As soon as you start a business of any kind, you leave yourself open to legal trouble. With so much legislation in place these days, new business owners have to look at their responsibilities in a serious light. If they don’t, they may have to face the repercussions. In this guide, we’re going to outline the primary areas of concern that you should concentrate on. Have a read, soak it all in, and be safe in the knowledge you know where to look for help.
The traditional business lawyer
All businesses, no matter how small, should have a general business lawyer. They will help guide you through everything you need to know about setting up your company, and be on hand when you need advice. There are so many different areas of law that you need to think about, and only a professional will be able to advise you in the best way. Get a good business lawyer on a retainer, and many of the problems on the rest of this list will evaporate.
The need for protection
Make no mistake, without proper legal protection, your business could suffer devastating consequences. And, if you spend too long trying to find a lawyer when the inevitable happens, it will reduce your chances of winning your case. Having a lawyer on hand will help you proceed with speed, and they will also be able to put you in touch with their recommended specialists.
Your business image
All businesses should be looking to portray a positive image. Trust is a huge factor when it comes to consumer choice, and without it, you will lose out to your competitors. One way of building trust is to make it clear you operate within the regulatory guidelines. A lawyer can help you tick all those boxes – and more – and ensure your reputation is squeaky clean. It will also help you bring in a higher quality of employee. You should aim to get the best employment law advice for employers that you can. Why? Great talent has a choice. If you aren’t taking your employer responsibilities on board, they will just walk away into the arms of someone who does. Get things right, though, and you will see a flood of qualified applicants to any of your job openings.
Be ready for anything
In most cases, legal issues will happen all of a sudden. You won’t know they are coming until you receive a nasty letter from another lawyer come through the post. Having a lawyer on board that you can call up instantly will help you get things sorted out as quickly as possible. Sometimes, all it will take is a sharp rebuttal from your legal representative. But should things progress, you may need the help of a specialist. As we mentioned above, your regular business lawyer will have a black book full of the names of specialist lawyers. They will be able to recommend the best person for the job, and you can begin to mount a robust defence.
Accidents at work
Accidents at work can happy at anytime and anyplace. However, as an employer, you will have to prove that the accident was no fault of your own. You have to put in place a health and safety policy as a point of law, and it’s a good idea to go above and beyond the requirements. If somebody does have an accident on your site, you will have proof that you are taking your responsibilities seriously. Don’t think for a second that no-one will ever have a slip, trip or fall in your workplace. Head over to government’s Accidents In The Workplace guide to see some interesting statistics.
Dealing with others
You will deal with a lot of different people as a business owner. And, most of those dealings will require contracts. You will have contracts with your business partners, to begin with. And all of your employees will need a contract of work. Then there’s your contractors and your suppliers. And, of course, there are your customers. To protect yourself from the threat of legal action, it’s essential that you have watertight contracts. And, due to the horrific complexity of contract law, the best way to deal with it is to have a reliable lawyer on hand.
There isn’t a business in the world that can get by without financing of some kind or another. Even the global giants rely on shares in their company to pay for expansion and investment opportunities. For smaller companies, it’s an essential lifeline. You won’t be able to grow without funding unless you have an awful lot of luck. So, when it comes to receiving funding, you will need a lawyer to go through the outcomes. Without a legal eye, you may be led up the garden path and have someone take over complete control of your company for a minimal investment. While it’s obvious never to sign anything in business without reading the small print, for more complex issues, you will need help. It’s happened before, and it will happen again, so don’t get caught out.
Businesses change all the time, and you have to be able to handle that change smoothly. Let’s take expansion as an example. The more you grow, the more people you have to hire. The more people you hire, the more contracts you will have to create – and the more likely it is that your customer offer will change, too. All of these things could leave you missing out on a legal loophole somewhere. You have to have that trained eye on things from the start of the process so that you can manage that change well.
As you can see, there are a lot of legal issues to contemplate when you start a business. As we mentioned above, you need to get legal help as soon as possible. Having that baseline of a traditional business lawyer on board at an early stage can give you the protection you need. It’s one area that no business should never scrimp on.
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