Many business owners in Texas will face at least one lawsuit in their lifetimes, but small business owners are particularly vulnerable. Studies have shown that over half of small business owners face a lawsuit every year. If this is your first business, you might end up breaking the law without even realizing it.
Why do small business owners get sued?
Accusations of discrimination frequently lead to small business disputes. Some business owners don’t realize that they have to abide by anti-discrimination laws just like major businesses. This means that they can’t refuse to hire someone based on their gender, race, age, sexuality or another factor. If they do, the individual could sue them and possibly win.
An artist or another business could sue a small business for copyright infringement even if it’s unintentional. A small business might sell products using a familiar logo or copyrighted images that they found online. If the owner of the intellectual property finds out, they could sue the company and force them to go out of business.
Small businesses also have to abide by their state’s labor laws. This means that they can’t withhold wages or deny their employees overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week. Even if you make an accidental error in accounting, an employee could accuse you of violating wage and hour laws. Hiring a business attorney might prevent this situation from happening in the first place.
Should you wait until someone sues you to hire an attorney?
When you open your first business, it’s easy to get yourself in legal trouble without even realizing it. A big company could survive a lawsuit, but a small business might have to shut down after paying the damages and legal fees. An attorney may educate you about local laws to reduce your chance of getting sued.