Business Basics

Devine Law has advised many sole traders, partners and directors on the legal requirements and best practices for a business and we urge every business – whether start-up or established – to seek professional guidance to review these essential business basics and legal requirements to set the stage for success and avoid costly errors or oversight.

§  Contracts of Employment and Contracts of Service

All businesses are required to give employees a written statement of terms and conditions within their first two months of employment.

In an era of ever-tighter regulation, employment contracts can prove to be either a bind or a blessing for businesses. With business conditions constantly changing, well-drafted contracts can afford the flexibility, for example  to change the place of work or alter employee duties, whereas a rushed contract could lead to costly compensation in an Employment Tribunal.

Directors rarely think about themselves in terms of their role in the business, but it can be very important to have a Director’s Service Contract in place, to establish the bounds of a director’s rights and duties. It is equally important to ensure that any self-employed contractors have good contracts in place to define what is required of them.

§  Partnership Agreements, Shareholders Agreements

Partnership and shareholder agreements are key documents which control/regulate the actions by, and relationships between, the various stakeholders in a business. They bring clarity to the rights and obligations of partners or shareholders and act as valuable safety nets. A well-drafted agreement will make disputes between partners and shareholders less damaging and will protect the hard-earned value of a business.

If you are thinking about starting up a business, or adding partners or shareholders, then our assistance with these contracts can set your business on the right track for the future.

§  Directors Responsibilities

Company directors must satisfy a wide range of duties on a day-to-day basis, from avoiding conflicts of interest to acting so as to promote the interests of the Company for the benefit of all.  A breach of duties might mean a fine or a penalty but it could also mean the difference between success and failure.

Taking advice when major decisions are being made will enable the Board to fully review options and document the outcomes.

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