Starting your own business is both exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time.  Your idea, design or concept may have the potential to make millions or may be tailored to fit around a busy family life. Whatever your reasons for starting a business understanding the key legal issues and requirements is paramount for the longevity of your company. Obtaining advice and instructing a solicitor to help with any legal obligations will ensure that you have everything covered. Thus promoting peace of mind for you to be able to concentrate on the task of building your success story, after all you will be donning many caps at the outset.

The legal obligations of a small business owner will differ depending on the type of field it operates within. Franchises, plumbing services, electrical companies, child minding or salons, to name but a few will all have different elements that require specific legal attention. Employee contracts, financial services and insurances all need to be considered to make your business a legal entity. Here are just a few points that need to be considered.

  • Choosing the correct legal structure is a must. Is your company a partnership, limited liability, corporation or sole trader establishment? A business can sink or swim if this is not established correctly. For example a partner may die, leaving a key man permanently absent from the company. If there is no-one able to take on that role then the business could fold very quickly if they are not replaced. Seeking advice on key man insurance would be a valuable option to consider on every level.
  • Are you employing staff? Managing the legal rights of team members is a very important element as Health and Safety issues need to be recognised as do wages and insurances. Having the correct levels of compensation coverage should any accident happen at work is a key point to remember. Gaining advice on employee engagement, dismissal, employment contracts, policies, potential tribunal claims, national minimum wage, pensions, pre-employment checks, discrimination, trade unions, recruiting and interviewing and training can all be undertaken by your solicitor to ensure that you tick every legal requirement.
  • For example the terms of an employee contract can be oral, written or implied, sometimes an amalgamation of all three. Oral contracts are legally binding but are much more difficult to prove than a written agreement. So if you are employing someone then beware that all written correspondence such as letters or emails can be used to establish a contract between you both.
  • Many legal issues are very time-consuming so employing a solicitor to undertake these on your behalf will leave you with the time to concentrate on building the business. Leaving these in the hands of an expert will free up your time. Your legal needs will be unique to you, so gaining the right advice is paramount to the success of your future. Preventing legal problems will be cheaper in the long run, and will make sure that the reputation of your establishment remains intact.

Harry Price is a writer that loves to a challenge and will do anything to push himself to the limits.  Cave diving, white water rafting and sky diving are just a few of his favourite past-times.

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