An entrepreneurial spirit may lead you to always assume the best in people. But problems occur, and most business owners find themselves being threatened to be taken to court at some stage in their careers.

shutterstock_238634479Here’s a collection of five steps to take should you find yourself in that position:

  1. Seek help quickly.
    One of the most important things you can do when your business is being threatened with litigation is to seek help (or at least get some advice) as quickly as possible. The last thing that you want to do is just stand around hoping that the problem is going to go away. Even if you think that the other party wouldn’t really take you to court – or you are 100% convinced that the judiciary would find in your favour if they did – it’s still absolutely essential that you seek legal counsel as early as possible. This ensures that you’re ready should any problems occur.
  2. Know when a threat is just a threat.
    It’s worth noting that the decision to hire an attorney and write a threatening letter is decidedly different to actually taking you to court. Why did they feel the need to warn you that they were going to take you to court without just skipping that step and getting straight down to business? Usually, the answer is something along the lines of their not being sure they can win in court, but they suspect that you might settle with them out of court. Again, your legal counsel will help you navigate this issue.
  3. Know when to settle.
    There are certainly situations in which settling out of court makes more sense – even when you fully believe that you (or your business) have done nothing wrong. The advantages to settling are many – not least the money saved in legal fees. But you’ll also save on bad press, lengthy proceedings and the need to drag other employees into the matter. In short, if your legal representative suggests that you settle out of court, it’s probably best to do so.
  4. Put your business first.
    It’s easy to get caught up in pride and your own ego when it comes to defending your company from legal threats. However, it’s important to remember that your business is not a person who is subject to pride. Instead, it’s a commercial operation that needs to remain solvent and profitable Ultimately, the decisions you make regarding the legal fate of your company should keep this in mind. Never chase a particular contingency down out of spite or to settle a score. Instead, weigh every decision carefully.
  5. Know where to look for help.
    No one relishes the idea of being taken to court. However, it’s those who have prepared for this contingency that often end up faring the best. These are the people who are able to recognise the situation quickly and mitigate any problems before they are blown out of proportion.

The best thing you can do is make contact with a team of solicitors such as the experts at Pinder Reaux ahead of time. That way, you already know where to turn when problems develop. Being prepared never hurts!