Owning your own business comes with a great sense of accomplishment, and if you can build your business enough that you have to hire help, then you probably feel the satisfaction of helping others. But business owners also face a number of risks, including legal risks. These risks aren’t usually a reason not to start a business, but understanding common legal risks for business owners can help you plan ahead so you are in a better position to face any issues that arise.

Hiring others is a huge milestone for any business, but employees are often the biggest risk for a company. Legal battles with employees can range from breach of contract and wrongful termination to discrimination lawsuits. While these lawsuits can — and often are — warranted, they can also be the outcome of a different disagreement with a person. Working to ensure you document all hiring and termination processes, and treating all employees fairly under the law, can help you avoid losing such cases.

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, harassment or other cases can have long reaching implications for your legal, financial and brand status. Working quickly and with legal assistance to answer such claims and complaints is essential to protecting your business.

Other types of legal battles that are commonly fought by businesses can include patent, copyright or contract disputes, dealing with audits regarding illegal workers and dealing with claims from dissatisfied customers. Depending on what type of product or service you provide, you might even find yourself facing liability lawsuits for customer liability at some point in the future. All of these are reasons to have a legal professional on your side as you grow and manage your business.

Source: Business Dictionary, “Five Common Legal Issues Faced by Businesses,” Leo Sun, accessed March 04, 2016