Running your business

Running your business

 

When you are running your business, you want to be focused on the things that make you money, and not worrying about non-core functions such as legal. That being said having an understanding is key. 

This section covers a number of different legal matters that might come up while you are running your business.

 

Hiring & Managing Employees

Licence to assign


What is it? If you are a landlord of commercial property, and your lease to your tenant includes a provision that says that your tenant cannot assign the lease to another (the “assignee”) without your consent and your tenant wants to assign or transfer their lease obligations to another commercial tenant you need a licence to assign to give them your consent. Why is it important? If the lease absolutely prevents assignment, then you can refuse consent without stating a reason. However, if the lease prohibits assignment without the landlord’s consent the landlord must have a good reason for refusing consent. If the tenant considers that the landlord’s reason is unreasonable the tenant can challenge the refusal in court. A tenant’s request to assign the lease may be made orally, by letter or by email as there is no prescribed form for a tenant’s application for consent to assign. A landlord can charge a tenant a fee to register an assignment. Landlords generally insist that the tenant or lessee gives a guarantee (Authorised Guarantee Agreement “AGA”) in the lease to be responsible for any breaches of covenants by the assignee so that the landlord can claim against the original tenant if the assignee breaches any of its obligations under the lease.




Licence to sublet


What is it? A licence to sublet is an agreement between a landlord and a tenant that gives the tenant the right to sublet part or the whole of the property to another tenant (the “sub-tenant”). If the lease absolutely prevents sub-letting, then you can refuse consent without stating a reason. However, if the lease prohibits sub-letting without the landlord’s consent the landlord must have a good reason for refusing consent. If the tenant considers that the landlord’s reason is unreasonable the tenant can challenge the refusal in court. Why is it important? Where there is a sub-lease the sub-lessee’s landlord is the tenant or lessee so if the sub-lessee breaches its obligations under the sub-lease the lessee or tenant is the only person entitled to take action against the sub-lessee. Landlords generally insist that the sub-tenant joins in the licence to sublet so that the landlord can claim against the sub-tenant if there is any breach of its obligations under the sub-lease.




Sale Agreement


What is it? If you are selling a commercial property, we will prepare the sale contract and related documents, deal with all enquiries raised by the buyer’s solicitors, report to you and advise you and once the contract has been agreed, complete the transaction as quickly and effectively as possible.




Purchase Agreement


What is it? If you are buying a commercial property we will review, amend and advise you on the contract, raise all relevant enquiries, conduct searches, report to you, advise you and then once the parties have agreed the contract complete and register the conveyance as quickly and effectively as possible





HR Policies

Letter ending a contract


What is it? A letter terminating a contract also known as a Notice of Contract Termination, Notice of Cancellation of Contract or a Contract Termination Letter is a formal declaration indicating your intention to terminate a contract with the other party to the contract. When writing a letter terminating a contract ensure that you have the legal right to terminate the contract in the particular circumstances and keep your tone formal,straightforward, courteous and professional. Risks You should also ensure that :

  • The letter contains a clear description of the reasons for the termination of the contract.
  • The date of termination is mentioned.
  • The letter thanks the other party for their services.

Our contract solicitors can provide you with a bespoke letter for a reasonable fixed fee that you can use to cancel a contract or agreement.




Letter assigning a contract


What is it?

Transferring a contract from one party to another is known as ‘assigning’ a contract or ‘an assignment’ of the contract. An assignment ends one party’s involvement in the contract and transfers their contractual rights, benefits and interests to a new party.

Risks

Some contracts may contain a clause prohibiting assignment; other contracts may require the other party to consent to the assignment. Unless assignment is prohibited in a contract, a party may assign their rights to third party without the consent of the other party to the agreement. A letter of assignment is used to effect the assignment and will be signed by the outgoing party and the incoming party.





Protecting your IP

Letter ending a contract


What is it? A letter terminating a contract also known as a Notice of Contract Termination, Notice of Cancellation of Contract or a Contract Termination Letter is a formal declaration indicating your intention to terminate a contract with the other party to the contract. When writing a letter terminating a contract ensure that you have the legal right to terminate the contract in the particular circumstances and keep your tone formal,straightforward, courteous and professional. Risks You should also ensure that :

  • The letter contains a clear description of the reasons for the termination of the contract.
  • The date of termination is mentioned.
  • The letter thanks the other party for their services.

Our contract solicitors can provide you with a bespoke letter for a reasonable fixed fee that you can use to cancel a contract or agreement.




Letter assigning a contract


What is it?

Transferring a contract from one party to another is known as ‘assigning’ a contract or ‘an assignment’ of the contract. An assignment ends one party’s involvement in the contract and transfers their contractual rights, benefits and interests to a new party.

Risks

Some contracts may contain a clause prohibiting assignment; other contracts may require the other party to consent to the assignment. Unless assignment is prohibited in a contract, a party may assign their rights to third party without the consent of the other party to the agreement. A letter of assignment is used to effect the assignment and will be signed by the outgoing party and the incoming party.





Business Relationships

At risk of redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is at risk of being made redundant.




Dismissal for redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is being dismissed for redundancy reasons. Why is it important? It is best practice for the employee to be given the right of appeal against redundancy.




Invitation to a redundancy appeal meeting


What is it? This is a letter to an employee inviting them to a redundancy appeal meeting.




Redundancy consultation letter


What is it? This is a letter to an employee informing them of the redundancy consultation procedure. Why is it important? The letter should contain details of the consultation procedure.





