LEGAL EAGLE: Is your firm in good legal shape?

Get your contracts in order

Get your contracts in order

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Running a company is exciting – a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. The ‘legals’ may not protect you from the highs and lows, but getting them right will most certainly keep your business on the rails.

We think that there are a limited number of things that you really need to think about to make sure that you can concentrate on your markets and customers.

The WHAT – Your Business Structure

Should you be a sole trader, partnership or limited company. We can advise you on which would be the best for you. If you have others in your business, you might need a shareholder or partnership agreement. Relying on conversations, emails and agreements made ‘in good faith’ will only work … until they don’t!

The WHERE: Premises

Whether you’re buying your business premises or leasing them, getting the legals right is critical. We will give this appropriate attention so that, for example, you have a suitable break clause or rent review as part of the lease.

The HOW: Employment Contracts

Employing people is tough and getting your employment contracts right will protect you when you need protection. Employment laws are constantly changing- which is why it’s so important to get legal advice that’s bang up to date.

Employment contracts are unique to your business. They should reflect your business requirements, as well as respect employee rights on things such as holidays, sick pay and maternity leave.

The HOW: Commercial Contracts

Whatever the nature of your business, having well drafted commercial contracts means that both you, your suppliers and your customers know exactly where they stand. Common contracts relate to payment terms, the provision of goods/services and agency arrangements.

l Paula Harris is Head of David Gray Solicitors’ Business Team which carries out work under the Law Society’s ‘Lawyers For Your Business’ scheme and assists many SMEs in all aspects of business work. You can call for an appointment with Paula on 0191 243 8147 or Chat Live 24/7 at www.davidgray.co.uk.