Top 5 legal takeaways for established businesses04/07/2016
- Consider International Opportunities
Looking outside the UK to expand your business can provide enormous opportunities for growth. Increasing globalisation can make trading internationally easier than you might have thought but it also presents new risks. Ensure your IP (intellectual property) is protected in the countries you trade in and monitor the relevant IP registries for infringement by others. Make sure that you comply with the particular law of that country, and make sure any trading agreements with foreign entities are fit for purpose (for example, consider which jurisdiction and governing law should apply in the event of disputes).
- Make sure legal documents are water-tight
With an established business, you are more likely to have an established pattern of trading with your customers, suppliers and other third parties. Ensure you frequently review your documents to ensure it remains fit for your business purposes and consider opportunities to streamline or standardise certain contractual agreements (for example, standard terms of supply). Key documents to make sure are appropriate are leases/tenancy agreements, contracts for supply of goods/services, employment, contracts and licence agreements.
- Adopt a vision for growth
Continue to invest in your employees, resources and assets and always be aware of emerging markets and new opportunities to merge or grow your business. Consider further investment funding to allow you to develop your business and keep it competitive and, most importantly, profitable.
- Be clear on employment law
Ensure you are always compliant with the relevant employment rules and regulations – a large or increasing workforce will require vigilance from you as the employer. Be sure to comply with the rules surrounding hiring and firing and make sure you stay up to date with legal changes such as the minimum wage, discrimination law, maximum (and minimum) working hours and maternity/paternity pay.
- Always conduct your due diligence
Thorough due diligence is extremely important with regard to potential new business opportunities, whether you are entering a new supplier relationship or considering partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. Good due diligence will help to minimise any issues that could end up being very costly, both in terms of value and reputation, for your business.