Insights

Supporting SMEs with Legal Issues

Posted by: William Claydon | 24th September 2019

Running a business is in equal parts exciting and daunting. It involves complex legal issues which are overwhelming without the proper legal advice. CJCH’s commercial solicitor, Gareth Thompson, discusses the most common issues faced by SMEs and the value a commercial solicitor brings to a business.

How do you support businesses that are just getting started?

It is important to ensure incipient businesses have all the relevant documents in place to begin trading. This will vary from business to business but will usually include employment contracts, insurance, due diligence and risk assessment. Finally, it is crucial that the business takes steps to protect its intellectual property, which may not be at the forefront of the owner’s mind.

How can a business solicitor help an SME choose the right business structure?

This will depend on the needs of the business owner. Each business structure has its own strength, seeking legal advice will help you choose the right one. The most commonly chosen business structures are as follows:

  • Sole Trader
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • Limited Liability Company (Ltd)

What are the most common legal issues SMEs face and how can solicitors help business owners avoid them?

The initial issues faced by SMEs usually revolve around setting up employment contracts and drafting articles of association. Whilst it might be attractive to business owners to use standard templates for these documents, there is a real risk that they do not suitably protect your business interests. This might lead to costs for the business later. Consulting a solicitor in the first instance mitigates this risk.

How can SMEs ensure that they are GDPR compliant? Why is this important?

Ensure that staff are appropriately trained and appoint someone as GDPR liaison within the company. Compliance is crucial as the Information Commissioners Office can issue large fines for companies in breach.

What are your top tips for someone looking to start their own business?

Get contracts written! Get insurance! Protect your Intellectual Property! Continue to seek legal advice from a commercial solicitor as the business matures.

How can we help?

The CJCH commercial team’s services span the full spectrum of corporate and commercial requirements. From startups to SMEs & large organisations, we provide legal support and advice to leverage opportunities and minimise risks to your business.

Get in touch via:

Telephone: 0333 231 6405

Email: commercial@cjch.co.uk