Small businesses are more popular than ever in the UK – in 2016 as many as 80 were created every hour, on average, which is an all-time record. As 2015 was also a record year for start-ups, we can safely say the rise in entrepreneurship is a trend that shows no sign of slowing of down.
It’s important to start on a firm foundation, however: last year also saw record numbers of small businesses in financial trouble and at risk of closing. While some threats to a business are out of your hands, others can be avoided with good planning and by taking advantage of experts who are ready to offer advice and assistance.
One of the key times for your business is its very early days: when you are first setting it up, registering as a business and selecting premises and staff. In this formative period, it would be wise to consult business solicitors to ensure you are getting the most out of this process.
Wherever you find them, on the high street or online, an experienced business lawyer can help you avoid devastating pitfalls for your business, and passing over their services is the very definition of a false economy.
Whether you’re dealing with intellectual property or the bricks and mortar variety, a solicitor can help protect you: if your business depends on software or products unique to you, they can help protect you by advising about the correct use of patents, trademarks and copyright: what’s valuable, what will keep you safe and what would be a waste of your time. They can also advise about any necessary business licenses permits you may need to ensure you can trade in your property trouble free: if you are selling alcohol you will need the correct license, and there are similar permits required for other restricted products or services. Massage and beauty treatments, for example, are regulated and required licensing.
When you’re hiring staff and buying in raw materials, or renting premises, a lawyer can look over your contracts to make sure they are watertight, get you exactly what you discussed for the terms you agreed and that you have break clauses available to get out of the contract without penalty if they don’t provide what your business needs.
In these, and a host of other ways, a good lawyer can help your business start out on the right foot.