Starting A New Business? 2 Things You Need To Protect Yourself

If you are starting a new business, you need to make sure you have everything you need. This includes your office equipment, the right employees, obtaining permits and licenses, and more. You also need to protect your business, such as with workers' compensation insurance and employment documentation.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Workers' compensation insurance is important, because it protects you and your business by paying costs that are associated with workplace injuries and illness. These costs typically include lost wages and medical bills.

Without workers' compensation insurance, you would have to pay these costs on your own. If the employee is going to be out for a long period, this can add up quickly.

Most workers' compensation policies also include an Employer's Liability Insurance document. This would help you pay for any legal costs you may have if the case goes to court.

If the worker's comp case goes to court, you would have to pay for legal defense, which could include witness fees, dockets costs, court costs, and attorneys' fees.

Some coverage options you may have with workers' compensation policies include:

  • A percentage of reimbursement for all lost wages.
  • Coverage that will support the employee's dependents if the employee suffer a fatal injury while on the job, as well as covering the price of the funeral.
  • Coverage for illnesses and injuries; your state may not mandate coverage.
  • Coverage for any employees working in another state.

If you have questions about workers' compensation, or are currently going through a workers' compensation case, you should speak with a workers compensation attorney.

Employment Documentation

New businesses often have problems if they do not maintain employment documentation. You should prepare employment documents that should be signed by all employees of your company.

Employment documents for a new business include:

  • At-Will employment offer letters that are signed by the employee and company. This acknowledges that the employer or employee can terminate employment at-will. You must, however, give a clear explanation of why you are firing the employee, and make sure they understand it.
  • Confidential Information and Inventions Assignment is typically signed by all employees and founders of the company. It creates a confidential relationship between you and the employee to protect any type of proprietary and confidential information.
  • Employee handbook listing all of your company policies on things like conflicts of interest.
  • USCIS Form I-9, which documents verification of the identity of the new employee, as well as employment authorization.
  • IRS form W-4, which is the employee's withholding allowance
  • All benefit forms, such as dental insurance, health insurance, 401(k) plans, etc.

As a new business owner, you have likely worked very hard to get where you are. This is why it is important for you to take the right steps to protect yourself.