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Ways to protect your IT business.
« on: May 22, 2011, 12:22 PM »
Whether your Information Technology business consists of just you, a handful of employees, or an entire floor of a high rise building, it is susceptible to potential lawsuits and property infringement.  The moment you begin to sell your information technology services, distribute software or program languages for profit, you are a business.  An IT business that doesn’t take legal precautionary measures is like a diver without a cage in shark-infested waters.  Before you even get your business off the ground, plan for the unexpected.  If you have yet to take legal precautions, there’s no time like the present.  It’s a litigious world; here are some ways you can protect your business:

Get it in Writing
Purchasing legal contract software is an economical and straightforward way to protect your IT business. Legally binding documents can decrease or completely eliminate your business’s liability from damages resulting from the use of your website, privacy issues, improper associations with websites hosted on your servers, warranty disagreements, disagreements over software maintenance, and more.  Improper or nonexistent documentation can land a business in a) court or b) in debt because services and payments were not clearly defined.  Putting expectations and services in writing lets a client know he or she can’t take advantage of you.  It also lends an air of credibility to your business; you take your work seriously and are confident enough in your business that you are willing to fervently protect it.

Further protect your business by preemptively shielding your ideas from copycats.  Copyright your original software, have employees sign confidentiality agreements, and have clients sign software license agreements.  Why?  An employee is going to be less likely to leak private company information if he has signed a confidentiality, or non disclosure agreement.  A competitor will be less likely to copy your idea if she could land in court for ignoring copyright law.   Getting “it” in writing will protect your business’s reputation as well as its susceptibility to intellectual property infringement.  If your software is protected, investors will feel secure, and competitors  will be unable to take credit for your product.

Consult an Attorney
While many smaller businesses, especially ones who specialize in a specific aspect of informational technology, can save money by utilizing legal contracts, more complex issues might require an attorney who specializes in multimedia, e-commerce, and computer law.  An IT attorney will assist with mergers and acquisitions, negotiating involved software agreements, and acquiring a patent for your software.  And if you do wind up in court, a corporate attorney can help guide you through the complexities of computer law while a litigator can strengthen your defense or cause for action.

Get Insurance
Sometimes, the sharks break through the cages.  Sometimes, an IT professional makes an error.  It happens.  Liability insurance makes sure your business gets out alive.  Liability insurance can help cover legal defense costs, personal injury against claims of privacy invasion or slander, and allegations of intellectual property infringement or copyright infringement.

If you follow these steps, you can rest assured your business will be as protected as it can be.  You have kept the sharks at bay.  Now you can spend your time and energy on what’s most important: growing and tending to your thriving Information Technology business.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 12:24 PM by Briggz5d »


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