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New Business

Advice on specific issues

Setting up your own business could be the most satisfying thing you ever do. The rewards can be enormous but so can the risks. Taking our advice at the start can bring peace of mind and mean the difference between success and failure.
A number of questions - not all of them obvious - need to be examined carefully and from all possible angles.

Finance is usually the first issue which needs consideration:

  • How do you keep tax to a minimum?
  • How can you protect the money you put into the company?
  • Will the profits of your business be enough to pay back bank borrowing?
  • Should you mortgage the family home?
  • What other sources of finance are available?
  • Are you and others in the business dividing responsibilities and profits fairly?

The Premises in which the business is to be carried on have to be found:

  • Do you understand the implications of ALL the terms of the lease?
  • Can the rent be put up, and by how much?
  • What will it cost you in dilapidations when you hand back the property?
  • Should you sign any personal guarantees?
  • Has the property got planning permission?

Running a Business:

Once your business is established you will be faced with a constant range of decisions to make about its day-to-day running. Most matters are soon dealt with by experience - but knowing you have access to a solicitor's professional advice on more complex legal problems is a valuable extra security:

Do you need a licence to extend hire purchase or other credit facilities?

  • Should you trade in your own name or through a company? Which will best protect you financially?
  • What terms of trading will you have with your customers and suppliers?
  • How can you protect your inventions and secrets?

Other important matters to think about include employees and your liability for them:

  • What if your product or workers injure someone? Can you limit your liability? What insurance should you take out?
  • What are your obligations to employees? Do you need to provide a written contract for them - and what should go in it? Do the same rules apply to part-time or freelance work?
  • Under what circumstances can you dismiss staff? Can you stop them taking your trade secrets or your customers when they leave?

We can help you make sure your business plans will take account of the future of you and your family:

  • What will happen to the business if you fall sick or die?
  • How can you provide a pension for your retirement?
  • What are the tax provisions for transfering a business to your children on retirement, and how can you best take advantage of the rules?

And you must also make provisions for things going wrong:

  • Can you get your money back if the business you buy turns out to be a pig in a poke?
  • What if you fall out with your partner or fellow shareholders? Can any of you be forced out - and if so, what are your rights?

As solicitors we put your interests first and give you advice that is wholly independent.

Copyright The Law Society and Vickers & Co.

For further information:

Please e-mail

Also see conveyancing and business links.

N.B. for information only - this guide does not replace the advice of a solicitor.

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