It is advisable to seek legal advice on the following points when considering setting up your own business:
- Company structure – whether to trade as self-employed, a partnership or a limited company, and to make sure the proper legal agreements are drawn up.
- Business premises – negotiating and making sure you understand the terms of your lease.
- Dealing with regulations – many new regulations are specific to particular sectors. You need to be aware if they apply to you.
- Contract terms and service levels – you should be sure of your legal responsibilities to customers and suppliers.
- Protecting your business ideas and confirming ownership – making sure any intellectual property rights to your product or service are protected and that you’re not infringing the rights of other businesses.
- Finance – the legal implications of raising finance and agreeing terms with the lender.
- Debt control – protecting you against bad debts and advice on debt collecting.
- Franchising – anyone going into franchising needs to check all the small print with a specialist lawyer.
- Employment law matters.