If you are opening your first business with a storefront, one of the things you will need before you open your doors for the first time is insurance. As a business, there are many forms of insurance to consider, and there are many that are required. The following are the most important policies you need to know about.
A liability insurance policy
If you have any customers or clients that walk through your front door, you will need liability business insurance to protect yourself and your business. It doesn't take much for someone to get hurt. You may think this is unlikely if you are offering a professional service, but someone can trip walking through your front door, and days later you get a phone call from an attorney about damages. How much protection you need will depend upon the nature of your business. An insurance agent can provide more information.
A property insurance policy
If this is your first business, you are not likely to own your own building, but you still need to have insurance to protect the equipment in your business, including office equipment and furniture. This type of insurance will protect your assets from fire and vandalism. This insurance can also cover inventory if you have a retail business.
A professional liability insurance policy
This type of insurance is crucial for certain professions. Often called errors and omissions insurance, it protects professionals, such as accountants and lawyers, from mistakes that lead to financial loss by their clients. There are a surprisingly wide range of professions that need this type of policy, so you should consult with an agent if you have questions.
Workers' compensation insurance policy
This is insurance that most businesses are required to have. Although state laws vary and many will give exemptions to hiring immediate family members, the first time you hire someone that requires you to have an employee fill out a W2 form, you will likely need this insurance. This insurance will protect you from lawsuits by employees when they are injured on the job.
A commercial auto insurance policy
If you are going to use a company car, you will of course need car insurance for it. However, if you have an employee who will be using their own car, you may need one as well. This is not needed for an occasional trip to the local office supply store, but in a case where your employee will be using their own car every working day for various trips, such as deliveries, you will need protection. If there is an accident, an attorney may sue you because your employee was on the job at the time of the accident.
The policies listed above are not all the coverage you may need. You should sit down with an insurance agent to discuss your needs before your first day of business.