Starting a new business can be an exciting time. Still, it can also be fraught with doubts, trepidation, and undoubtedly questions concerning the legal implications of starting a business, so anyone considering doing so should approach commercial lawyers for advice.
Even if you are starting small and, to begin with, will be operating on your own, it will do you no harm to speak to a commercial lawyer who will be more than happy to give you sound commercial legal advice, which can mean you get started correctly and with peace of mind.
For those who may be starting in a more significant way, then having a commercial lawyer available to advise you will almost certainly be essential to prevent you from starting your business only to find that you have transgressed one or more commercial laws that can prove to be a considerable setback so early on.
We mentioned above that there will be questions that you might wish to ask a commercial lawyer about starting a business, and like many other new entrepreneurs, you may be unsure what to ask. As such, here are three key questions commonly asked concerning starting a business, along with the answers we hope are helpful. However, before deciding on any of these, please get advice from your commercial lawyers.
What Is The Most Appropriate Business Structure For Me?
This is one of the first decisions you will make as a business owner and one of the most important. Your main options are sole trader, partnership, company, and trust. Each has different costs, legal implications, tax liabilities, and legal status. The choice you make will be influenced by several factors, including:
- The specific business type
- How much risk you plan to take
- Your growth plans for the business
- If others are starting the business with you
- How are you planning to make decisions for the business
How Should I Choose A Business Name?
This is where you have almost unlimited options, provided you do not simply copy another company’s or brand’s name. If you choose a business’s name that sounds too similar to another, or worse, seeks to imply you have an association with another company, you could end up in legal hot water when the other company’s commercial lawyers pursue you.
In choosing, you could use your name if you start as a sole trader; however, assuming you hope to grow the business, it is preferable to have a name that indicates what type of business it is and what products or services it provides.
What Legal Obligations Do I Have As A Business Owner?
The answer to this question depends on how you proceed after the first question concerning your business structure. It follows, therefore, that being a sole trader has differing obligations for you than a company or trust, and it is essential that you are aware of what these are.
One key example is that, as a sole trader, you are responsible for all liabilities, including the financial debts of your business, so your assets are at risk. Conversely, with a company, your assets are generally not at risk.
Also, being a company director typically carries greater responsibilities and legal repercussions relating to the company’s governance and running than being a sole trader. Finally, it should come as no surprise that tax reporting and arrangements for paying taxes differ between the various business structures. If you have doubts about your obligations and responsibilities as a business owner, seek guidance from your commercial lawyers.