If you are on the brink of setting up a business then your focus is likely to be on key issues like securing the money you need to get off the ground, finding premises from which to trade, recruiting members of staff and building a loyal customer base.
However, also on your list of priorities should be speaking to a lawyer about the legal obligations you will assume as a business owner, the documents needed to regulate your relationship with investors, employees, customers and suppliers and the steps you can take to protect yourself against known or foreseeable risks.
Many new business owners see these things as optional extras, which only need to be thought about further down the line or in the event a problem arises. Running a business can be a minefield and you will save yourself considerable time, money and stress by getting your legal affairs in order from the outset.
At IMD Solicitors, our commercial solutions team specialise in helping start-ups to arrange their affairs so that when you open for business you are armed with everything you need to operate as safely, securely and profitably as possible.
We are readily accessible, with lawyers based in several offices across the UK and Europe and can offer most services on a fixed-fee basis so costs are predictable.
How we can help
Our service includes:
- a business review to ascertain you legal requirements, including the need for regulatory approval where you intend to operate in a controlled area;
- considerations of whether your business activities involve the collection, use and storage of personal data belonging to individuals within the UK or EU and is so the steps you need to take to ensure you comply with data protection laws;
- help with intellectual property protection where your business is based on a novel idea, a unique design or a new innovation which requires safeguarding;
- the drafting of a partnership agreement where you intend to work alongside one or more co-owners under a partnership arrangement;
- the drafting of a shareholders agreement and other corporate governance documents where you intend to operate as a company; and
- the drafting of commercial contracts, including terms and conditions of sale.
We can also refer you to our employment team for help with drafting employment contracts and director’s service agreements and to our corporate team for help in establishing a company, LLP or registered charity.
Why choose IMD Solicitors
Our commercial lawyers have vast experience in helping start-up businesses to put their affairs in order and over the years have supported hundreds of enterprises which have gone on to become hugely successful. This includes a social media and communications company which now operated internationally and a sporting events business which works with global celebrities.
The advice we give is tailored to your needs and is designed to ensure that, from the moment you begin to trade, you have everything you need from a legal perspective to run your business as effectively and efficiently as possible — which is far better than trying to assemble everything in a piecemeal fashion as you grow and develop.
Every business needs key documents in place from the outset — including a written agreement between co-owners and investors about how commercial decisions will be made, contracts with staff to ensure employment laws are complied with, policies and procedures to ensure any activities are carried our safely and lawfully and a set of standard terms detailing the basis on which you are prepared to trade.
Our start-up service is designed to provide you with these things for a reasonable cost — the amount of which will be agreed with you upfront so that you can budget for what you need and prioritise the order in which things are provided.
We are not just here for you in the early days. Our lawyers will be on hand to provide you with ongoing legal advice as your business grows and to support and guide you though any difficulties you encounter, working alongside our respected dispute resolution team and other members of our business services department.
List of notable commercial cases
- Advising one of the largest European banks on a number of occasions in respect of validity and construction of guarantees and on demand bonds, together with validity of agreements varying the guarantees and the underlying multi-million facility agreements.
- Advising on the establishment of a large entertainment company. Preparing various corporate and investment documents and leading extensive negotiations of shareholder agreement and ancillary documents. In addition, we provided various legal support to the company on on-going basis.
- Acting for a major automotive manufacturer in a joint venture with a UK company to commence production and distribution on the product in the UK and the Commonwealth. Negotiating and preparing all the relevant joint venture documents.
- Acting for the construction company in a large scale building project of circa £25m. Involved in negotiating an extensive JCT D&B contract as between our client (main contractor) and the local authority who were their client in this project.
- Drafting Terms & Conditions and Warranty terms for a leading UK manufacturer of steel doors, windows and partitions.
- Representing a sub-contractor in construction contract negotiations involving a large number of parties for construction of a museum in Kuwait.
- Advising on and drafting SaaS (Software as a Service) contract for the Client entering the UK market
- Advising on both pro-supplier and pro-customer Software Development Agreements for various Clients
- Advised a technology start up to set up and validate a messaging app, a direct competitor to Facebook’s Messenger
- Advising the client on and negotiating terms of corporate and personal guarantees tied to a cross-border commercial contract.
- Assisting a charity in preparation of various terms and conditions and contractual agreements.
- Advising the client on the terms of a joint venture agreement in an innovative waste management project.
- Advised the first Polish-owned bridging company in the UK
- Advising the client on the validity of execution of a number of international corporate finance agreements.