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.

Resolving commercial disputes - checklist

Commercial disputes can become costly in terms of time and expense. This checklist will help you handle disputes with the aim of resolving them.

  • Review what was agreed, and how clear the agreement was.
  • Clarify how the other party has failed to live up to the agreement. Consider to what extent you may have contributed.
  • Assess the loss you have suffered as a result and consider any loss they may claim to have suffered.
  • Collate evidence (eg written contracts, correspondence and witness statements).
  • Try to negotiate an amicable resolution. Keep evidence of negotiations including copies of letters and notes on conversations.
  • Assess the other party’s ability to pay, for example by running a credit check (including records of outstanding county court judgments).
  • Take legal advice unless the dispute is straightforward, represents a relatively small amount and runs no risk of a significant counterclaim.
  • Assess whether you have a strong case — how clear the legal position and evidence are — and the risks of a counterclaim or losing in court.
  • Clarify the costs and timescales involved in taking the recommended form of legal action; decide whether it is worth pursuing.
  • Consider how far you are prepared to compromise either by accepting stage payments or partial payment for a quick resolution.
  • Either abandon the claim, or inform the other party in writing of your intention to take legal action. Follow the appropriate procedure.
  • Track progress and legal costs as the case proceeds.
  • Continue to be prepared to compromise; accept any reasonable offer to avoid further delays and disruption, and the risk of court action.
  • After a successful court case, be prepared to enforce judgment to obtain payment.

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