Using a solicitor can be handy in all sorts of business matters. Employment, investment, contracts, supplying, purchasing and even the way you handle data, all carry one thing in common; there are legal processes, guidelines and requirements that need to be followed.
The aim of this blog is to provide you with enough understanding of not only the benefits of using a solicitor for your business, but will also explain of when and how professional legal help can impact your business.
Although some business sectors, such as, corporates may carry more ‘red tape’ in terms of legal standards – all businesses – small, large, start-up or well established will need to meet some form of legal requirement along the way and it’s important to understand and ensure your business is covered.
How do you know if you need a Solicitor for your business?
To put it simply, you need a solicitor any time you’re thinking of introducing any sort of major change to your business or operations. Every time a change is made you should be thinking about the legal implications as a priority. Everything from incorporating the business and shareholder agreements, appointing new directors, employment agreements and contracts, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements to even buying, selling or creating partnerships – all need comprehensive legal advice, documents and contracts.
We’ve broken these areas down with further information on what you should be looking out for.
Solicitors for Incorporation, Directors and Shareholders
Incorporating your business means registering your business with Companies House as a separate entity. Unlike sole traders, incorporated businesses carry limited liability (known as LTD) and require you to register a unique business name, standard industrial classification (SIC code) to let Companies House know the nature of your business, create and agree to Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association and have a director and shareholder whilst making sure you’re set up in the right way for the nature and plans for your business. Errors at any part could prove costly, you may end up paying more in tax or limiting your options for the future of the business to name a few.
Solicitors help with Employment and contracting
A vital part of building, growing and sustaining a successful business means at some stage you’ll be considering either employing full time staff or may look at contracting. As an employer, the tax, and employment responsibilities you have for your staff will depend on the type of contract you give them and their employment status.
Contract types include:
- Full-time and part-time contracts
- Fixed-term contracts
- Agency staff
- Freelancers, consultants and contractors
- Zero-hour contracts
There are also special rules for employing family members, young people and volunteers.
Whatever option you decide, you’ll still need to look at writing, drawing up and complying with enforceable and appropriate employment contracts. Everything from hours of work, salary and benefits, holiday entitlements to pensions need expert advice to make sure you’re ready for growth and have all the bases covered in terms of your responsibilities as an employer.
Confidentiality and non-disclosures can be handled by a solicitor
NDA’s or non-disclosure agreements are a type of contract between parties for the protection of information, trade secrets or discussions which may need to be kept confidential or you need to limit where, how and to whom that information can be shared with.
Some of the most common uses for NDA’s include; patentable information, new inventions and high profile confidential communication but are also and more commonly used between businesses or parties when discussing joint ventures, partnerships or even employing short terms contractors.
Without a non-disclosure agreement in place there’s no legal protection if confidential information about your company or project has been leaked, shared or used without your consent. Having an NDA drafted and written up by a professional legal partner means you’ll be safe from breaches as a good NDA should cover what happens in the event of a breach and even the amount of damages that can be claimed – it acts as a major deterrent of breaches happening in the first place.
Partnerships and joint ventures – ask a solicitor to look through an agreement
Partnerships and joint ventures share some similarities but differ when it comes to length of time, roles and responsibilities, profit share and even liability. Joint ventures tend to be focused on a specific project or goal where two or more parties come together. Partnerships or Limited Liability Partnerships require formal incorporation and defined organisation structure.
Appointing a lawyer to talk through your plans and draft an agreement is good practice to ensure all parties involved are happy, to understand where they stand in the event of a dispute and even what responsibilities each partner holds.
JMR Solicitors are here for all your business law needs
Find a law firm that’s experienced in commercial law and business matters. You’d do well to approach a Solicitor to request a partnership type approach – this means the legal advisor will play a proactive role in your business – they’ll want to understand your business, plans and forecasts and can help advise and make sure you’re not only protected but working with you to help support and grow your business.
JMR’s goal is to keep things as simple for you as possible. If you want jargon-free, honest and affordable business legal advice, contact JMR Solicitors.