Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of private sector businesses at the start of 2017 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs).
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Are you a small business owner wanting to avoid mistakes? Don’t know where to start or what you need? Here are the essentials for those seeking legal advice for small business.
General Legal Advice for Small Business
- Do not create informal agreements
To prevent future misunderstanding and understand fully your legal obligations your contracts should be in a written form.
- Do not use templates
You don’t know who drafted your online template, if your template is legally up to date and which legal implications are attached to its clauses.
- Do not underestimate the value of your IP
Back in 2014, a commentator for Forbes highlighted that more than 80% of a business’ value is derived from intangibles – Trademark, Patent, Registered Design and Copyright.
Legal Advice for Documentation A Small Business Needs
- Officially set-up your business
The Certificate of incorporation and the Articles of Association enables you to incorporate your company and establish the rules managing your company – most businesses choose to incorporate their company as a limited company.
- Prevent internal conflict
A Shareholders’ Agreement defines relationship between your company shareholders – decision making procedure.
A Directors’ Service Agreement enables you to state the duties and the rights beyond the Companies act of 2006 of your Director – working hours, termination, role.
An Employment Agreement defines employee duties and rights. It is important because default legal provisions favor employees.
- Prevent external conflict
A Non-Disclosure Agreement is used when your business is sharing information with a third party and you agree to keep it confidential – showing new product, sharing information with a prospective buyer.
A software Development Agreement protects your intellectual property if a third party is developing your software.
A Website terms and conditions explains what your customers can or cannot use your product for – i.e. minimum age requirements, timelines, definition of products and services offered, governing law etc. It enables you to limit your liability.
If you need more information, you can also check: Top Tips for Small Business Legal Advice
I hope this helps! If you’re unsure about the legal advice that you or your startup require, we offer a Free Legal Session We’ll talk you through your needs and answer the questions you may have. Book a session here.