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  • 15 May 2018

    I am starting a new business, what should I consider from a legal perspective?

    Successful businesses do not just happen. They are the product of careful planning, efficient operation and a shrewd commercial approach. At Hegarty Solicitors our corporate law department can help with all three, setting your new business on the right track.Outlined below are some of the key areas to consider when setting up a new business where it can be beneficial to take advice from a specialist lawyer.

    Sole Trader, Partnership, LLP Or Company

    One of the big decisions for any new business is how it will operate. There are pros and cons attached to every organisational structure and our corporate law team are well-placed to advise on which would best suit your business, your plans and your vision.

    Shareholder & Partnership Agreements

    Share structures establish how companies are owned and controlled. While this may change over time, it is important to start off on a solid footing with a share structure that works for you, your business and your shareholders.Having an agreement that sets out the relationship between shareholders or partners can be vital. Governing how decision can be made, any specific responsibilities of the parties and what will happen when someone leaves, will give you protection where often the basic legal position does not. Our corporate law specialists can help you work this out.

    Agency & Franchise Agreements

    Your business idea may be based on you becoming an agent of another company or it may be that you will buy a franchise. In each scenario there are important legal and practical points to think very carefully about and terms to negotiate with the party with whom you are looking to enter into a relationship. Our corporate law team can help you understand the rights and responsibilities that come with your agency or franchise proposition, advise you on its suitability, and get the arrangement up and running on the best possible terms.

    Incorporation Of Companies

    Incorporation is the formal process by which a business becomes a company. With its tax and limited personal liability benefits, incorporation can be an attractive option for any business but it does not necessarily suit all. Talk this through with one of our corporate law specialists. We will handle the formalities of the incorporation process if you decide to take that route.

    Company Secretarial Service

    With incorporation comes compliance and personal liability for directors who fail to meet Companies Act requirements. That is where the role of a company secretary comes in, and it is where we can add value as an alternative to you taking on that responsibility in-house. Ask us about our company secretarial service.

    Bespoke Articles Of Association

    Every company must have a set of written documents known as the memorandum and articles, which govern the relationship between the directors, shareholders and the company. They must be filed at Companies House when a company is set up but can be changed at any time. For many companies, the Model Articles will be suitable, but if you require different share classes or have specific issues around board constitution or meeting requirements, you may need bespoke articles. Speak to our corporate law specialists about getting these documents, tailored to your business, in place.

    Terms & Conditions

    Every new business should set their own standards by which they will provide and be paid for their goods or services. The commercial world expects written terms and conditions and they are essential to a business’ efficient operation, as well as being the first port of call in the event of a dispute with a third party. Our commercial contracts team can put together a comprehensive set of documents offering all the protection you need, giving your rights if you do not get paid and limiting your liability if things go wrong.

    Equity Investments

    Any investor in your business, whether a venture capitalist or a family member, will be taking a risk. Arrangements involving a cash injection will therefore be carefully considered, negotiated and confirmed in an investment or shareholders’ agreement drafted so as to protect the investor as much as possible. Talk to our corporate law department about putting in place the right funding, from the right people, on the right terms – for you.

    Contracts Of Employment

    Written employment contracts are the best way of setting out the respective rights and obligations of a business and its employees. Our employment law specialists can advise on the issues you might need to think about when you are taking on new staff and we can put in place a single contract or suite of contracts which help you comply with the law and which protect your position.

    Business Premises

    Whether you are buying or leasing property, our commercial property specialists can help you to plan the process, negotiate the terms and find practical solutions to issues that crop up.

    Wills & Powers Of Attorney

    Your business is a valuable asset. Making a Will gives you the opportunity to choose what happens to your company or your shares when you die, which could save a lot of anguish and legal-wrangling in the future. It is also prudent to consider what would happen to your business if you were unable to make your own decisions in future because of diminished mental capacity, perhaps due to illness or serious injury. A Lasting Power of Attorney lets you appoint someone to make decisions about your property and financial affairs on your behalf should the need arise. Talk to our Wills, Trusts and Wealth Management department for more advice.

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