Chapter 1: What's at Stake for Your Solo Architecture, Engineering, or Design Business?
While finances and customer relationships are important for any business, perhaps the most valuable asset at stake for architecture and engineering businesses is their reputation.
After all, nobody wants to hire the architect who was sued for designing the retirement center that collapsed under the weight of snow on Christmas Eve when residents' families were visiting for a holiday feast and sing-along. Because remember: even if your firm is eventually cleared of all wrongdoing, people will still remember the lawsuit. The lawsuit makes page-one headlines. The dismissal of the lawsuit probably won't.
Consider a worst-case scenario: your firm is in no way culpable (you know the construction company was cutting corners during the building process) but you don't have enough cash on hand to hire a lawyer to defend you. Because you know you're not guilty, you decide to represent yourself. But you miss a filing deadline and all of a sudden you're facing a default judgment against your business (plus some serious reputational damage).
Luckily, there is a way to prevent frivolous lawsuits from ruining the name you've worked hard to build: investing in business insurance. Business liability insurance helps you protect your reputation by providing funds to pay for legal representation when you're sued over your work or things that happened on your premises. By paying an affordable annual premium, you can secure legal defense for a variety of claims your business might face.
In this chapter, we'll go into more detail about how business insurance works and which risks your business is most likely to face.
NEXT: Part 1: How Business Insurance Works