Public Liability - Duty of Care for a Business

As part of our public liability insurance video series this video looks at what level of care your business needs to provide for your customers and members of the public and ensure you have adequate public liability cover. Check out the video to find out more...


Video transcript

Hi, my name is Ben Leech, and I'm an adviser for Towergate.

In this video I’m going to talk about the minimum level of care a business is responsible for providing to their customers and to the public

The duty of care that should be provided is different for different people and it’s important to understand how and why in order to do things like judge the correct levels of public liability insurance. There are three different categories a member of the public could fall under:


Invitees are members of the public who interact with your business at your invitation.  This may be via advertising or simply a sign on the door but is also implied invitation based on the fact that you have a public premises. Contractors and business partners are also invitees.

Your duty of care is to take all reasonable steps to provide a safe environment for them to interact with your business.   Their duty in return is to provide reasonable care for their own safety.


Your duty of care here is not as high as with invitees because licensees are members of the public who are on your premises with permission but without invitation. For example they can be guests hoping to do business such as salesman.

If you had a business premises with unlocked doors but that is not expressly open to the public you might expect these types of visitors.


A business has a duty of care to anyone on their premises, even people you are denying entry to.  Trespassers are defined as individuals or groups on your property without your permission.  The duty of care extends to them with the agreement to not create deliberate danger.