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Many small business owners structure their businesses as limited liability companies, often abbreviated as LLCs. True to its name, the LLC business structure limits the extent to which the business owners are personally liable for the debts or losses of the business.
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But while an LLC structure provides some protection for your personal assets, it does not protect your business from the costs associated with any legal action taken against it. This is where business insurance comes in.
General Liability Business Insurance Policies
General liability insurance protects a company's assets if the company is accused of harming another person or their property. It covers third-party claims for bodily injury and property damage, as well as personal injury and advertising.
Businesses face many risks every day. If a customer slips and enters your place of business, you may be responsible for the cost of medical treatment. You can be sued if your employee makes an accounting error on a client's taxes or if you accidentally damage someone else's property while on the job.
And even if the claim against you is ultimately unfounded, you could find your company on the hook for thousands of dollars in legal fees.
In these situations, general liability insurance can cover the costs associated with third-party claims against your LLC, including legal and settlement costs.
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While general liability insurance covers your business in a variety of scenarios, this type of insurance alone does not provide enough protection for most small businesses. Here are some examples of what general liability does not cover:
There are many additional types of insurance products that can benefit your LLC, depending on your line of business. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with what they have to offer, in case they can provide you with additional protection.
Many insurance providers bundle general liability insurance with one or more types of additional coverage under a business owner's policy, or BOP, which can mean reduced rates for your business.
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All LLCs carry general liability insurance, given that a single costly claim can wipe out the LLC's financial resources.
Deciding how much coverage your LLC needs varies greatly depending on the size and scope of your company's operations, the location of the business, the number of employees and contractors, and more. If youare not sure how much coverage is right for you, consider working with a broker.
The average small business can pay anywhere from $30 to $50 per month for stand-alone liability insurance, depending on the amount of coverage purchased.
Business Owners Policy (BOP): What It Includes, How to Get It. What is workers compensation? LLC Business Insurance: The Best Options for General Liability and More
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How to Get Business Insurance: The Ultimate 4-Step Guide Randa Kriss Read More How Much Does Business Insurance Cost? by Kelsey Sheehy Read more Owning your own business means owning a piece of the American dream. Taking the leap into entrepreneurship isn't easy, but those who understand the risks make the rewards that much sweeter. There are many things to consider when starting a business, especially choosing the best business training. That's why we decided to take a look at the topic of Limited Liability Companies or LLCs to help you get answers to some basic questions.
The IRS defines an LLC as a business structure permitted by state statutes. Each state has its own regulations for LLCs, so be sure to check with your home state about how to file an LLC. The owners of the LLC are called members, and the members can be individuals, a partnership, or a corporation. How members are defined has a direct effect on tax filing and classification.
LLCs are the most popular business formation for small businesses because of the flexibility and protection they offer business owners. A wide range of tax options while protecting business owners from personal liability means members have a little more flexibility to do what's best for their bottom line.
Business LLC formation is beneficial for many small business owners, and having one can help gain credibility with clients. Let's look at a few reasons why LLCs can benefit small businesses:
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While one of the benefits of forming an LLC is less paperwork, there is one essential document that legal experts recommend keeping, even if it is not required in your state – the operating agreement.
The Operating Agreement is a legal document that describes essential information such as the roles, relationships and duties of each member. It also specifies the day-to-day operations and how the LLC will be treated for tax purposes.
At Openforce, we are passionate about supporting the dreams and visions of entrepreneurs at every level. That's why we've partnered with Rocket Lawyer to offer our members an exclusive discount on LLC formation. For $99 (plus state tax), Rocket Lawyer will take care of the paperwork so you can avoid the headache and get to work faster.
Start your entrepreneurial journey by visiting Rocket Lawyer's About page today. Not only can becoming your own boss be affordable, with Rocket Lawyer it's as easy as 1-2-3!
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Openforce is a leader in technology-based services that reduce operating costs and reduce risk for companies that use independent contractors. Our cloud-based applications help companies and contractors achieve both more sustainable and profitable growth by removing financial, operational and compliance barriers to business. What is a certificate of insurance? Four Reasons Why Certificates of Insurance Are Essential Five Main Types of Insurance Policies Types of Insurance Certificates Explaining the Extra Insured Difference Between COI and Insurance. When to ask for a certificate of insurance Who gets a certificate of insurance? How long should I keep a COI? What are the common challenges associated with COI tracking? What makes a good COI tracking process? Internal COI Tracking COI Management Internal vs. Work with a provider Find the best COI tracking solution BCS: Your COI tracking solution
Certificates of Insurance (COIs) are documents that contain all the essential details of an insurance policy in an easy-to-digest standardized format. A COI is intended to prove the status of a policy, provide quick access to the coverage details, reduce risk exposure and protect against third party liability. For projects large and small, liability concerns must be mitigated. Otherwise, project owners, managers and lenders remain vulnerable to improper loss shifting – taking hits to their reputations every time they are found to be at fault for an accident or negligence. Projects of substantial size, such as hotel construction, involve countless third parties to keep track of, including investors, general contractors, subcontractors, and even bystanders. All parties working on a project must have some type of insurance policy, but reviewing every letter of every policy would be a full job in itself. Additionally, this leaves plenty of opportunity to miss essential details. Your best chance to successfully mitigate risk and reduce liability is to carefully document, track and manage valid third-party insurance certificates.
A certificate of insurance (COI) is a document that contains all the essential details of an insurance policy. Just like a car policy comes with an accompanying insurance card, the COI proves the insured status of your company when you take out new contracts. It includes a complete snapshot of the policy in one form, including the most relevant aspects such as: Name of the policy holder Effective and expiry date Type of cover Policy limits Policy carrier
Simply put, if you are a business owner, you must have a COI. In any industry that uses contract labor, COIs are essential for several reasons. Among other benefits, a CIO:
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1. Prove your insurance status. COI is a summary of an insurance policy. It effectively serves as proof of insurance, without the bulk of the policy itself.
2. Provides quick access to information. A COI is an express version of an insurance policy. This convenience can save you tens of hours of work every year.
3. Reduces liability. By carefully documenting insurance certificates from all third-party providers, you are committed to transferring the loss to that party's insurer should something go wrong.
4. Protect yourself when you outsource. Contingent work comes with a unique set of insurance risks. By doing your due diligence and checking each supplier's policy against your requirements, you can protect yourself from incidents that could lead to costly lawsuits and impact your businesses profitability.
The Life Insurance Llc: A Potential Solution To The Buy Sell Tax Basis Conundrum
From liability to workers' compensation, there are several types of COIs, making it imperative for companies to maintain a diligent tracking process that evaluates document legitimacy, adequate protection, and expirations. 1. Certificate of Liability Insurance This should be reviewed not only to protect the project owner, but also to extend additional insured status to the project manager and possibly a lender. Reviewing liability insurance certificates is a critical part of transferring risk from the project owner to a third-party vendor. One way to further ensure that your third party insurance is adequate is to shop around for some
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