How To Protect Yourself & Business As A Tradesman

As a local tradesman, protecting yourself from personal liability, and from professional liability claims, is of high importance. Sure, there are many rogue tradesmen out there who give the industry a bad reputation. With this in mind, there are also many ‘rogue customers,' who are going to try and take you for all you are worth. They will claim you did a poor job when your work was spotless. Or, they will claim an injury on their property after you finished a job, even though everything was done to perfection and you took the highest levels of care to ensure the job was done properly.

So, how do you go about safeguarding your business, your investments and everything you've put into building your business? What can you do to ensure you are up to date on local codes, municipal requirements and legislation where you work as a tradesman? Is there any way you can shield yourself from false claims or slander? And, more importantly, how do you go about protecting your name and future jobs you might potentially lose in the event of horrible reviews? Consider a few of these things.

Personal liability insurance –
This is going to shield you from personal liability if something does go wrong. You can be the most meticulous person in your craft and things still go wrong. If you are held personally liable for something, this can wipe you out financially. This is where personal liability coverage is going to help. Your insurer will cover you as a ‘business entity,' rather than individual filer of a claim. So, if something happens, your business, rather than you (personal accounts/family) will shield your finances.

You can't prevent accidents, no matter how careful you are. Even if the work is spotless, future issues may arise after a customer hires you. Personal liability coverage is your safeguard to ensuring this won't wipe out your family's savings, in the event a claim is filed against your company and you are found liable for that claim.

Professional liability –
This basically protects ‘your name' as a business. From things like libel and slander, lies or misleading claims, or other false claims which are brought against you by customers. If they make claims which aren't true and you can prove via documentation they aren't true, this insurance is going to protect you. It will also protect you against those issues with faulty work, or if you use supplies (which are guaranteed by the manufacturer) which eventually falter in a job you did, you are also protected in these cases.

The more protection you have against false claims and the more you protect your business from professional liability, the easier it is going to be to ensure you don't lose everything, or you don't go out of business, simply because of one poor review.

Consider working with review sites –
Review sites like angies list or, are great places to have your business name associated with. But, as a business, they are also going to protect you. If there are obvious false claims being made by a customer, or if it is easily viable that customers are simply trying to tarnish your name, these sites are going to step in and protect you.

They will require documentation of the work you did for customers. They will delve into things to find out how the events unfolded, what you did wrong and so forth. As a trade-professional, you rely on word of mouth and positive reviews.  There are some people who are scammers, who are simply trying to make quick cash and are willing to take you down if that is what it takes for them to make that quick cash. So, working with these reviews, and other online portals and sites, it is a great way to ensure you are protected as a tradesman, if there are false claims (which can easily be proven).

Not only will this keep those reviews away from the public, but it is also going to ensure only the truthful comments are read by possible customers who want to hire you in the future. It will protect your name, and ensure you are hired, if you are truly the best team for the job by customers in the future.

Maintain notes/documents –
If you signed a contract, as did customers, and you kept up with the contract terms, but clients are making false reviews, make sure you keep these as proofs. Business rating agencies, and companies which maintain portals of local tradesmen will use this to your advantage. Not only will this work to help you in disproving false claims or poor reviews left by a disgruntled customer, but also ensures these rating sites and government sites, are going to put truthful information about your business online. You won't have to worry about a few false claims ruining your namesake and putting you out of business because of a customer who is being untruthful.

Keep up with training –
By continually training in your craft, you can keep up with industry trends and it will allow you to utilize the best methods to do a job you are hired for in the future. Not only can you inform clients you are up on industry standards, but also will get more jobs because you are more efficient than competitors in your niche industry.

The more informed you are and the better the quality of your work, the easier it is going to be for you to get jobs in the future. And, the easier it is going to be for your business to grow and thrive in a competitive market as a tradesman.

Keep up with legislation –
This is highly important. If you are using dated studs on a job, which were recalled by the manufacturer, this can lead to huge fines, penalties, and litigation costs for you. If you aren't familiar with the local legislation and new laws where you work as a tradesman, make sure you become familiar with them quickly. This will not only prevent losing jobs but will also prevent major costs in hiring a solicitor, simply because you used the wrong stud or bolts when installing a new loft-extension for a customer.

You always have to be up to date on the latest legislation and local regulations where you are working as a tradesman.  You have to make sure your company has all updated licenses and certifications which are required in order for you to carry out your specific trade in that local region your company services. So, taking the time to go through training, learn local rules and legislation and making sure your sub-contractors are also up to date and licensed, is of high importance as a tradesman trying to run a business.

It will save you a great deal of headaches and money when you know what you are doing and can prove your work meets industry standards and legislative standards. So, keep on top of this as a tradesman to avoid possible issues down the road.

Become members of local trades or unions –
These will protect you in the event of legal battles, or if you need assistance to hire a local solicitor. Unions are a great way to connect with other local tradesmen and to ensure you are up to date on the local rules and legislation where you work as a tradesman. Also, if there are false or misleading claims, if you are liable for damage or injuries, or if there are other legal battles you are dealing with, they are going to assist you through these troubling times and help you work through issues you are working through as a tradesperson in your industry.

You have put time, money and your dedication into building your name and your company as a local tradesman. If you are not properly covered, if you do not take the necessary precautions to safeguard your business and if you are not up to date on local legislation where you work, this can all spell major trouble for your business into the future.  It can lead to personal liability and major financial loss (as well as business loss), if you are not taking the proper steps to protect yourself as a local tradesperson. To avoid this, you need to know what types of protections are afforded to you as a business owner. These are a few of the many things you can do, to ensure your business is safe, to avoid personal liability and to avoid huge financial costs and expenses, if you do eventually get caught up in a legal battle for work you have done for a client.

Even if it seems you are being too cautious, there is no such thing when it comes to protecting your business, your finances, and your good-name. So, take these steps to do just that as a local tradesperson in your industry.

Last updated by MyJobQuote on 3rd April 2018.
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