Depending on your legal structure, starting your business will involve specific requirements, like registering at Companies House, or creating your Articles of association to set out how a company will be run.
When you start a business you should know its purpose. Creating a Business plan lets you set out your business' goals. You can take a comprehensive approach to your business' aims and governance by considering issues like sustainability and fair trade when setting out your business' plans and values.
How can I get funding?
There are many different ways to fund your business. The type of funding most suitable for your situation will depend on a variety of factors, including:
how much funding you need
your business structure
how long you need the funding for
The different types of funding include:
loans - including loans from other businesses using a Loan agreement, bank loans and loans from family members or friends using a Promissory note
investment finance - involving the sale of company shares to investors, who will a share of the profits and losses your company
grants - including Government and charity grants
invoice financing - involving a third-party financier buying your unpaid invoices for a fee
crowdfunding - involving the general public investing, lending or contributing to your business (typically online)
How can I ensure that I follow employment laws when hiring staff?
Creating an Employment contract or Zero-hours contract is an excellent way to establish the parameters of your employment relationship with anybody working for you. It can also set out your commitment to employment rights, such as holiday pay, to help you keep track of your legal obligations to your workers.
Creating employment policies is an important way of setting out an employer’s and their workers' rights and responsibilities related to a range of employment matters. Having comprehensive policies in place also guides employers toward meeting their various legal obligations. Important employment policies include:
How can I protect the intellectual property that my business creates and uses?
A business that designs a product, invents a product or process, makes original creations (eg songs or artworks), or simply creates a brand for their business will likely be generating intellectual property (IP) which brings value to their business.
Data protection rules ensure that all businesses that handle (ie ‘process’) personal data do so in line with the data protection principles (eg fairly, transparently, securely, and for legitimate purposes). Compliance usually involves the creation of various data protection documents. For example:
a Data processing agreement (DPA) is used to set out how a business' data will be processed by another business (eg as the other latter provides services for the former)
Website terms and conditions govern the use of a website by visitors. Any business with an online presence - even those which are not actually selling goods or services on their website - must include certain details (eg the business' full name and address) under the Electronic Commerce Regulations.
Which contracts should I use for businesses or consumers?
All businesses should have reliable Terms and conditions to govern their relationships with clients, businesses and private individuals (ie consumers) alike. Which terms and conditions your business needs depends on:
who your customers are (ie businesses or consumers)
whether you are selling goods or supplying services, and
where you are selling these goods or services (eg online or on your business premises, like a store)
Other contracts you may need include:
a Services agreement - an agreement between two businesses for the supply of services. It sets out the agreed terms between both parties for the provision of services