We do not expect you to understand every law and regulation relating to your business or be aware of every piece of legislation that could affect your business.
With legislation, both nationally and internationally, becoming increasingly complex, ensuring your business is compliant with all aspects of law can be very challenging and time consuming.
At Else Solicitors we strongly believe ‘prevention is cheaper than the cure’. Having the wrong provisions in place or having nothing in place at all can prove to be very expensive. Our business legal audit can quickly identify areas of your business which have the potential to raise compliance issues, need action taking to avoid legal liabilities or require legally qualified input to reach a conclusion.
“Why should I take time out of my schedule to sit down with a solicitor, I don’t need a solicitor.” Have you just said this yourself (or something similar)? If you have, consider whether any of the following apply to you:-
Does your company website comply with the new EU cookie law which requires websites to gain consent from visitors to store and retrieve information on a computer and other web connected devices? The fines you may face if your website does not comply with this law can be very costly.
Do you deal with customers/clients regularly? Are they businesses, members of the public, or a mixture of both? How do you ensure you limit your liabilities when dealing with customers/clients? How will you prove that you supplied goods to them and/or carried out a service if you don’t get paid and want to pursue them? Having some clear terms and conditions of business that are bespoke to your business and are given to your customer/client before the “contract” is formed will assist with this.
Are you renting premises? When was the last time you checked the terms of your lease? Are you aware of your repair obligations? Do you have a break right? Do you know when your next rent review is due? If your business owns the premises is it held in the most tax efficient way? These are all important issues to consider when dealing with owned or leased property.
Does your business operate via a limited company? If so, do you know who the directors and shareholders are? Do you know what would happen to your shares if you wanted to leave the business or if you died? Without a well drafted shareholders agreement in place your shares could go to family members who do not wish to be involved in the business of even ex-spouses. Shareholders agreements (and partnership agreements if you are a partnership) will deal with these scenarios along with many other practical matters involved in running a business.
What would you be able to do if an employee left your business, set up on their own and started to try to deal with all of your customers/clients and business contacts? Does your business have innovative ways of doing certain things that give you a competitive advantage, and that you want to keep secret? If your employees do not have robust contracts of employment the above situation could become very real, as could numerous other employment related matters.
Every business has hidden legal problems and statistics prove that if companies can uncover and resolve these problems they can not only prevent significant losses, but can even identify new revenue streams, increase profits and become more efficient. It is recommended an audit is conducted every three to five years depending on your business. However, if you have never conducted a legal audit now is a good time!