When you’re getting ready to start a business, you may be asked about asset protection. Asset protection is an essential part of being in business, because it’s the only reliable way to protect it – and yourself – from lawsuits. Even if a suit is frivolous, you watch everything you’ve worked for become subject to seizure – something that definitely wasn’t part of your dreams.
If you haven’t put asset protection measures in place, you should take action as soon as possible. Owning a business has amazing advantages, but it also increases your chances of being sued. And once you’re named in a suit, it will be too late to protect yourself.
A sense of urgency to protect your assets is a good thing if it prompts you to act. However, in doing so, you should also be careful to avoid those who would take advantage of your good intentions. How can you tell an honorable asset protection company from a bad one, and when should you file a complaint?
Know the Warning Signs
Here are some things that should send up a big red flag when you’re dealing with any asset protection specialist. If you experience any of these and don’t have your concerns resolved in short order, it might be time to ask for a refund of any fees you have paid, and ultimately file a formal complaint.
- They’re all talk
The process of asset protection can and should involve a lot of legal and financial counseling. You should have every step fully explained to you, so you understand what steps are being taken and why. However, your asset protection firm should also be willing to do some leg work on your behalf. Phone calls, research, filings and paperwork are all essential parts of your strategy, and you should see tangible results from the steps taken. If you seem to be treading water for an extended period of time, you should be concerned.
- Your “kit” seems more like a DIY project
Is every asset protection kit a scam? No. However, any law firm or service provider who offers you a kit should also offer individual tailoring and consulting to go with it. Why? Because your business deserves more than a one-size-fits-all solution. While your protection strategy may begin with a kit, it should also include all the customization and expert help you need to make it fit your business, priorities, and goals.
- Your help disappears
Any firm that becomes unresponsive or inattentive is probably worth a complaint. The world of asset protection can be difficult to navigate, and becomes even more complicated as your business grows. If you pay a fee or buy a kit and are left alone once your wallet is empty, you could be dealing with a bad company. Perhaps even more troubling is the firm who offers little or no assistance once legal action is taken against you.
Filing a Formal Complaint
In any high-stakes legal process, doing your homework and taking deliberate steps is paramount. Always make sure you have assurances you are comfortable with before you pay any fees. However, if you do feel a complaint is warranted, there is help. The Better Business Bureau can be instrumental in negotiating a refund. You might also consider contacting your state bar association. Some states even have specialized divisions of the court system to handle complaints against attorneys. With a little research, you should be able to find a positive course of action available in your area.