Is your business legally healthy?
PUBLISHED: 11:41 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:10 29 May 2019
Sarah Miles, company and commercial lawyer at HRJ Foreman Laws Solicitors, gives a check-list to determine if your business is legally fit or if you're putting yourself at risk
When was the last time you gave your business a legal health check? As the new financial year begins, it's likely that you've been spending time finalising your business plan, allocating budgets and setting new goals for the company. But have you also looked at the overall legal health of your business?
Company structure/ownership documents
If you have a shareholders' or partnership agreement, does the agreement continue to cover all eventualities? Consider if the agreement still accurately reflects your future plans for the business and for its successors. If you don't have an agreement, have you considered how you would deal with events such as the death of a shareholder, a shareholder wanting to leave or the sale of the business? These should all be considered and catered for in the agreement. Preparation is key and will ensure events can be managed with little disruption to the business.
You'll have contracts with your employees, terms and conditions with suppliers and customers and maybe with a landlord. Are they all drafted properly and are they fully relevant to your business today? A simple check across all contracts will help to reduce risks and potential legal disputes.
You may have expanded into new business areas, begun trading online or opened new premises. Are all the intellectual property rights held by your business documented correctly?
As well as GDPR there is a range of regulations applicable to every business, covering employees, finances and consumer statutory rights. In addition, you may have industry regulations which must be adhered to. Is your legal process for monitoring and staying on top of these effective? When were they last reviewed by a legal expert?
Your legal partner
If you need to focus on the day-to-day demands of the business, your solicitor should be one who you trust to take care of legal issues for you.
Does your solicitor understand your business and are they taking the time needed to provide personal advice to meet your specific needs?
Finally, are you confident that they are doing so in the most efficient way to keep your business legally healthy?
HRJ Foreman Laws Solicitors has offices in Welwyn GC