There are a number of legal issues that can have an adverse effect on small businesses. Here are a few tips that might help with the smooth running of your business.

Legal Tips

1. Consider protecting your personal assets
If you are starting a business with one or more people, you can trade in a variety of ways. For example, as a sole trader, a partnership, limited liability partnership or limited company. It is worth remembering that as a sole trader or partnership you will be liable or jointly liable for the business’ debts. That is, you will be risking your personal assets.

2. Use written contracts and agreements
Ensure that all your business transactions and agreements are set out in writing. Many small businesses operate without written contracts, preferring to do business “on a handshake.” Having written contracts helps all parties understand their rights and obligations and are often a preventative measure. Prepare and implement them.

3. Protect your intellectual property
If you have created a new product or service, undertake appropriate searches to avoid possible conflict with trademarks or patents. Having to rename or relaunch your product or business could incur significant costs.

4. Ensure that your business name/logo does not infringe another party’s rights
Check the websites of Companies House and the Intellectual Property Office (and also the web generally). That is, ensure that your business name/logo is different to existing business names/logos that offer the same or similar products and services, particularly in the same geographic locations. This should avoid confusion and potential litigation.

5. Use Confidentiality Agreements
When having discussions and exploring the possibility of working with other businesses or individuals, do not share your business’s confidential information, strategies, know-how, trade secrets or proprietary information without first getting the other party to sign a Confidentiality Agreement.

Contact Richard Jenkins on 07837 762705 or Richard@clariclegal.co.uk for further advice or assistance.

This should not be relied upon for legal advice.