Starting a new business? Make sure you set it up properly

Small businesses are the essence of the UK economy but many owners are unaware of the importance of speaking to a solicitor to make sure their business is properly set up.

Research shows 55% of small business do not last beyond five years. Now, businesses are being provided with a simple to follow checklist to help them start out on the right foot, and to maximise their chance of survival.

Amar Bhatti is a business solicitor and managing director of Baker Reign Solicitors in Bradford. He says small businesses should be nurtured properly, and doing so is vital to the growth of the UK.

“Being an entrepreneur is part of being British. Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy. They drive growth, open new markets and create jobs. This makes their survival crucial to the country,” he said

“Lots of small businesses are not aware of the legal requirements within their chosen industry. There can be a lot of regulation and red tape to jump through at the start.

“Many directors of small businesses are unaware that they can be financially liable if the business breaks down. A quick conversation with a solicitor at the start of a venture could be the difference between keeping and losing their family home.”

The Law Society provides a wealth of information on setting up your own business. Here are five top legal tips for small business owners and entrepreneurs to follow when they set up a business:

  1. Choose the right business structure (sole trader, partnership, limited liability company, LLP)
  1. Formalise contractual arrangements with stakeholders and interested third parties such as investors, lenders, suppliers and distributors
  1. Register for VAT and understanding tax obligations and implications
  1. Consider whether professional indemnity insurance or other forms of business insurance is necessary in order to protect against possible claims such as negligence
  1. Registering intellectual property and trademarks.

The Law Society’s Find a Solicitor service allows people to search a database of more than 140,000 solicitors, by geography and area of expertise. solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk