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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.

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

Resource topics

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Company secretaries share legal responsibilities with directors for a business under the Companies Act. Our guide to the main duties of the role.
The members of your board are responsible for major decisions on how your business is run - and could be responsible for its failure.
Successful businesses use board meetings to create and improve key strategies. Our guide to preparing for, running and following up board meetings.
Company directors have wide powers to help them promote the success of their business - and face strict penalties if they abuse them. Our overview.
How to appoint a board of directors with the skills and experience needed to help guide your business and how to organise board meetings.
Running a family business brings additional challenges and opportunities. The law can help to reduce risk of things going wrong
Directors can be made personally liable if accused of negligence or other wrongdoing. Companies can indemnify you against legal liabilities or costs.
Employing family members within the business can create tensions. Encourage family and workplace harmony, to bring commercial and personal benefits.
Why disputes arise and how the risk can be reduced, what rights directors and shareholders have in decision-making, resolving disagreements.
How to deal with private company shares and options. Reasons and procedures for issuing new shares, tax considerations and other common questions.
As well as general company admin, directors are ultimately responsible for ensuring the company complies with the law, including the Companies Acts.
A director is required to comply with certain legal duties when acting as a director and must promote the long-term success of the company
Making sure you follow the rules for holding shareholder meetings and taking decisions, in line with company law and your articles of association.
Advantages of using family members as employees and directors include high levels of commitment, sense of shared values, and a long-term perspective.
Shareholders’ rights and obligations. Company articles of association and shareholders’ agreements. Partnerships and partnership agreements.