During your business’ operations, there’s always the risk that it could cause damage, harm, or loss to another entity. This entity may either be an individual or a company. The vulnerability to these risks gets even higher as the business expands. It’s, therefore, essential to have preventative measures and documentation to minimize and reduce liability risk which can help avoid costly obligations.
Various areas in your business operations can lead to liability risks. Thus, ensuring that you have documentation and standard operating procedures (SOPs) helps ensure efficient communication, monitoring, and reporting framework. The risk areas are diverse, with each requiring specifications and technicalities. Sometimes, getting the terms right can be a challenge. However, you can obtain legal document templates from a trusted website to give you a guideline.
Types of Business Documents
Generally, all materials that document the business’s existence, transactions, agreements, policies, and contracts qualify as business documents. These documents can be used as evidence of legal procedures in case of a lawsuit or accident. Some of the documents you should have are:
- Business registration
- Team members’ appraisal reports
- Employment manuals
- Vendor contracts and agreements
- Insurance certificates
- Local authority permits
- Incidents and accidents reports
Ensuring you have the right documents work to your advantage in various ways. Below are some ways these business documents will help reduce liability risk at your company.
Outline the Business’ Authority
Having business documents helps indicate your business’s ownership and jurisdiction of a given building or marked area. Thus, these would give your organization the authority to put regulations, policies, and procedures for anyone within this jurisdiction. Some of the rules can be for the safety of the visitors to the premises or the security of your business premises.
For example, if your business operations involve handling flammable substances, you would have policies restricting flames within the premises. It can also include putting up posters warning of the same. Thus, you can enforce this policy and make visitors of your premises aware. Other regulations you may enforce are having the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) at the workplace for the team members. PPE can include masks, hardhats, gloves, smocks, and much more.
Thus, business documents can help if there are any claims for injury or accident. If there was an accident at the workplace, the policies and procedures could help mitigate any claims for negligence on the business part. All in all, having these procedures and policies in place and help reduce liability risk at your business.
Provide Evidence for Agreements and Contracts
One of the ways business documents can reduce liability risk is by providing evidence for and of agreements and contracts. For deals that you agree with your suppliers and service delivery teams, contracts and agreements help define contractual obligations for both parties. They also provide you with a guideline for your operations as per the terms and conditions of the contract. Thus, they help you to adhere to agreed-upon terms of service. Additionally, such regular documents like invoices and delivery receipts provide proof and acceptance of services or products.
If there are any claims or lawsuits at a future date, these documents can help show your compliance and performance. As a result, they can help prove that you fulfilled your contractual obligations. This will help you reduce liability risk.
Provide Records of Compliance
Every business operation needs to conform to the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction it falls. Additionally, there might be other certifications, like those from professional bodies, that some businesses need to have. It helps you to have documentation of such certification as they show your compliance with required guidelines. Furthermore, any subsequent renewals and payments should help you prove your consistent upholding of the required standards.
If there are any legal issues or follow up by authorities, these documents can help you avoid legal actions associated with violation of standards and laws. Additionally, it would be easier to provide evidence of compliance, thus, preventing costly payments in lawsuits or insurance claims.
They Define Performance Targets
While working with a diverse team with varied abilities, it’s crucial to have SOPs and other workplace policies. Additionally, carrying out regular performance appraisals helps discuss individual member’s performances, achievements, and expectations. There can be other procedures in place such as disciplinary actions. It’s essential to document all these well if there’s a need for future references in the case you need to pursue terminating an employee.
When fired from the company, some team members may take legal steps, like wrongful termination. As such, if the company has gone through the due process as required by law or as per employment policies, there can be proof documenting employee shortcomings and performance issues. With the documents, you can justify a team member’s contract termination. Having business documents detailing employee performance and any disciplinary actions taken against them is a great way to reduce liability risk at your establishment.
They Help Provide Proof of Insurance Coverage
As a business, you can purchase various insurance policies to help protect it from liability issues. As these are legal documents, the insurance policies help prove that your business has insurance coverage if there’s a claim or lawsuit. It, in turn, helps reduce liability risk of your company. Examples of insurance policies you can take are data breach, worker’s compensation, or property.
Business Documents Can Reduce Liability Risk at Your Company
Due to the uncertainty of business operations, it’s vital that every certification, agreement, and contract is well documented and kept safely. Additionally, SOPs and other proceedings also require thorough documentation. All of these can help reduce liability risk in the future if there are claims or lawsuits filed against the business.