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Entrepreneurs - introducing "The Super Six"

Dutton Gregory’s Commercial Team has created a special guide for entrepreneurs looking to launch and build their businesses.

From concept and planning, to resources and risk, “The Super Six” explains all the legal issues business owners need to be aware of.

The Bedrock of Success

We start at the beginning with the bedrock of your business: your choice of legal entity. Sorting this at the beginning can literally pay dividends. It will determine:

•            How you will be expected to run your business.

•            How you can fund your business.

•            How you'll account for your business; how you'll enjoy the profits of your business.

•            How those profits will be taxed.

Forming the Foundations

For business owners, dealing with contracts is as inevitable as death and taxes. It doesn’t matter what they’re for or who they’re with, solid contracts are like concrete foundations - a strong, stable base capable of supporting your business. On the other hand, ill-considered contracts are like concrete cancer – your foundations may look solid, but it's only a matter of time before they crumble, leaving your business precariously unsupported. And as tempting as it might be for the cash-strapped business owner to take up the offer of a mate who has “done this sort of thing before”, a professional architect is always going to be the better option.

Building the Walls

Humans first started building walls over 12,000 years ago, to give protection from invaders, scavengers and thieves. For the modern-day business, the walls protecting the value safe from those on the outside who might wish to steal it, are constructed not of bricks, but intellectual property laws. We explain why every business owner – not just Big Tech and Pharma – needs to understand how to protect their original works, inventions and designs from being copied or stolen by others.

Putting on the Roof

It's all very well constructing solid foundations and sturdy walls, but no building - or its occupants - is safe without a roof. Employment law provides certainty and security when the sun is shining and business is good, and shelter from the elements when the storm is raging.

Good employment contracts keep a roof over everyone’s heads. They let employees know what the business expects of them, and what they can expect from the business. They reduce the risk of misunderstandings and disputes that can blow a hole in the roof, and a template for fixing a hole when the inevitable storms hit. Given the British weather, would you work in a building with a permanently leaky roof?

Good housekeeping

Without good housekeeping and maintenance, a new building isn't going to stay all shiny and spiffy for long. It's the same with businesses. The UK Government treats businesses like a teenager's bedroom. There are myriad rules designed to keep them clean and tidy, i.e. legislation and regulation governing how business should operate ethically, safely and legally. Parental responsibility is delegated to bodies such as Companies House, HM Revenue & Customs, the Pensions Regulator, the Health & Safety Executive, the Equality & Human Rights Commission.

Fall foul of any of these and see how far feigning ignorance or throwing a teenage strop will get you! Failures in compliance can lead to fines, law action, reputational damage, and even criminal charges.

Beware the Wrecking Ball

Risk is everywhere. It's all too easy to think of risk as being entirely negative, a wrecking ball constantly swinging around your business, threatening demolition. But risk can also be positive - that same wrecking ball might clear obstacles blocking your expansion.

Good risk management requires clear-headed analysis to identify opportunities as well as threats to your business. But where threats are present, they can be mitigated - the wrecking ball’s trajectory can be diverted. The first five of the Super 6 - the appropriate legal entity, strong contracts, establishing and enforcing intellectual property rights, sound employment practices and good governance - can all mitigate risk. Add to this monitoring, processes, controls, insurance and disaster planning, and while that wrecking ball won't stop swinging, the likelihood of it smashing into your business is greatly diminished.