Business advice for start-ups

Starting your own business is a really exciting time but it can be helpful to seek legal advice to ensure your business is destined for success.

Austin Lafferty employee working from the Newton Mearns office

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Austin Lafferty Solicitors’ knowledge and expertise can give you peace of mind that your business is protected and that you have made sensible decisions to help avoid any major legal issues in the future.

Below are some of the main factors on which our business solicitors can advise:

Are you going to run the business in your own name, a partnership or a limited company?

We can explain the different business structures available (sole trader, partnership, limited company or limited liability partnership), the liability implications of each, and support you in deciding which one is most appropriate for your new business now and in the future. 

If you are entering into business with other parties or people, you might need a shareholder or partnership arrangement to make sure you get a fair and proportional return for your investment.

You don’t necessarily need a solicitor to set up the business but we can do this for you if you prefer to concentrate on other aspects of your business.

Have you thought about finances?

As well as the liability implications, different business structures also have complexities around tax. We can help you understand what your tax obligations are and how to stay on the right side of HMRC.

At Austin Lafferty, our solicitors can also help you understand the terms and conditions of loans, grants, personal investments, securities and other means of raising capital, to ensure the terms are fair and offer good value. 

Depending on the industry you are in, you will need to buy different insurance types to protect you, your business, your business assets and your employees. Some of this is mandatory and other insurances are discretional. We can help you determine what levels of protection are required from a legal and pragmatic point of view.

Where will the business operate from and will you buy or lease the premises?

Before you enter into any agreement, be that when buying or leasing a property, you need to be clear about the terms and conditions of the contract and any restrictions on how the building can be used.

We can assist with ensuring these contracts will not hinder the business in the immediate future or further down the line when the business needs to move on to bigger and better premises. 

Have you got a good contract in place for your products and services as well as those you need to buy?

When selling or buying products and services, it’s vitally important to have and give reassurance that should an issue arise, everyone knows where the responsibilities lie. We can help you prepare contracts for your customers as well as understand the details of any new contracts you enter into.

Depending on the industry you operate in, you may also need to consider additional legal and regulatory requirements for your business which can affect how you go about advertising and marketing.

What if things don’t run smoothly?

We’d be lying if we said the journey to success will always run smoothly. What will you do if you or your business partner fall ill or fall out? What if you accidentally make a mistake on a customer’s order or share customer data with others?

There will always be bumps in the road but Austin Lafferty Solicitors can advise you on practical solutions, even when you can’t see a way out.

What’s the end game?

We’d all like to have a crystal ball but having a solicitor on your side is the next best thing as, having seen it all before, they will be able to help you prepare for the future. 
We can advise you about succession planning, selling your business, and buying other businesses to grow your enterprise. If you’re just setting up, this may seem a long way off, but when we know your business inside out, we’re in the best possible position to help you every step of the way.

For expert legal advice on all aspects of starting and growing a new business, contact Austin Lafferty Solicitors today to book a free initial consultation.

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