We’re here with practical legal information for your business. Learn about employment law, company law and more.

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.

Getting more from your board members - checklist

The members of your board are responsible for major decisions on how your business is run - and could be responsible for its failure if they don't do their duty effectively.

  • Consider appointing several directors – even if you are only obliged to appoint one - who can bring a range of skills and personalities to bring different perspectives and expertise to board decisions.
  • Aim for a balance of executive and non-executive directors. Executive directors have day-to-day involvement in the business. Non-executive directors typically offer less frequent advice, but they will be impartial and unaffected by office politics.
  • Appoint a chairperson who understands the business, commands respect from other members and listens to them.
  • Consider if your board members are doing a good job. If there is any friction between members, a reluctance to change things or a failure to act, it might be time to make a change. Weigh up if it's worth bringing in someone with new skills or experience.
  • Look at the issues facing your business – for example, if you're struggling financially find someone with a background in finance. If you don't know anybody suitable, you could advertise in relevant trade journals.
  • Make sure directors are briefed before board meetings and receive board papers in good time, so that they have a grasp of the issues before they are discussed. Board papers should include the agenda, minutes of the previous meeting and management accounts.
  • Ensure your board is aware of key objectives. It should agree on business strategies, monitor financial performance against the firm's budget, and ensure the company is compliant with legislation. If the board fails to meet these objectives, reconsider who sits on it and how it's run.
  • Make use of board members outside of the board meeting. They should be available to help with reports, business plans and management accounts, as they have an in-depth understanding of the company. Seek their advice on key decisions such as restructuring.
  • Hold regular meetings, but be prepared to call additional meetings in times of difficulty or growth. Legally, you must hold a board meeting if any director requests one.