What can happen to me?
As an entrepreneur, you are used to thinking in terms of opportunities, rather than risks. But what if something goes wrong? How vulnerable are you in your personal situation if you fall victim to other entrepreneurs who fail or are not even in good faith? To name just a few examples:
- Your main customer refrains from doing further business with you. Costs continue, but revenues fall sharply.
- An employee causes a serious accident and your company is held liable. A prejudgment attachment is placed on bank accounts, as it is expected that your company will not have sufficient funds to pay the damages.
- You enter into a contract with a party, who suddenly accuses you of breach of contract, and recovers the “damages” from you. A prejudgment attachment is placed on your business premises, which remains in place while the lawsuit is pending. The bank starts asking questions.
- You sell products and face a defect, putting your company in the news and causing serious reputational damage. You need to move forward in a different way.
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Possibly you are thinking, “that won’t happen to me anyway”. And possibly you are right. However, there are many entrepreneurs, who would love to turn back the clock to prevent a lot of misery with a few simple actions. Examples of simple measures that can prevent a lot of misery are:
- Take out good insurance. I do not advise on this, but your insurance broker can certainly help you further.
- Setting up a working limited company, where the risks are run and which can be parted with in case of heavy weather.
- Drafting good terms and conditions and good general terms and conditions. These also need to be communicated in the legally correct way, to be truly effective. Standard terms and conditions often don’t work enough.
- Looking closely at current contracts and seeing where the risks lie.
- Making sure contracts offer proper protection if things go wrong.
For the sake of clarity, let me stress that I do not give tax advice, nor does asset protection have any bearing on the relationship with the tax authorities. Optimal asset protection is completely transparent. Asset protection succeeds well only in cooperation with your in-house accountant. Regularly, a notary is also needed to record matters.