As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to do everything within your means to limit risk and keep the business running smoothly. From opening your business, setting it up or incorporating it properly, opening bank accounts, registrations for VAT, PAYE and setting up premises, there is a lot to be done. As your business becomes more successful, it also becomes more vulnerable. There are many potential disasters that can harm your business, which means you need to be prepared and take legal advice on aspects you are unsure of.
Ensure you have a shareholder’s agreement – On starting a company with more than one shareholder, shareholders are often advised to make a Shareholders’ Agreement, in order to further regulate the way business between them is to be conducted and how the profits of that business is to be distributed. Disagreements on business matters will almost inevitably occur at some point throughout the company’s existence. A good agreement will put in place a mechanism to help resolve disputes. Disputes could otherwise severely hinder the progress of the business and be particularly costly. A serious shareholders’ disputes can also lead to an ultimate demise of the business if not handled correctly.
Put in place an employment contracts – An employment contract (and ancillary employment documents) is something that is introduced as one of the first documents that a new employee will receive and will need to sign. It outlines the employee’s role within the company as well as the various details regarding the job itself such as working hours and various agreements between both parties. Getting the basics right for your employees from day one avoids problems in the future.
Intellectual property infringements – Businesses take reasonable steps to protect fixed assets, like their stock and equipment. Trademarks, patents and copyrights can all also add value to your business. Whenever businesses introduce something to the world, there’s a risk they might be copied. This risk is amplified by the internet, which makes it easier for unique IP to be stolen.
Insure your business – Insurance is one of the major aspects of businesses. You should obtain liability insurance (as well as employers liability insurance). This will come in handy if a client slips and falls in your business premises for instance! An insurance regarding errors and omissions will provide ample coverage in case a customer accuses your business of not living up to the contract or agreement.
At Aston Bond we are here to help you implement the steps which will ensure that your company is well-protected and prepared for growth. For more information or assistance, please contact us on 01753 486777.