Setting up a business? Seven tips to get you started

You’ve had the lightbulb moment and are ready to make a business out of your idea. Exciting times! We look at the legal issues.

Light bulb with grass signifying light bulb moment and business start up

If you are considering setting up a new business, there are a few important legal issues that you will need to think about from the off. Check out our checklist and get in touch if you need any detailed advice or assistance – that is our speciality – allowing you to concentrate on the rest.

How will you structure the business?

Will you be a sole trader or will you set up a limited company? You will need to weigh up the pros and cons for both. Do you want a simplified accounts/reporting structure, or do you need the protection of a limited company to separate your personal assets from the business?

Do you have an accountant?

If not, think about getting one. An accountant will be able to help with advice on the best way to structure yourself from a tax perspective.

Do you have insurance?

Consider what professional indemnity and public liability insurance you require to protect you and your business.

Are you up to date on regulatory compliance?

Check out the specific requirements of your regulatory body and make sure that your business is complying, and that your legal documents are in line with any requirements that may be imposed on your type of business.

Have you got your legal documentation in place?

You will need at least the following documents to properly protect yourself and your business:

  1. Website Terms & Conditions;
  2. Privacy Policy;
  3. Cookie Policy and cookie pop-up notice on your website;
  4. Business Terms & Conditions for use with your clients;
  5. Agreements with any third party suppliers; and
  6. Employment contracts for any employees.

Are you GDPR compliant?

You will need to be registered with the Information Commissioners Office (the ICO), and ensure that you are complying with GDPR when processing other people’s personal and special category data.

Do you need to protect your brand?

If you have a new name or logo that you feel others may try to copy, you can consider protecting it using a trade mark registration at the Intellectual Property Office.

Got further questions? Contact our Commercial team on 020 8944 5290 who will be happy to help.

This article was written by Clare Veal

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only and reflection the position at time of posting. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters.

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