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Advice for Start Ups

It is often the case that in the initial burst of energy and enthusiam, new business owners will overlook simple legal aspects, which consequently prove complicated and costly to resolve.

There is a tendency on the part of many entrepreneurs to think that they can put the legal issues of starting a business to one side and that it’s all about getting the first customer and generating cash. In error, they think that their solicitor can handle the legal issues after they are underway.

At Vincents, we offer advice and assistance on the principles of Disciplined Entrepreneurship to ensure the right foundations and structures are put in place from day one. While the language of the law can be intimidating, we will explain to concepts to you in a straightforward manner, allowing you to make informed decisions about the future of your business.

We understand though that funds will be tight so we will always look at how we can help in the most affordable way possible.

Here are a few frequently asked questions that we get from Start Ups

How do I set up a business?

You could simply start trading today as a sole trader – you must however notify HMRC, particularly if you are currently unemployed. Being a sole trader is a cost effective way of starting off, but you must be aware that you can be personally exposed to any liabilities of the business.

If you start a business jointly with someone else, a partnership will automatically be created. This is never an ideal situation, and you must consider having a proper partnership agreement put in place.

Alternatively, you could look to set-up your own Limited Company, which will provide you with some protection from the liabilities of the business, but creates a number of further obligations on you as a company director.

Should I just buy an existing company?

Buying the shares of an existing company can be fraught with difficulties – when taking over shares you are also inheriting any historical problems or issues associated with that company. This accordingly means an in-depth consideration of the company has to be undertaken – often called “due-diligence”

The alternative is to buy the assets of the business, including its goodwill, and continue trading but with your own company. This does not complete remove the need for due-diligence but can reduce the extent of the exercise. Be aware though that you may have to continue to employ any staff of the business owing to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE).

Can I just use any name I want for my business?

Once you have chosen a name it is very important to ensure that it does not infringe on anyone else’s Intellectual Property as this could lead to you being sued.

Checking registers such as The Trade Mark Registry, along with a free search at Companies House, can highlight any initial problems.

There are also a number of words which cannot be used without permission – such as “British” “International” or “Royal”

For More Information about Starting up a Business

Our strong professional network of contacts also means that we can assist with a number of issues which are not legal in nature.

For free initial advice call us on 0800 310 2000 to speak to one of our Business and Commercial Law team.


For any enquiries regarding Advice for Start Ups please contact our Commercial Law Solicitors department on 01772 555 176
Or enquire online here.