A legal checklist for new ventures
22nd October 2021 by A legal checklist for new ventures
Whether you are launching a new product, expanding your existing business into new areas or starting an entirely new enterprise there is a lot to consider.
What should the branding be?
Who should I employ?
How do I fund it?
The to-do lists can be endless! We may not be able to solve all of your problems, but the below should be a useful list of things to consider from a legal perspective:
Using the right trading entity
In the majority of cases, it will be sensible to set up a new limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP) through which to operate your new business. The key benefit is that these offer limited liability to the individuals running the business, protecting their personal assets such as their home should the business fail. Setting up a different company for each branch of your business (i.e. creating a group of companies) also helps to protect the rest of your group if one company was to struggle financially.
It is advisable to have an agreement in place between the owners of your business to set out how they will work together, how any profit (and loss) will be divided and what will happen to everyone’s share in the business if they decide to leave, breach the terms of their office or die.
A new business means a number of new relationships including employees, contractors, suppliers, customers and clients. Make sure that you have well-drafted contracts in place with each of these parties, and that they offer you the protection you need. Does the contract set out what each party is obliged to do? Do you have sufficient remedies if the other party fails to comply with their obligations? How can you end the relationship if you need to? These are just a few of the issues you will need to consider.
Protecting your intellectual property
Intellectual property rights allow you to protect various elements of your business including your brand, designs and creative material such as text and images. Make sure that you are the owner of the intellectual property that is created for your business (you may need to ask contractors to transfer their rights to you), then make sure you register any valuable intellectual property where possible. You may for example be able to register your trading name, logo and even your strap line as trade marks.
Nobody likes to think of regulatory compliance, but it shouldn’t be ignored. You will need to understand the areas of law that apply to your business and how to comply with them. If you collect personal information about customers or suppliers then are you complying with data protection legislation? If you sell to individuals in a personal capacity then are you aware of your duties under consumer law? What permits and licences do you require? You should consider this at the outset rather than running the risk of fines, claims and/or bad publicity.
Legal notices and policies
Laceys is able to help with each of the above.
Preparing an employment contract may not be as exciting as creating a new name for your business, but following the steps above will help you to ensure that your business is protected and operates smoothly. It can also increase the value of your business! The best of luck to anyone that is setting out on this exciting new journey.
If you have any questions or we can be of any assistance then please contact Edwina Bones at email@example.com or on 01202 377824.