More than just stuff, it’s what makes your business run. Is your business prepared to protect its physical assets?by Michelle Bomberger | October 6, 2022
Business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs like you have invested countless hours and resources to accomplish the level of success you enjoy.
Yet all too often, these accomplishments are left unprotected. Does your business fully protect its physical assets with a proper legal infrastructure?
The success of your big ideas, great products, and exceptional services all rely on your people and assets to create value. While your most important asset is your people, in most cases, your business also has physical assets — such as vehicles, real estate, computers, office furniture, and data– that make what you do possible.
Physical asset protection is a part of your business continuity and disaster recovery plans. The loss of an asset can be catastrophic. It can create financial and operational hardship that can be avoided with the right protection. Knowing exactly what you’ll do when a disruption occurs gives you a competitive advantage, and you’ll be up and running quickly compared to others.
The three key legal infrastructure tools – contracts, insurance, and entity – are essential to evaluating the risk and implementing the right protection of the physical assets of your business – so let’s take a look at them in relation to physical asset protection:
Contracts relating to physical assets can put the assets at risk or protect them.
For example, a loan agreement may require the assets to be used as collateral for the lender. While you may not be able to avoid the requirement of collateral, it’s critical you know the circumstances under which they can seize the assets and what rights you have in that situation. Similarly, a lease will limit how the asset is used while the lease is in effect.
Contracts may also have ancillary effects on assets.
For example, many contracts require processes in place to address privacy, confidentiality, and cyber security concerns. It’s important to understand and comply fully with these ancillary requirements that affect your assets.
Insurance is the default legal tool for physical asset protection. We know that the possibility of loss exists – fires, floods, and data breaches happen. We hear the stories every day. Insurance is a reliable mechanism to protect the assets and the business if it’s done right.
Business owners don’t often fully understand the kinds and amounts of insurance we need and what is excluded from the policy. Simply looking at what a customer or vendor contract requires is not sufficient. It is important that you talk with your broker about your business operations and the specific assets you are seeking to protect to ensure that you’re covered sufficiently for the likely scenarios.
In addition to its typical shield of liability, the entity is the titleholder for assets as well. If certain assets create high risk, you may consider moving them into a separate entity to insulate that risk from other business assets.
The term “business entity” describes any organization formed to conduct business. Most businesses operate under one of four primary business structures: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or limited liability companies (LLCs). Sometimes tools like trusts make sense to insulate assets. Legal counsel will help you rest assured that you have the proper entities in place to insulate risk and protect assets.
Why is this important?
Physical assets are often the wheels that keep the business in motion. Applying legal infrastructure and expanding that to create business continuity and disaster recovery plans will avoid both physical and productivity loss. This will put you in a stronger competitive position versus your competitors.
“Money is a great asset, talent is an extraordinary asset, and courage is an exceptional asset.”― Matshona Dhliwayo
Do you have the courage and confidence to GO BOLDLY knowing that your business assets are protected?
Your business deserves legal counsel who not only helps you fix problems but avoids problems, too. Complete a complimentary, no-obligation evaluation to identify needs and uncover gaps in your business processes and compliance. Together, we’ll strategize around your short- and long-term goals while balancing associated risks, always working towards a safe and successful future for your business.