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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.

Right to rent - guidance on how to check your tenant's documents

Under "right to rent" rules, landlords are obliged to check their new tenant or lodger's immigration status to make sure they are legally allowed to rent property in England (the rules do not apply in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland). If you are found to be letting property to someone not allowed to stay in England you may face a fine of up to £1,000 the first time, increasing to £3,000 if caught again.

Ask prospective tenants or lodgers for their proof of residency in England and make copies (write the date on the copy) of the relevant pages. Proofs of residency include:

  • a valid passport or identity card from a European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • a passport with a visa showing a right to rent in the UK
  • an asylum seeker identity card endorsed with a right to rent
  • two documents from a list of other options for those who do not have passports

If the prospective tenant's residency is only valid for a limited time, you must make a note of the date it expires and check again. For a full list of the documents prospective tenants can use to show proof of residency and for more information on how to check your tenant's right to rent, go to the GOV.UK website.

Right to rent - guidance on how to check your tenant's documents >>