Guide To Setting Up
Setting up a business should be an exciting process. But without the right advice it can also be a minefield, particularly where legal matters are concerned. Too often it is not until matters reach crisis point that people ask for a solicitor’s help. But by then, if a solution is available, it is much more costly. You can avoid such costs by obtaining our advice at the right time and taking appropriate action. Clearly prevention is better than cure. Getting our legal advice at the start means that you can avoid crises. We can help you identify possible problems and assist in taking steps to prevent them- protecting your business from risk and saving you money.
It is important to choose a solicitor with relevant knowledge and experience for your needs. Chhokar & Co is a member of the Law Society’s Lawyers for your Business Scheme, which is designed to provide small to medium-sized businesses business-related legal advice.
We can offer advice on all the typical problems that a new business can face. We can also help you introduce a full range of preventive solutions. To decide what sort of help to give you, we will need to ask you a lot of questions about your business.
These questions will cover the issues set out in the next few sections.
The structure of your business will be vital to its success as you start up and expand. Should you trade in your own name or through a company, for example? If you are going into business with others, you need to make sure you get a fair return for your investment and effort, so you might need a shareholders’ agreement or partnership arrangement.
When selecting premises for your business, it is important that you fully understand the terms of the lease. Can the landlord increase the rent? If so, by how much? Will you find yourself paying ever-increasing service charges? If you choose to run your business from home, what are the restrictions?
We can help you with all these questions.
You may also want to find out what sources of finance are available and what their legal implications are. Should you mortgage the family home? Are lenders insisting on unfair terms? Could you be getting a better deal with your bank?
We will explain these areas and can even help negotiate finance on your behalf.
We can also give you advice on how to keep taxes to a minimum. Where appropriate we can suggest other sources of more specialist advice.
Your business may expose you to any number of risks relating to premises, employees, assets and visitors. What if your products or workers injure someone, for example? What if someone is injured while working for you? What if you are legally responsible for an employee who misuses the internet?
We will give you independent advice on the types of insurance you need.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. We can help protect you against bad debts by making sure you use the right terms of trading. We can also give you advice on debt collecting.
When buying or selling goods and services, it is important to know your legal duties. What contract terms does the law lay down? What about product liability? How do you protect your inventions? What can you legally say in adverts and promotional materials?
We can cover all these points in details and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist.
Buying a ready-made business is an appealing option, but what about the small print? All too often, people find themselves trapped in a deal with expensive products and no support from the franchiser. What if the franchise doesn’t come up to expectations? Can you get your money back?
We can give you advice on all the common problems associated with running a franchise.
Do you need a licence to trade?
We can tell you if you need one and can even help you apply for it
Employment law is a complicated area and is constantly changing. Most employment disagreements are caused by badly-drafted service contracts or dismissal procedures that don’t meet legal requirements.
We can run a health check on your contracts and procedures to prevent these kinds of disagreements.
In business it is usually best to plan for all possibilities. What if you fall out with a partner or fellow shareholder? Can you be forced out? How do you make sure that responsibilities and profits are divided fairly? What will happen to your business if you fall sick or die? Will your husband, wife, partner or home be properly protected?
We will cover all these questions with you.
We offer an initial consultation which is free of charge. It is aimed at understanding the nature of your problem and assessing whether (and how) we may be able to assist. If we agree to deal with your case, we shall discuss the basis for calculating our charges for further advice.
The overall cost will depend on a number of factors including : your individual circumstance; the scope and nature of the work required; and the complexity and importance of the matter Wherever possible, we shall endeavour to provide you with an estimate of costs before you decide to go ahead.
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