Common Legal Actions Your Business Might Face

No one goes into business to spend time in a courtroom. However, it is also true that complaints, legal actions and lawsuits might be considered part of the cost of doing business today. More than 40 million lawsuits are filed each year in the United States. Being sued or having a legal claim of some kind filed against you is not either extraordinary or a sign that you, your colleagues or your business practices are at fault. Following the law scrupulously and acting ethically in all your corporate dealings is no guarantee that others will not act against you. There are “serial users” who are looking for reasons to bring legal actions as well as jealous competitors who just want revenge for your success. Here are four common actions a business might experience.

Legal Liability

What does it mean for someone to claim your company is legally liable? A liability is an unpaid debt. With legal liability, a person is saying that your business had some sort of contractual obligation it did not fulfill. This can take several forms. For instance, there might be an allegation that a business received money for a service or a product, but the service was not completed or the product was faulty; thus the business is alleged to be liable. If a customer is involved in an accident on your property, they might claim your business is liable for not keeping them safe. In cases such as these, a representative of your firm may have to testify in a deposition or a trial before judges, attorneys and court reporters Tampa.

Trademark Infringement

This issue occurs more often than you might think. It can be difficult for businesses to know when they come up with a name, a logo or an image to represent their company that another business has used or something very similar to it. Part of the issue is that businesses spend large sums of money on graphic designers and artists in an effort to have an image that is compelling and unique; when someone else creates something similar, the originator will often go to great legal extremes to protect what they view as theirs, even though the similarity is merely a coincidence.

Unfair Business Practices

Unfair business or trade practices essentially alleges that a company is not behaving ethically when it comes to conducting business. One frequently used example of this is the “bait and switch” merchant who advertises a discount on one item, of which only a small number are available; when customers show up, all the discounted items are gone but there is a bin full of a similar, higher-priced item nearby. Another example is misleading advertising: implying something about a product or a service that is not accurate or which does not give all the necessary information. Some business practices are proscribed by law while others are not illegal but seem quite unfair. Customers make claims of unfair business practices and so do competitors when they believe unfair competition is taking place.


This is a legal action that you as a business owner or executive may be forced to take if you believe an employee is stealing money or property that belongs to your business. This is an especially difficult situation for you because the person or person against whom you are bringing charges has been someone you trusted and worked with in the past. There are two types of legal action that are possible when you discover a case of embezzlement. You may simply resort to a civil action, asking for a legal judgment in which the property or the funds are restored by the perpetrator. Embezzlers, unfortunately, do not steal money to put it in a savings account, so recovering it may be problematic even with a legal judgment.

Since stealing from your employer is a criminal offense, one of the decisions you will be faced with is whether or not to pursue charges against your former employee.

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