawsuit. Here are just a few.
One of the best and easiest ways to avoid potential litigation is to ensure that your customers/clients are satisfied. One of the most effective ways to do so is through open, honest communication and transparency in all of your interactions with them. This means that you should have specific policies and procedures in place for all dealings with customers and/or clients, and make sure that all of your employees are aware of and follow them.
Although oral agreements may be legally binding in some cases, it is always best to have all agreements documented in writing. It is also important to have a qualified attorney review any contracts before they are signed. This helps ensure that all parties to the contract know, understand and agree to the terms prior to making a commitment. Once a mutually acceptable contract has been drafted and signed, be sure to hang on to at least one copy – just in case there’s a disagreement in the future.
As many Florida business lawyers and litigants cant attest, some of the most hotly contested and unpleasant cases are those stemming from disagreements over money. For example, one way to keep this sort of dispute from getting ugly and ending up in court if you are a lender is to make sure each and every borrower provides collateral. This improves your chances of being repaid, even if the borrower has trouble meeting his or her financial obligations and provides greater protection if the borrower is forced into bankruptcy or insolvency.
Another tip for avoiding litigation is to request that any payment for services is rendered in advance. This allows you to keep the leverage you have as a service provider and reduces the likelihood that you will have to take legal action against dishonorable customers who refuse to pay for the services provided.
Finally, another precaution worth taking if you’re in a business that regularly receives deposit money is to make sure that it goes into an escrow account. Doing so ensures that the money is used solely for its intended purpose and improves the chances that you’ll be able to recoup any funds that are lost.
As we noted earlier, there’s no way to guarantee that your business will never be sued, or that you’ll never sue anyone else. However, using these tips will reduce the chances of ending up in court.
To learn more about how you can avoid business litigation in Florida, contact us today.