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Setting up a business involves complying with a range of legal requirements. Find out which ones apply to you and your new enterprise.

While poor governance can bring serious legal consequences, the law can also protect business owners and managers and help to prevent conflict.

Whether you want to raise finance, join forces with someone else, buy or sell a business, it pays to be aware of the legal implications.

From pay, hours and time off to discipline, grievance and hiring and firing employees, find out about your legal responsibilities as an employer.

Marketing matters. Marketing drives sales for businesses of all sizes by ensuring that customers think of their brand when they want to buy.

Commercial disputes can prove time-consuming, stressful and expensive, but having robust legal agreements can help to prevent them from occurring.

Whether your business owns or rents premises, your legal liabilities can be substantial. Commercial property law is complex, but you can avoid common pitfalls.

With information and sound advice, living up to your legal responsibilities to safeguard your employees, customers and visitors need not be difficult or costly.

As information technology continues to evolve, legislation must also change. It affects everything from data protection and online selling to internet policies for employees.

Intellectual property (IP) isn't solely relevant to larger businesses or those involved in developing innovative new products: all products have IP.

Knowing how and when you plan to sell or relinquish control of your business can help you to make better decisions and achieve the best possible outcome.

From bereavement, wills, inheritance, separation and divorce to selling a house, personal injury and traffic offences, learn more about your personal legal rights.

The business benefits of hiring legal freelancers

Every business needs legal support and expertise from day one and a good lawyer can be vital throughout all stages of growth. While today's legal marketplace provides entrepreneurs with many options, concerns about costs means business owners often resort to DIY solutions rather than seeking professional legal help.

Cost, however, doesn't have to be the overriding factor; SMEs that embrace the gig economy will find that freelance legal support doesn't break the budget and can support their growth strategy.

Specialist expertise

Investing in flexible legal advice and resources can be especially beneficial for start-ups that are still finding their feet. Equally, a business lawyer will be crucial in providing guidance on compliance, regulation and legislation changes during all stages of a company's growth. With significant changes in areas such as employment law, outsourcing specialist expertise can help you create your own in-house legal team allowing you to pre-empt issues and plan responses before they affect your business.

Pay as you go

Hiring freelance support is all about doing what's right for your business. Although every company needs a bespoke legal package, entrepreneurs often opt to save money by purchasing a bundle of fixed services from a law firm, leaving them with no leeway for individual requirements.

The great thing about the gig economy, however, is that you can outsource legal guidance on an ad hoc basis, drawing up a tailored agreement for a specific project. As a result, the contract will be on your terms and you won't be locked in to an expensive and lengthy retainer when that project is complete.

No set-up costs

Today, many firms enhance their office-based team by making flexible and agile working arrangements with freelancers. Fortunately, technology has enabled employers to hire temporary staff who can work remotely resulting in savings on office space, IT equipment and additional expenses such as travel costs. Employers can create virtual working spaces, intranet and corporate chat systems, giving them a far greater choice of suitable employees.

Engaging specialists

Looking for and choosing the right specialist for a bespoke project can seem daunting but options for finding freelancers are vast. Business owners can reach out to legal professionals using social media sites such as LinkedIn; sometimes a simple Tweet will return a selection of interested candidates.

For those who want to take the headache out of the search, legal resourcing firms are the answer as they provide the HR function and pre-screen candidates saving time and matching companies with talent.

SME owners who embrace the gig economy will soon find that freelancers can help mitigate risks surrounding compliance and regulation and enhance efficiency by giving them the same quality legal guidance that larger firms have on a retainer basis.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2016 Shaun Rose, founder and managing director, Codex Consultants.