Onwards and upwards – taking your business to the next level
As is often the case, many businesses are set up around great ideas formed between family and friends. These founding business owners will then work around the clock, giving their all to establish the business and make it successful.
After a couple of years the team will start to look at expansion and development and it is only then that the legal structure is found to need some work or the standard contracts in need of review, or these may even exist only via a handshake.
At least once a year you should carry out a business health check and assess whether you need the following in place and, if already in place, that you are happy they are still in line with the way you run your business. Failure to do this could have serious financial and legal consequences further down the line.
Coodes Solicitors’ commercial lawyer, Sonya Bassett, suggests considering:
- Would you be best set up as a limited company? The main reasons for going limited is for tax purposes or to seek to protect the personal assets of the directors.
- If you are in partnership do you have a partnership agreement in place which covers the practices and agreed terms of the partners?
- If you are a limited company do you have a shareholders agreement in place which covers what happens to your shares in the company in certain circumstances i.e. retirement of a director?
- Does each shareholder have a will in place?
- Do you have insurance policies in place and are in need of cross option agreements?
Contract with employees
- Do you have a standard employment contract with employees?
- If you use an agency are you happy with the terms provided by them?
- Do you have a standard service agreement with the Directors of the company?
- Are they all up to date?
- Is Companies House up to date?
- Have you developed a brand, name or logo which should be protected?
- Have you developed a product which needs protection?
Provision of goods or services
- Do you have a standard set of terms and conditions with your customers?
- Do you have a standard supply agreement with your suppliers?
It’s important to address the pitfalls before they happen, saving time and money in the long run and allowing you to focus on running your business. Coodes offers a fixed price review with recommendations, ensuring your business is on a solid footing as it expands!
Sonya Bassett is a national and international commercial specialist and heads up Coodes Solicitors’ Corporate Department. With experience in working on deals with firms such as Tesco and Marks and Spencer plc, Sonya also has a particular interest in providing support to start up and developing businesses. Sonya can be contacted on email@example.com , 01872 246200 or via our coodes.co.uk