Make sure to avoid these common legal issues that UK companies face, and save yourself future headaches and heartaches in the long run.
1) Using the wrong company structure
There are different tax implications and legalities to each business structure. Make sure that you choose your legal structure carefully from the start, and fill out the right paper work, or you may risk complications even years from now.
Your legal structure will determine what taxes your business will be paying, as well as your financial responsibilities and liabilities.
3) Intellectual Property & Copyright Infringement
As a small startup, you might think it’s okay for you to use copyrighted materials and resources for your logo, website, products, and so on. You may not run into trouble for months, or even years. You may even forget where you even sourced the material from in the first place! It all just sort of blends in the background as you’ve always used that logo or graphic, and have never encountered any issue before. To you, it’s yours. And has always been yours. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Even if it’s completely unintentional and you see yourself as being the brain behind it, anything from your brand’s colour theme, company name, slogan, or a combination of different elements could be another company’s protected property.
Likewise, you should make sure to protect your own intellectual property, as they are a valuable asset to your company. Not prioritising patent applications, trademarks and copyrights for your logo, your products, your brand, or anything that can be stolen or used by competitors, can result in all sorts of legal disputes further down the line. Don’t make the common early mistake, and see brand and product protection as a waste of money. By the time you think you’re ready to invest in protection, it might already be too late.
4) Not having agreements in place from the start
Co-founders and shareholders might start the company on the same page, but goals and visions change and you may not necessarily agree with each other’s decisions. Having a legal agreement in place can settle any future quarrels and legal complications. You need to have a legal agreement in place, defining and outlining responsibilities, exit strategies, ownership, and every other little detail that may come between you.
Informal company culture can breed a number of potential legal issues in future. If you fail to give employees adequate formal contracts, you are ultimately creating unnecessary uncertainties between your company and its employees. Your employees have legal rights while under your employment, that cover everything from their health and safety to fair recruitment and dismissal policies. Employers liability insurance is a legal requirement for all companies that have people working for them.