Thinking of starting your own business? It’s an exciting time. You’re likely to have a lot of ideas which you’re ready to put into action, and the prospect of business success will be a stimulating and invigorating feeling.
But whether it is to fulfill a long-held dream, to become more independent or to get a fuller financial reward for your efforts, a number of dangers do exist. Taking good legal advice when you start out can minimize those risks. That’s important because there are a number of potential pitfalls and the number of businesses which fail within their first two years is very high. That’s why you need the right solicitor from the start.
Our experienced business law solicitors can help you with your business start up both locally in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and Somerset – and throughout England and Wales – from our offices in Salisbury, Andover, Fordingbridge and Amesbury.
Looking for the right legal advice for your start-up business? Call our business law team now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or Salisbury (01722) 422300. Initial legal advice on the phone is always FREE.
Advice for Start-Ups
It can be extremely difficult for people running their own business to keep up with the changes in business and employment law. The goalposts in these areas of law are constantly shifting and for those who have do not understand or follow legal affairs, the constant alteration to business regulation can prove extremely frustrating. Falling foul of these regulations could land you in a lot of trouble though so it is important to clarify areas in business law that you may not understand.
You may be a talented entrepreneur with the drive, vision and business model needed to succeed, however if you breach business law, this could all go to waste. We know that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get your business off the ground and read up on your business law, which is why our specialist solicitors can provide expert advice on all areas of law to save you time, hassle and expense.
How to guard against business failure
When it comes to running a business, it’s important to plan for success but protect against potential failure. Far too many businesses fail simply because they did not not plan properly or get the right advice from the outset, experiencing issues with cash flow and financing or falling foul of employment or other legal issues. Any one of these things can bring an abrupt end to your business, so they need carefully planning. Our team of experienced business start-up lawyers can help you to understand them and organise your new business in a way which improves your chances of success.
Our team can help you with a variety of issues including:
• Business structure
Before you start trading you need to decide whether to be a one-man band, to create a partnership with other people or whether you want to form a limited company, which gives you certain protection. It can be difficult to decide which is best for you, especially if you have not been in business before – each of these alternatives. have their own advantages and disadvantages. Our business start-up lawyers can help you select the right structure for your particular situation. Our solicitors can help you with both company formation and drafting partnership agreements.
• Terms and conditions of business
Cash flow can be one of the most difficult areas of the business to manage, and it’s also one of the most important.Too many people give little thought to the terms and conditions under which they sell their products or services. Our solicitors are able to advise you how you can manage customer debts with effective contracts – in particular they strongly advise that you make sure that your business has the right terms and conditions from day one – and ensure your customers are aware of them – or, for example, you risk being paid only when your customer feels like it.
Click here to find out more about what you should include in your terms and conditions
• Business premises
Do you need to lease premises? Perhaps engage in a short-term rental agreement? Purchase a property? Or can you even work from home? These are all important things to consider and, again, each has its own advantages and disadvantages which will need careful consideration.If you are renting or buying business premises, you need to make sure you know exactly what you are taking on and exactly what you are committed to under a commercial lease agreement.
Read more about our Commercial Property Solicitors can help you .
• Financing the business and preparing for taxes
Good financial planning is vital to the success of any business, and anticipating and preparing for taxes is vital to your future business success. What are the implications of financing your business? Will you need to mortgage your family home? Get a bank loan? Seek third party investors? This all depends on your specific business, and our business start-up lawyer will be able to help.
We can also introduce you to a recommended local or specialist niche accountant if you wish.
• Business agreements
Our solicitors strongly advise that all business agreements and deals are put in writing. Whilst you can record many simple agreements by e-mail or letter yourself, our solicitors can help safeguard your position if the agreement is more complex or valuable.
In particular, if you’re forming a company or going into business with another person, we would strongly advise you to have a specialist solicitor draft a written partnership agreement or bespoke shareholders agreement form you. It’s often the best and simplest way to avoid complex and highly expensive joint-venture disputes.
Click here to read more about Shareholders Agreements
Click here to find out more about Partnership Agreements – and why you might need one
Want to learn more about the kind of due diligence you need to carry out on your potential JV partner? Click here to download our unique and exclusive FREE Joint Venture Due Diligence Checklist
• Debt Recovery
Even if you have the right terms and conditions in place, your business can quickly get into financial trouble if customers fail to pay on time. We can help you recover your debts by writing a solicitor’s 7 day debt recovery letter before action. Our experience shows that 71% of debtors pay up at this stage.
If your debtors still don’t pay up, we offer a prompt, cost-effective debt recovery service to collect your outstanding money, while you get on with running your business.
Click here to read more about our Debt Recovery team can help you.
• Employment Law
Employing people carries its own risks and benefits, and you will have a number of obligations to employees with regards to their employment rights. Ensuring you keep on the right side of the law is vital to business success.
Even if you’re planning on taking on one or more employee from day one,you probably won’t have the luxury of a Human Resources manager. Employment law continues to become more complex and workers more aware of their employment rights. Make sure you use properly drafted employment contracts and set up the right disciplinary and other procedures.
Whether you’re looking to buy a ready-made franchise business or are looking into the prospect of franchising out your own idea, a business start-up lawyer can help. Franchisees can often get a raw deal, trapped in a restrictive contract with very little help from the franchisor.
Franchise disputes can prove very expensive indeed. Your business start-up lawyer can help to explain the potential pitfalls and prepare you for franchise success.
Click here to read more about setting up or buying into a franchise
•Intellectual Property Rights – protecting your ideas
Does your business rely on an idea which is solely yours and could be at risk of being stolen? Protecting your intellectual property will protect your business and ensure that no-one else can profit off the back of your business idea.
From the start up stage, every business has its own intellectual property – in the content and design of its website, trading name and in many cases the products themselves. But many businesses don’t realise the value of their intellectual property and fail to protect it. Make sure you make the most of your business assets.y.
• Business insurance
All businesses need insurance, whether it’s professional indemnity insurance to protect against claims by customers over negligence or poor workmanship, public liability insurance to protect premises visitors, insurance against employee misuse, injuries and just about any other risk which is prevalent when you’re running a business.
Your start-up business – get the right legal advice from day one
Whatever the state of the economy, launching your start-up businesses can be really tough, but don’t make it harder on yourself by getting your legal position wrong.
Starting and running a business is all about the support you get. It’s hard work, but with the right support your chances of success will be greatly increased. We want to see your business succeed and we want to be the support which helps you to succeed. Our team of experienced business start-up lawyers will be able to help you through the process of planning your start-up, choosing a structure, going through the process of forming the company and getting things off the ground.
With the right support structure behind you, you’ll be free to be able to concentrate on what you’re good at.
It is much cheaper to get an agreement in the first place than risk your new business getting involved in expensive business litigation. So if there are any areas, including the above, where you think you may be at risk, make sure you contact our solicitors today for specialist local legal advice on how to protect your interests.
FREE PHONE ADVICE
And remember – we always provide free initial advice on the phone – on any aspect of business law. So if you’re thinking of starting a new business, why not give our team of expert business start-up lawyers a call on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or one of our local numbers (see below).
We’ll be able to guide you through the process and give you the support and advice you need to get your business off the ground.