Dog sitting and dog walking are real businesses. Which means there’s a lot of heavy legal implications working behind the scenes. If you’re starting any kind of dog walking business, you can’t afford to take things as they come. You need to get prepared. Otherwise, you’re taking big financial risks, risking your business and even your freedom in some cases. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most serious legal issues about running a dog sitting business.
More Money Could Be More Problems In Your Dog Walking Business
Every business has to deal with the risk inherent in money. Primarily, a lot of businesses get this wrong in how they deal with taxes. If you don’t know how much you have to pay or how much you could save, you should consider getting a tax lawyer to help you figure it all out. With all things regarding money, it’s important to keep note of it. You never know when you may get audited on the amount of money coming in, the worker’s compensation provisions and more. Invoices, payroll, all your incomings and outgoings; they should be kept track of and filed away. Even something as innocent as misplacing important financial proof can get you in serious trouble and be a big problem if you are ever audited in your dog walking business.
The Safety Of Your Employees
Health and safety is naturally a big concern in just about any environment. When it comes to handling dogs, everyone knows there is an extra health risk to come with them. Bites, scratches and more can lead to serious issues. First, you need to have worker’s compensation setup. Whether an employee is tangled by a lead or falls down the stairs, it’s your responsibility if they’re on the job. Then you should take care to set up health & safety guidelines and train them thoroughly on them. Walking and sitting dogs might sound natural to you, but you don’t know the mistakes your employees might make. You might not even be aware of some of the risks, yourself. If you really want all bases covered, getting some advice could help. You might consider health and safety outsourcing services to make sure you don’t have any gaps in your preparations. But before you contact those people, make sure you have a properly written pet sitting and dog walking employee handbook and training manual.
The Safety Of The Dogs
Naturally, as you’re looking after dogs, you have to consider their health and safety as well. Not only that you’re looking after their environment and keeping it clean. You should also make sure employees are trained in the proper gentle handling of dogs. Another important issue is that of existing health problems. It’s a good idea to have the dog’s owner make you aware of any existing complications in your pet sitting software sign up. They may require you to give them medication or even have vets’ details if any problems should arise. It’s important to record their consent on all of this, so you’re not held responsible for any medical decisions.
Hiring The Staff For Your Dog Walking Business
Your staff are going to be where a majority of potential legal problems arise. The right kind of management of your dog walking business can keep everything going smoothly. That begins with knowing the right way to hire them from the get-go. A lot of people will break the law when interviewing pet-sitters without even knowing it. You want to ask about their experience and personality, making sure they have the right traits for the job. For example, you shouldn’t ask about disability, even if you believe your concerns are valid. That’s discrimination. You are also not allowed to ask whether or not they have any criminal history. Instead, it’s up to you to do a background check to get the information independently.
After you hire them, there’s still plenty of opportunity for things to get you into some legally risky territory. Harassment and discrimination are big problems in any workplace. Even between colleagues at a dog-sitting business, disputes can arise and get ugly very quickly. You have to be hands-on in how you prevent these. If problems arise, you should have a code of conduct and a specific process on how you resolve those issues. You might not be able to solve every argument that comes up. For your legal protection, however, having an HR process can help show that you are fulfilling your responsibility. You should also record any of these infractions and interactions. They can serve as evidence against any claims of wrongful termination.
Signing On Dotted Lines, Or Clicking To Agree.
Whether it’s with customers or employees, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is relying on handshake deals. Don’t just expect that everything will go smoothly. When problems arise, it is the solid nature of binding contracts that could save you. For example, with customers, it’s best to get them to sign any consent for you to look after and walk their dogs or agree to your policies on your online software management. If they require you to give them medication, you should also include the specifics of that in the contract you sign with them. Any contracts you have them sign should absolve you of responsibility for harm, that isn’t directly your fault. You wouldn’t want to get in that situation in the first place, but you should be prepared.