It is essential for any business owner to learn about their legal responsibilities, the things that they or the business could be held legally liable for if they fail to uphold them. Many of these apply specifically to your employees and workplace, but there are responsibilities that you have to your customer too. Make sure that you’re always aware of the following.
There’s no denying that creative marketing and advertising can be highly effective at winning the attention of the customer. However, you should be careful to make sure that you don’t cross the line into deceptive advertising. If you depict the product doing something that it does not without a clear indication that it’s a fabrication, you can get in trouble for it. A very basic example of this is selling a non-dairy yogurt that, on closer inspection, is made from dairy products. This applies to not just ads, but also packaging, any labels, as well as claims made on websites or other digital media.
If you’re selling a specific product to your customers, then you have to be aware of the specific standards that it needs to meet. In general, if you sell defective products, then you are liable to be sued for them, whether they are dangerous or they simply fail to do what is advertised. However, specific types of products also have their own regulations, so make sure that you do your own research into what standards you have to meet, whether it’s in textiles, food, electronics, or otherwise. These are just examples of product sectors with pretty extensive standards.
You are liable for how your products affect the safety of your customers. However, this extends to also cover your services and your premises. If you perform services for a customer that leads to an accident or injury, you are liable. Similarly, you are liable for any accidents or injuries that occur on your premises that are not the fault of the injured. To that end, it’s essential that strong dedication to safety standards in your commercial premises is a key part of your business.
One right that is becoming increasingly relevant and prevalent in the news is that of your customer’s right to privacy and identity protection. This means that you cannot sell or give away customer information or data without their explicit permission. It also means that if you store customer data digitally, you have to invest in strong cybersecurity measures to protect it. If you lose that data in a breach, even one done maliciously by someone outside of the business, you are still responsible due to your inability to protect it. The majority of businesses cannot survive a data breach, so investing in protection is crucial.
The responsibilities above to protect the rights of the customer. If you fail to meet them, it can mean big legal hot water for your business. It’s best not to risk it and to, instead, make sure you have a policy that puts these responsibilities first.