Every business today should have a website. It provides you with an opportunity to promote your products and services, communicate with current and potential customers and immediately establishes credibility. However, as with every mode of communication, there are liability risks. Here are some of the most common risks and steps to take to avoid them.

Defamation is the #1 risk for a website. This would include false or disparaging statements about people, businesses or their products. Your products or services may be better than your competitors, but unless you have indisputable proof of that, avoid posting these statements on your website.

Copyright infringement can get you in trouble. Did you find a great article or photo that you posted on your website? If you didn’t have permission to do so, you are at risk for a lawsuit or additional royalty fees. Before posting anything that you haven’t written yourself, make sure you (or your website developer) get permission from the author or photographer.

Trademark infringement is another concern. Make sure you have written permission from suppliers, distributors, etc. to post their names, web addresses or logos on your site.

Be very careful about using personal, private information. You may want to feature testimonials from customers, but make sure you get their permission first. Also, be cautious about posting photos of other businesses or people’s homes without their knowledge or consent.

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