Wednesday, 27 May 2015

How to protect your business legally

Whether you are about to start up your own business or you have been running your own business for years, protecting your business legally is essential. Any ideas, copyrights, patents, software and financial information should be protected with a non-disclosure agreement. Protecting these can help keep your business safe against other businesses, that may wish to replicate your work. Non-disclosure agreements can also offer some protection in relation to the information you disclose. Non-disclosure agreements can be used by just one person as way of disclosing information or can be used by two parties as a deterrent against disclosing confidential information.

If you own or are setting up a limited company, a shareholders agreement must be set up. A shareholders agreement outlines and regulates the arrangements between you and other shareholders in the business. With this in mind, it is essential to agree to the shareholders agreement as well as writing down who owns the shares and in what amounts.

In addition to this, the framework of how your company is operated also needs to be set out, as well as who makes the decisions and how they are going to be made. Signing and setting up agreements such as these are also essential for avoiding any future disputes.

If someone decides to invest in or loans money to your business an investor agreement should be made. By setting up such an agreement, investors will be able to see the terms on which they are giving money formally written down. With this you must write down how many shares they get, what type they are and what their value is. This agreement should also address the following questions/issues:

·         Will their shares get diluted if more money comes in?

·         What are the procedures for running the company and its exit?

·         How much control will you be giving them?

·         If you fail to address potential situations such as this, it may come back to bite you later.

If your business has a website, your consumers should be able to see your sites terms and conditions. Your websites terms and conditions should set out how your business is run and how you expect your customers to behave. Copying and pasting another sites terms and conditions is not an option as there may be certain laws that you must adhere to which is not included in theirs.

If your business has a website or you are an online business it is more than likely that you will have software developers helping you build your business. Setting up a software agreement is important and can help you avoid any potential pitfalls. This type of contract should include answers to questions/issues such as:

·         What’s the price?

·         When will it be paid?

·         What are the development milestones?

·         Who will own the software?

·         Who will deal with bugs, changes and maintenance and at what cost?

Your businesses software could be a key factor in running your company so ensuring that the paperwork is correct is vital.

If you are thinking of starting your own business or if you already have your business but lack the legal documents which could protect you, LawStore Business can help you! LawStore Business provides legal packages for both startups and established businesses.

Legal services may seem like a costly, overwhelming expense but ensuring that the right legal procedures and documents are in place from the outset will help prevent against any unforeseen, costly difficulties that your business may face later on. They will also ensure that your businesses identity is protected right from the beginning.

The LawStore's Business Start-up Legal Packages offer cost effective, fixed fee solutions for all your start-up needs from Company Formation through to Contracts, Terms and Conditions and even website services and privacy policies, designed to assist new and even established businesses in all the necessary legal preparations required.

To find out more about LawStore Business' legal packages simply click here or call them on 0845 603 6544 today!

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