Starting your own company is becoming more and more popular in Britain, with new data uncovering that the number of new UK business websites registered each year is growing at an annual rate of 20%.
Though increasingly popular, building a business from the ground up is an ambitious, labour-intensive task, that comes with many challenges.
Establishing your company is an exciting time, but founders soon find themselves facing the myriad of responsibilities that come along with being a business owner.
And when the mishandling of these responsibilities has legal repercussions, it’s important to have access to legal guidance. Professionally, it pays to have a law firm on speed dial.
In this blog, we’ll run through the main scenarios when legal advice becomes critical to your business operation.
📑 Business Structure & Liabilities
Though it’s the very first step to getting your startup off the ground, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice when choosing a business structure. In fact, choosing the wrong one can leave you open to various legal problems down the line.
This is because the business structure you decide on will determine your degree of liability, as an owner and operator. For example, going down the route of sole proprietorship means that every dispute or lawsuit arises at your own at risk. And in these circumstances, there’s a chance you could lose everything.
But don’t worry! You can rely on an experienced lawyer to minimize your liability to a suitable extent, to place some distance between your assets and business legalities.
💼 Standards & Regulations
Compliance with UK law is (obviously) fundamental for business operation and success. Though this is a given, sometimes founders aren’t aware that they’re breaching legal protocol until they find themselves in hot water.
UK business entities are governed by strict legislation, involving employment laws, safety protocols, and workplace legal requirements.
As your businesses develops, de-escalation of HR issues or workplace injuries can require legal advice. In addition, it's essential that your business considers the need to file for certain licenses and permits.
For every official decision that’s made regarding your business, it’s a good idea to leave a trail of officiated documentation, such as contracts.
Contracts are absolutely crucial. When it comes to renting a workspace, dealing with suppliers or subcontractors, acquiring employees or investors, or engaging with clients – you should get a sufficient contract drafted up, signed, and kept securely.
A legal professional can ensure that your contracts involve everything you need to proceed with confidence.
🔒 Protecting Intellectual Property (IP)
In such an over-saturated market, it can be daunting putting your idea out there for the world to see, and possibly steal.
Particularly within Research & Development (R&D) - when innovating new products, processes or services – you can legally protect yourself by patenting your idea.
Legal professionals should be consulted to protect your business’ intellectual property, such as your name, logo, concepts, trade secrets, or any other sensitive information.
Business financials inevitably bring about a multitude of accounting tasks, dealing with tax authorities, bankers, and insurers. This can turn into a complex job, especially when dealing with a million other business-related tasks.
That’s why accountants specialise in finances, and are on hand to take care of the lot.
Failing to adhere to financial law, particularly involving tax, can bring about severe legal penalties.
If you want to make your business not just tax compliant, but tax efficient, it’s best to seek guidance from an accounting firm that specialises in early-stage business growth.
Our sister company, Jump Accounting, is a growth-focused accountancy that delivers startups and SMEs a personalised, proactive service.
As each business is different, Jump Accounting offers tailor-made accounting service packages, that adapt to meet the changing needs of your company.
When taking a glimpse into the laws around building a business, they at first might appear as a constraint. However, remember that they’re all in place to make the corporate world a safer place, and to protect business owners.
If the issues raised here are relevant to your business, or if you could benefit from totally free legal guidance, keep your eyes peeled on our page.
In the coming days, we'll be announcing our upcoming webinar with leading law firm, Avery Law, that will be taking place in March.