It would be great if your suppliers were to supply a service to you for free. Well it is not as improbable as you might think! It is becoming more common for startup companies to ask their key suppliers to accept payment in shares. This would allow the start up to reduce its liabilities at a shot and raise Investment funds with the minimum of effort. A great idea… or is it??
Law can be an overwhelming and ever changing element in business, which means it’s no surprise that many small businesses can end up making costly mistakes due to their lack of knowledge and reluctance to learn about the policies and procedures they should be following.
Posted on 16th April 2015 in Legal.
Back in 2012 the European Commission (EC) revealed its plan to completely revamp the 1995 EU data protection law, bringing it out of the Stone Age and making it fit for the 21st century. Every two days we create more data than ever existed before 2003. Businesses and consumers expect data to be accessible wherever and whenever they want. With the increasing adoption of sensor driven technology, cloud computing, BYOD and a whole host of other advances many feel that the old 1995 legislation needs, at the very least, a refresh.
Business owners whether they are selling based on a pre-planned sale strategy, retirement, or in response to buyers’ expansion and investment opportunities are always seeking to maximise the value of their business.
Many SMEs are unaware that by 6 July they will need to have registered all employee share schemes with HMRC and filed online returns in relation to them. Failure to do so means companies could face penalties yet many will overlook the new requirements because share arrangements with employees can be fairly informal and may be languishing in the bottom drawer, having been agreed years before.
The 1st January 2015 saw the introduction of a new EU law that will affect any company operating online. Any online-only company that wants to sell to a consumer in a country within the Union is now required to pay VAT in its country of origin, instead of the country the buyer is located in. This means anyone selling digital products that doesn’t require direct human interaction is liable – regardless of whether the company is based in the EU or not.
Commercial disputes are, sadly, part of everyday life. For smaller businesses, the cost of pursing a dispute can often be prohibitive: legal advice does not come cheap, plus there’s the risk of having to pay your opponent’s legal fees should you lose the claim. And then there are court fees, which, from April, will increase by as much as a staggering 600%.
Posted on 23rd March 2015 in Legal.
When you own a company, as a shareholder you are for the most part free to act in your own interests when making decisions relating to the company. However, there are some important limitations on this to bear in mind.
Posted on 9th March 2015 in Legal.
In the enthusiasm of entering a new business deal, it is easy to concentrate on the big issues: price, product, service. Certainly these issues need to be properly set out in your contract, but other contract terms and considerations are equally important, but often overlooked.
Many businesses wrongly assume that contract negotiations are only important to large corporations. The truth is that even small businesses need to make sure that all contracts are legally water tight. If a micro business loses its biggest contract, this could force a company to go under. With this in mind, I will discuss the drawbacks that business owners should avoid when negotiating contracts.
Posted on 4th March 2015 in Legal.
Up until the last 10 years, there were very few celebrities that could claim that they were a brand in their own right, however in the past decade we have seen celebrities go to great lengths to protect their intellectual property. From Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trade mark application of the name of their daughter Blue Ivy Carter to, more recently, Taylor Swift applying to register a variety of song lyrics and phrases, including THIS SICK BEAT. It is clear that celebrities want to retain control over how their image is used by preventing unauthorised exploitation by third parties, as well as build up a brand which acts as a source of income.
Posted on 23rd February 2015 in Legal.
Since April 2014 a number of changes to claims issued and defended in employment tribunals have been introduced: potential claimants must refer their claim to ACAS first; fees must be paid; and, in circumstances where the employer’s behaviour is deemed to be malicious or have aggravating features, they may be obliged to pay a financial penalty (anything between £100 and £5000) to the government.
Posted on 20th February 2015 in Legal.