Washington is home to more than 100,000 small businesses. Running a small business isn’t the same as running a corporation, but some of the risks are just as serious. For example, small businesses can get sued and face legal problems the same as a corporation.
Small businesses and lawsuits
It’s estimated that 36% to 53% of small business owners deal with business litigation issues each year. And even when a lawsuit isn’t forthcoming, at least 43% of small businesses face the threat of a lawsuit.
If you own a small business, your chances of facing a lawsuit are high. Around 90% of small businesses can expect to face a lawsuit at least once depending on how long the business remains in operation.
Causes of business lawsuits
Employment-related claims are a leading cause of small business lawsuits. These include claims of wrongful termination, discrimination and workplace harassment. It’s estimated that more than 33% of small business lawsuits are started by employees.
Customer-related claims also represent a large number of small business lawsuits. Product liability claims and slip-and-fall accidents account for the majority of customer-related lawsuits. These claims can ruin the reputation and financial stability of a small business. And if the business doesn’t have good insurance or legal counsel, it may never recover from the lawsuit.
Small businesses can face lawsuits other than customer- or employee-related claims. For example, a breach of contract can result in a costly and lengthy court battle.
Small business protective measures
There’s always the possibility that your small business will face a lawsuit, so you might want to take steps to protect your business. This includes things such as obtaining business insurance and creating a work environment that reduces the risk of employment-related claims. These steps can, possibly, protect your business from financial loss and damage to its reputation.