How healthy is your business? Run these five health checks to see if you need a legal check-up
PUBLISHED: 13:04 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:45 03 October 2019
Open that filing cabinet and dust off your documents - it's time to check the legal health of your business.
Not keeping up to date with the legal status of your business could have far worse consequences than you realise. HRJ Foreman Laws Solicitors can offer you professional legal advice to help you plan and run your business successfully. Andrew Dongworth, senior associate solicitor, gives us his tips to health check your business.
1. Assessing your shareholders agreement
When everything's going well it's easy to assume you don't need to worry. But in business, things can change fast and in ways, you can't predict. Getting your paperwork in order and keeping it up to date, however, can at least help you manage unexpected situations should they arise. "It's important to run regular checks on your business to determine if it's legally healthy, or if you're putting yourself at unnecessary risk," said Andrew. "An outdated shareholders agreement, or not having one at all, will make it much harder for you to untangle your business if difficulties arise. Getting it looked at now can save you time and money."
2. Ensuring you remain compliant
GDPR has changed the way we can communicate with customers. There's still a lot of confusion among businesses about what you can and cannot do. There are also a range of regulations applicable to every business, covering employees, finances and consumer statutory rights. There are also additional industry regulations which must be adhered to. Is your legal process for monitoring and staying on top of these regulations effective? When were they last reviewed by a legal expert? Are you sure you are compliant?
3. Dot the i's, cross the t's and make sure your contracts are current
You'll have terms and conditions of sale, as well as contracts with employees, suppliers, property agreements with a landlord and possible licensing arrangements. The contracts and legal agreements, hiding away in that filing cabinet are easy to overlook. Do you know if your contracts are still relevant to how your business operates today? "A review of your documents could save you from a potential legal dispute and will help reduce the risk in your business," said Andrew.
If you are leasing your premises, does your lease agreement still fit in with your business objectives? If you are considering expanding or relocating, you need to understand your lease terms and the landlord and tenant obligations. If you mistakenly breach any terms in your lease agreement you could forfeit your right to stay or find yourself with a bill you have not planned for. Do you know the implication of the break clause in your lease? This will outline your rights when you wish to bring an end to the lease, or if your landlord wishes to cease leasing the property.
5. Appoint a legal partner that understands the daily demands of your business
"It's vital to find an advisor you trust to take care of your legal issues for you," Andrew stated. "HRJ Foreman Laws Solicitors is much more than a traditional high street firm," Andrew explained. "We have a reputation for punching above our weight both in terms of our clients and the breadth and depth of the work we do for them." For the second year in a row, HRJ Foreman Laws solicitors was highly commended for its customer service following a mystery shopper visit and in May 2019 we were winners of the 'Best Legal and Financial Services' at the biz4Biz awards.
Here to help: Welwyn Garden city office is a short walk away
A short walk from John Lewis, on Parkway, HRJ Foreman Laws Solicitors' Welwyn Garden City office is conveniently located to offer commercial legal advice to local businesses.
Book your business check-up online at hrjforemanlaws.co.uk or visit its Welwyn Garden city office. For a closer look at the legal health of your business contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01707 887700.