There is a wide range of different legal issues you should think about when starting a business. Getting things set up the right way from the outset can help you avoid a lot of potential problems. Areas to consider include:
- Drawing up standard terms and conditions making it clear what your customers are agreeing to when they buy from you. These can provide important protections, for example if your customers fail to pay for goods or become insolvent.
- Employment contracts for any employees. As a minimum, you are legally required to provide a written statement to any employee being employed for a month or longer.
- Any other contractual agreements — for example, with suppliers, landlords or lenders.
- General record-keeping and tax compliance, which you should discuss with your accountant.
- Ensuring that you are complying with regulations in areas such as data protection, health and safety, your environmental responsibilities and so on.
- Getting protection for any intellectual property — for example, registering a trade mark or patenting a new invention.
It’s worth talking to your legal adviser. An initial free enquiry will help you understand which issues are most important for you and what you need to do about them.