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Could You Break The Law In Business Without Even Realizing?

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Could You Break The Law In Business Without Even Realizing?

We know what you’re thinking: “There’s no way I’d break the law running my business.” People who assume this often see the law as being something which is black and white or easy to distinguish. They believe that the line between illegal and legal is clear as day when really it’s rather blurred and confusing. Ask any lawyer whether the law is meant to be understood by the average layperson and they’ll give you a simple answer. No. If the law could be understood by the typical layperson, lawyers wouldn’t be needed at all. You could argue your own case in court and have a fair chance of winning, which you won’t. You could read a legal document without getting totally lost, which isn’t possible.

Law even has a separate language. It has words and Latin phrases that aren’t used anywhere else in society. You might know what pro bono means but what about animus contrahendi? Perhaps you might think these phrases aren’t that significant but that one in particular actually means contractual intent. So, if you saw that in a contract it would be worth knowing the meaning, wouldn’t it? If you don’t have a legal advisor, a lack of understanding could be the reason you unintentionally step on the wrong side of the law. But there are other possibilities.

Failing To Understand Responsibilities

Where does your liability end? If you ever have to hire a criminal lawyer running your business, it’s likely you have failed to correctly answer this question. A great example would be on the roads. You might be hiring employees to drive your business products where they need to go. But what if an employee crashes? Worse still what if they are found to not even have a license to operate the vehicle? Now, there’s a serious traffic crime, and yes you could be involved. It was your responsibility to vet who would be driving your vehicles. At the very least you could be sued for a lot of money by anyone involved in the crash.

Changes In Regulations

Standing Desk

Finally, it’s possible that regulations have changed in your industry and you’ve just missed it. This happens more than you think and a fantastic example would be the GDPR. The GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is exactly how it sounds. It was a set of regulations designed to clean up how companies handle and manage government data. It was for the most part only relevant to European businesses.

You might have noticed a few sites you used to frequent are no longer accessible. If you are running a site outside Europe, this is probably why. The website owner knew they were not complying to the new set of regulations. It’s also possible that some UK and EU sites you used to visit are also no longer accessible. Now, that’s crazy for a key reason. Companies were given over a year of advance warning to get ready and prepare for the change. Some still failed to do so. It’s particularly staggering when you realize some regulations change each day. So, if you can’t keep up a year in advance, how on earth are you going to stay up to date on what could be a daily basis?


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