If you own a business or you operate one, you probably take a lot of pride in it. Maybe you started it and had the original idea for it. As your brainchild, you want to see it succeed.
A situation might arise, though, where you’re facing criminal charges. Maybe you’re guilty of the crime, but perhaps you’re not. In either case, it’s going to be tough on your company.
Let’s go over what can happen to a business if the boss faces criminal charges.
You Might Have to Put Someone Else in Charge for a While
Usually, your business can continue operating while you’re trying to fight your way out from under a suspicion cloud. However, if you get convicted, you’ll likely have to put someone else in charge of the company while serving your time.
If it’s a misdemeanor, it might not be so bad. For instance, in California, a criminal misdemeanor can get you a maximum of one year in the county jail. That’s not ideal, but at least it’s better than federal prison.
If you’re going away for a while, you’ll need to think about who you can promote to handle your responsibilities. You’ll have to consider who among your employees:
- Is competent
- You can trust to take the reins
You Might See Less Money Coming In
Word gets around if you face criminal charges. People are going to learn about it, especially if it’s a higher profile crime like:
These are white-collar crimes, and some people don’t look at them as harshly as some other things you might do. Still, some individuals like to judge others, even if a court has not convicted you yet.
The public might let you know how they feel about the charges by not supporting your business. Depending how long the trial drags on, you might see significant revenue loss.
On the other hand, if your business is an institution, people might continue supporting you even if the law is investigating you for many charges. Some individuals may continue buying your products and services regardless of what’s happening in your personal life.
You May Have to Issue a Public Statement
If you’re trying to keep the business going while you ride out these turbulent times, you may have to make a public statement so that people will continue supporting your company. Maybe you want to tell them that you’re innocent, and you’re going on public record saying that.
You should probably consult with a public relations expert before you do this. These individuals can tell you if you should publicly address the charges or whether you’re better off remaining silent.
If they say you should speak up, they can help you craft the statement to sound just right. They can even tell you how to dress and what forum you should use, so your words reach the proper audience.
You Might Need Some Additional Security Measures
If the courts accuse you of something heinous, you might need to get some additional security for your store if you have a brick-and-mortar location, or more than one. You never know if someone will throw a rock through your window or deface the building’s side.
Even if you have a strictly eCommerce setup, you might need to overhaul your website security measures to keep hackers at bay. Some people make snap judgments, and even if you’re innocent, the public might not see things that way.
You May Have to Close Down Altogether
You probably don’t want to close up shop while you’re fighting the charges against you, but sometimes, that’s precisely what you have to do. If the law accuses you of something having to do with the business you run, they might force you to close through legal action.
You also might be the only one who can keep the company going. If you feel like you’re so critical that your other employees can’t handle things while you’re not around, you might close for a while until you can sort out this situation.
It might frustrate you a great deal having to fight back against criminal charges, particularly if you’re innocent. Your business can definitely suffer if you’re going through this. It will hurt your bottom line, and by extension, your employees as well.
If you can navigate these troubled waters, you should be able to resurrect your business, and perhaps it can return to what it was before.