During 2013 more than 500,000 enterprising Britons were on track to start their own business, according to StartUp Britain. However, the day-to-day reality of running your own business can be more sobering as up to 20 per cent of new businesses will fail in the first year.
Jeremy Blatherwick, commercial lawyer at Tallents in Newark offers some simple legal advice to help start-up businesses stay on track for success.
Taking the correct advice in the early stages of a business can be key to business survival and it’s never too early to seek legal advice to ensure that you and your business stay within the letter of the law.
No matter what your business does, at the very least you will need legal advice to protect you, your business, your customers and your employees from any future issues.
When dealing with suppliers, clients and customers, a written contract will protect your rights, help ensure that you get paid or receive the services or goods you have paid for, and will limit the commercial risks of doing business.
When you’re busy running a business, it can be difficult to find the time to assess exactly what contracts or arrangements will best suit your business. These can cover a range of different circumstances, including:
- Terms and conditions for buying and selling products and services
- Employing staff and writing contracts of employment
- Being employed as an independent contractor
- Defining a scope of work and setting expectations and responsibilities
- Leasing or buying commercial property
- Going into partnership with someone else
- Creating confidentiality agreements
- Protecting intellectual property
Too many people seem to reply upon trust or simply hope that they will be able to sort things out. Even then just because you haven’t signed a written agreement doesn’t mean there isn’t still a formal contract in place.
A formal written contract drafted with advice can be a vital safety net for any business as it will clearly define the terms and conditions for an ongoing business relationship. It will also be legally binding if there is a later dispute. This applies equally whether the business is dealing with a customer, supplier or employee.
We advise all our clients to have written contracts in place with their customers, suppliers and employees, whether they deal with them face to face, or via the telephone or the internet. It gives a peace of mind that is always underestimated until it’s really needed. Get it right before it’s too late.
Our experienced commercial team at Tallents can help clients with any contractual issues they may have and we can also review and advise on any risks before signing written contracts. We can also advise on any contract disputes and help clients find a resolution.