Checking the legal aspects are covered for your new business

Starting your own business can be an exhilarating rollercoaster ride, but also something of a legal minefield – so here are ten tips to make sure you’re legally ready!

1. Create a legal plan for your business – a structure to work to that will define the way your company operates and deals with legal issues as and when they arise so you’re ready and on the front foot instead of scratching your head.

2. Do you have all the relevant licences and permits needed to legally operate? Are there any restrictions or specific guidelines in the area you will operate? Find out beforehand to save problems later on.

3. Ensure you budget adequately for legal issues that might arise and factor in options such as Legal Cost Finance for affordable ‘payment plans’ for legal costs to help your cashflow. Remember that ‘payment plans’ from Legal Cost Finance cover both non-contentious (e.g. contract drafting) and contentious (e.g. a dispute with a staff member or supplier) matters.

4. Register you name and ensure it doesn’t conflict with any businesses already registered. Your logo should also be trademarked to protect your reputation and company identity going forward. Perhaps you also need patent advice?  Remember, Legal Cost Finance can find you the best IP and patent lawyer for your individual needs.

5. Canvass opinion – do your skillsets match the legal requirements the business you are undertaking requires? If you’re a trained scuba diver but opening an artisan bakery, make sure you know every legal need your business will need to meet, from cleanliness to health and safety.

6. If you are employing others, or working with consultants, enlist the help of a legal professional to get your contracts watertight with no legal loopholes that may come back to haunt you.  Again, we can connect you with the best lawyer for your employment / HR needs, who can also ensure you stay on top of any employment law changes that will affect your business.

7. Ensure you employ the right legal professional to do the correct task at the best cost. We can advise you on the best legal route for your needs. For example, did you know that the ‘direct access’ scheme means you can now go directly to a barrister, without having to appoint a solicitor? Our sister company, P[X]Direct, can help you here.

Did you also know that the traditional route of using a solicitor can now be far more cost-effective by using Legal Case Management, a company that will manage your legal case through its affordable paralegals and will only bring in solicitors as and when they are needed?

8. Define what your business is and what your role is. Are you a sole trader (and therefore self-employed?) Are you a limited company or a business partnership? Each have different rules and regulations that you must adhere to so do your research or get a legal expert to do it for you.

9. Have you investigated what you may be entitled to? There are a number of advantages/initiatives for new businesses including grants and allowances, which will cover start-up costs including legal expenses – don’t miss out on them. Research, research, research – or again, get an expert to do it for you.

10. Have you set up a pension scheme? It’s the law now so you’ll need to know exactly what to do if you are employing others.  We can recommend the ideal legal representative to undertake this task for you,

We are here to make the whole legal process easier and far more cost-effective for you. , by managing their case and supporting them / their lawyer with the ‘legal admin’ tasks via our paralegals.  We have offerings which enable the legal activities which don’t need to be undertaken by a regulated practitioner are instead carried out by a trained and experienced paralegal, at a fraction of the cost.

We can also make access to legal support (and thus justice) affordable via our ‘payment plans’ – whichever route is chosen. We are the only UK organisation to provide ‘payment plans’ for legal costs, whether they be the costs incurred from a barrister, solicitor, paralegal, court fees – or a mixture or all.