Alistair Millar, solicitor at Tallents in Southwell advises new business start-ups and gives some guidance for ‘would-be’ bosses. 2011 saw nearly 480,000 new businesses set up in the UK, as many people tapped into their entrepreneurial spirits and chose self-employment over employment, or unemployment, according to research carried out by Barclays.   Alistair says: “Setting up in business can be a very exciting time, especially when you’ve spotted a gap in the market, or an opportunity to make money, but many start-up businesses fail because of poor planning or lack of expert legal advice. Prevention is always better than cure, so getting legal advice sooner rather than later could prove to be the best business decision you’ll ever make.” Alistair continues: “As Government-funded business support, previously provided through groups like Business Link and EMDA, is gradually being withdrawn, it’s even more vital for new business owners to have access to relevant advice to get their businesses off to the best possible start. “When we at Tallents work with new start-ups, we offer a wide range of business-related legal advice and have had experience of helping a new business owners tackle all the usual problems they might face.” “There are key areas to seek advice on when setting up a business,” says Alistair. “These are: company structure, your business premises, finance, taxes, insurance, cash flow, goods and services, protecting your ideas, franchising, licences, employment law, health and safety and preparing for disagreements and problems. “For example, there are many different types of company structure to choose from: should you trade under your own name, or through a company? If you’re setting up the business with partners you might need a partnership agreement or shareholders’ agreement to ensure everyone gets their fair share. “Do you really understand all the fine details of your premises lease? Do you know when, or if, your landlord can increase the rent? Or what repairs each of you is liable for? “When it comes to finance and taxes, it definitely pays to stay on the right side of the law. Your solicitor could negotiate with your bank on your behalf and advise you on the best time of year to start trading. “When starting a business there are many, sometimes quite complex, areas to be considered but your solicitor will be able to guide and advise you.” Alistair finishes: “Too often businesses do not consult a solicitor until a crisis point has been reached. Clear and experienced legal advice at the outset could often have avoided, or at least prepared for, the situation now being faced. Don’t let that be your business.” Tallents has nearly 240 years of experience in offering business-related legal advice for new start-ups.
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