As long as you’ve covered all bases, setting up a business can be rewarding

How crucial is having a business solicitor?

Normally, having a solicitor just gives you the peace of mind that you need while running a business. One can help you with complexities, save you time, effort, misery in the future, and even money.

Register a business without a solicitor

A solicitor isn’t exactly necessary for you to start a business as there is no legal requirement that ties you to seek advice or support from a solicitor when you set up your business.

What a solicitor cannot do for you and where else to look

In getting a solicitor, there are things that you do not need legal expertise for, such as:

  • having an idea;
  • writing a business plan;
  • market research; and
  • Choosing a business name.

Your company structure

Your business structure is vital to your success as you begin and expand.

If you are in partnership with other people in your business, you will be needing a shareholders’ agreement or partnership arrangement to ensure that you get fair return for your financial or non-financial investment.

Your solicitor will be able to explain the different options you have and advise you which one is the best for you and for your business and which you should set up—partnership, limited company, or limited liability partnership.

Business premises

It is important that you fully understand the terms of the lease when you finally choose your business premises. Ask yourself (and your solicitor) the following property questions:

  • Can the landlord increase your rent? If so, by how much?
  • Will you find yourself paying ever-increasing service charges?
  • Will you need planning permission for a change of use?
  • What are the restrictions if you choose to run your business from home?

Financing and taxes

You need to know what financial resources are available for you and what their legal implications are. Ask yourself :

  • Should you mortgage the family home?
  • Are lenders insisting on unfair terms?
  • Could you be getting a better deal with your bank?

Your solicitor will be able to explain these areas and may even help in negotiating with finance on your behalf. Your solicitor may also give you advice on issues such as the best time to start your financial year and tax implications of different business models.

Goods and services

It is important to know your legal duties when buying or selling goods and services. A solicitor can cover all the following questions in detail and refer you to a specialist, if necessary:

  • What could contract terms mean for your business?
  • What about product liability?
  • What can you legally say in adverts and promotional materials?

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