I'm looking for a couple of good coined phrases that I can use in front of business people, apologies if the one I had in mind offends anyone.
I'd use "can sleep at night" but I want the phrase to imply legal liability if we don't do something.
To bring in the legal aspect I might say one of:
"to ensure we are on solid legal ground", or "have solid legal standing",
or "to ensure we have the law on our side".
Also, "to cover one's bases" is a politically correct version of your original "a***s".
A metaphorical phrase might be Safety Net. Or, by analogy, Insurance. Insurance costs us money, and there is no benefit unless and until a bad thing happens and we have to claim. We incur the cost because we want to minimise the consequences should the bad thing happen.
More literally and technically, perhaps words and phrases like Compliance, Obligation, Risk Management, Damage Control or Protect Our Reputation.
A phrase which pertains to the same use is cover all angles, alluding to resolving a problem, completing a project according to some specification or similar circumstance, from the viewpoints of all concerned parties.
To weakly imply legal obligation I would say:
"To avoid any appearance of impropriety."
Cover your assets is very close and non-offensive.
Another way of saying to business people is:
Do due diligence.
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