Personal liability mercilessly underestimated
The start-up boom in Germany continues: More and more experts are taking the step into self-employment, startups and Company enter the market with innovative concepts and new services. For example, at the beginning of 2013 there were around 1,23 millions of self-employed in Germany, as the statistics portal Statista shows. By comparison, ten years ago it was just 533.000.
But no matter whether start-up founder or "old hand" in the self-employed business: In my damage practice I notice again and again that the personal liability is mercilessly underestimated, if it comes through mistakes in connection with the professional activity to the damage.
Risk through legal and contractual liability
However, the fact that the customer or third parties can take the independent service provider in the event of liability or recourse in the event of liability or recourse results from the statutory provisions - in particular the liability law in the BGB. Anyone who inflicts damage (personal injury, property or property damage) to another person is legally responsible by law.
In addition, there are the risks arising from the contractual requirements of project brokers and contracting entities, who must often be accepted by the freelancer in a highly competitive market. They offer the possibility to use the freelancer on the basis of contractual agreements and performance claims, which can go beyond the legal liability (visibility: aggravation of liability).
Damage examples from the IT, creative and consulting practice
The scope of the possible risks is also illustrated by the following:
Self-marketing went backwards:
Because she published a protected word mark as a slogan on the business platform XING, a freelancer from the media area fluttered into the house with a warning. Provisional dispute: 100.000 Euro.
Consulting without success:
Because the analyzes and recommendations of a freelance consultant did not lead to the desired success for his client, the client was charged with 70.000 Euro for the missing project supplement.
Due to a small mishap when working in the system, an independent IT expert paralyzed his customer's cash register system. For one hour, 400 stores lost nothing - a loss of around 200.000 Euro lost sales.
What you can do about it and what you have to pay attention to, you will learn in the second part of my post, which I will publish here next week. ?
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