Start-ups & Small Businesses

We appreciate that as a new business your primary focus will be on turning your business idea into a reality as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Our specialist, dynamic and approachable team draws on a variety of expertise allowing them to provide a comprehensive range of legal services to ensure your business has everything it needs in the early stages.

We aim to provide advice at the right level at a time when efficient and cost effective representation is critical. Whether you have a plan for growth of your business or simply want to get your start-up underway, our team can help. We offer an initial consultation to establish exactly what it is you are looking to achieve and to evaluate your options. Our aim is to give you the necessary knowledge so that you are able to make an informed decision about how you want your business to work going forward. For £295 plus VAT we can offer an initial consultation with the team to provide you with a comprehensive plan to ensure you fully protect yourself and your business. The consultation will likely include advice in the following areas:

Commercial Property

When looking to start a new business, the property from which the business will operate is one of the most important factors. Whether this will involve a property purchase or sale, a new lease, the assignment of an existing lease, dilapidations and liability advice, land development, conditional contracts, negotiating heads of terms for a new lease with the estate agent, advice on lease termination, overages and option agreements, sale and leasebacks, financing or refinancing - it is important that appropriate legal advice is sought at an early stage and that the right questions are asked to get your business up and running as efficiently and simply as possible. Questions could include:

  • Do you fully understand the terms of the lease?
  • Can the landlord increase the rent?
  • Will you find yourself paying increasing service charges?
  • To what extent will you be responsible for improving or maintaining the condition of the property?
  • Can you walk away from the lease if your business does not do as well as you had hoped?
  • Will you need planning permission for a change of use?
  • Will you need a licence from the Local Authority to operate your business from the premises?
  • Is the property connected to mains services?
  • If you choose to run your business from home, what are the restrictions?

When deciding to start a new business it is vital to consider the structure of the business which will ultimately affect its growth and profit. Whether you set up as a sole trader, Limited Liability Company or a Limited Liability Partnership will affect tax consequences and your level of personal liability towards the business, as well as variations to the debt of the business. Our initial consultation is designed to help you in making the right decisions for you and your business.

Corporate & Commercial law

Commercial law is a very broad area but one which can provide important protection for your business in its early stages. Some things to consider include:

  • Do you have a contract to govern the supply of your services or goods to protect your business?
  • Do you require a comprehensive set of terms and conditions to apply to each and every supply?
  • Do you meet your obligations to be able to supply goods or services to consumers?
  • Do you store personal data? You have obligations under the Data Protection Act.
  • Do you co-own your business with others? You may wish to consider a shareholders agreement.
  • Are you going to be disclosing confidential information about your business to a third party? A non-disclosure agreement can protect your business.

Employment

At some point during the life of your business, you might look at taking on some staff to help you. Staff are often a crucial part of a business so it is important that you give full consideration to the legal issues that surround taking on staff to ensure that your business is protected and that you are getting the most out of the people you engage. There are various considerations including everything from agreeing the initial employee relationships to complex documentation setting out employee policies. There are lots of things to consider:

  • Do you want your staff to be employees? Consultants? Apprentices? Casual or zero hours workers?
  • Should you engage staff for a temporary period only, or on a more permanent basis?
  • How should you go about advertising for staff?
  • What terms should you offer your staff – how much will you pay them? Where will they work? Should you give them holiday?
  • Will you offer your staff any benefits?
  • What documentation do you need in place (if any)?
  • What should be included in any documentation?
  • How will you manage your staff?
  • How do you part ways with staff if the relationship doesn’t work out?

During our initial consultation, our Start-up and Small Business Team will be able to identify which of the above areas of concern you should be considering. To book a consultation, or discuss any of the above with our friendly team, please contact Mandy Hanby in the first instance on 01603 281139, or alternatively Charlotte Sheehy on 01603 281137.