Running an online business

Letter ending a contract


What is it? A letter terminating a contract also known as a Notice of Contract Termination, Notice of Cancellation of Contract or a Contract Termination Letter is a formal declaration indicating your intention to terminate a contract with the other party to the contract. When writing a letter terminating a contract ensure that you have the legal right to terminate the contract in the particular circumstances and keep your tone formal,straightforward, courteous and professional. Risks You should also ensure that :

  • The letter contains a clear description of the reasons for the termination of the contract.
  • The date of termination is mentioned.
  • The letter thanks the other party for their services.

Our contract solicitors can provide you with a bespoke letter for a reasonable fixed fee that you can use to cancel a contract or agreement.




Letter assigning a contract


What is it?

Transferring a contract from one party to another is known as ‘assigning’ a contract or ‘an assignment’ of the contract. An assignment ends one party’s involvement in the contract and transfers their contractual rights, benefits and interests to a new party.

Risks

Some contracts may contain a clause prohibiting assignment; other contracts may require the other party to consent to the assignment. Unless assignment is prohibited in a contract, a party may assign their rights to third party without the consent of the other party to the agreement. A letter of assignment is used to effect the assignment and will be signed by the outgoing party and the incoming party.





Buying & Selling Goods & Services

Company formation


What is it?

Companies House is the UK’s ‘registrar of companies. A UK company can’t be formed without approval from Companies House therefore all company formation requests need to go through Companies House. You can apply directly or via company formation agents – who may charge slightly more than Companies House and are able to offer everything that Companies House offer, plus extra associated services.

Why is it important?

Company formation documents are the key pieces of documentation (i.e. the certificate of incorporation, memorandum of association and articles of association) that you will need to keep and refer to following your registration of your company with Companies

House. If you have access to a computer, you can form your company online in a matter of hours The prices vary but Companies House charge £12 if the formation is done online. Using the paper method via the actual IN01 form sent via post costs £40 for the standard 5-10 da service or £100 for the same-day service.

To form a company, you need the following information:

  • Proposed company name
  • The proposed Registered office address
  • Shareholder(s) details
  • Company director(s) details
  • The share capital information and the particulars relating to each class of shares
  • Details of the people with significant control details

You also need Articles of association – These set out the rules for the running of the company, including internal management affairs and legal responsibility and a Memorandum of association – This document will contain the names of the subscribers (initial shareholders) or guarantors agreeing to forming the company.

If forming your company online, the Articles of Association and Memorandum will be automatically created for you although you still have the option to create your own ‘Articles of association’ if you wish. If using the paper method, you will still have the opportunity to use prepared ‘Articles of association’ but you will need to include your own ‘Memorandum of association’ when posting your completed IN01.




Directors' service agreement


What is it?

This is a more complex contract of employment between a director/executive and an employer.

Why is it important?

It sets out the employment terms and conditions of employment and the standard areas of the employment.

Risks

As a director is more likely to be exposed to confidential information and have more responsibility this contract will include clauses which help to protect the business’s interests eg garden leave, confidentiality, non-solicitation clauses and restrictive covenants and ensure any intellectual property created by the employee- director belongs to the business..




Articles of Association


What is it?

Every company formed in England and Wales is required to have articles, without which a company cannot legally be formed. This requirement applies whether or not the company is public or private and whether limited by shares or by guarantee.

Why is it important?

The Articles of Association set out the rules for the running of the company, including internal management affairs and legal responsibility agreed by the shareholders or guarantors, directors.

The articles generally cover five essential areas:

  • Limited liability of shareholders – a fixed sum limited to the nominal value of their shares.
  • Shares and distributions – rights attaching to particular shares, issues and transfers of shares, payments of dividends and another share dealings;
  • Shareholder decision making – quorum and voting at general meetings of shareholders and various decision-making options.
  • Directors and decision making – number of directors, their powers and responsibilities and procedures for decision making; and
  • Administrative arrangements.

Our corporate solicitors can provide you with legal advice on reviewing, drafting, or amending your articles of association and other constitutional documents. We can also provide you with bespoke articles of association.




Board Resolutions


What is it? A resolution is written documentation describing an action authorized by the board of directors of a company.




EMI Schemes


What is it?

An Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) scheme is an approved employee share scheme designed for smaller companies and accessible to most trading companies.

Why is it important?

It allows employers to attract and retain key staff by rewarding them with share options (equity participation ) in the business in a tax efficient way, as a reward for their efforts within the business and/or to incentivise key staff, It is ideal for smaller entrepreneurial businesses that might not be able to match salaries paid elsewhere.




Board Minutes


What is it? The minutes are a written document that describes items discussed by the directors during a board meeting, including actions taken and resolutions passed.




Share Certificates


What is it?

A Share Certificate (or stock certificate) is a written document which is evidence of a shareholder's ownership of shares in the company. The share certificate is generally issued by companies to shareholders after a transfer or transmission of shares or an allotment has been made.

Why is it important?

The share certificate will include the name of the company issuing the shares, its registration number, the details of the holders of the shares, the certificate number, the class(es) of shares being issued, date of issue, the amount paid on each share etc.

A share certificate can be issued by a private limited, public limited and unlimited liability company but cannot be issued by a company limited by guarantee as the company does not have shares.




Shareholders Agreement


What is it?

We always recommend that you put a shareholders’ agreement in place if your company has more than one shareholder.A shareholder agreement sets out the rights and obligations of each shareholder. The purpose of a shareholder agreement is to cover the most important issues in a business relationship:

  • How the shareholders will run the company
  • The mechanism for resolution of disputes between the shareholders(i.e. a “Deadlock” clause)
  • The process for valuation of the company
  • The transmission of shares in the event of the death or departure of a shareholder.

Why is it important?

A Shareholders agreement has several benefits:

  • It provides each member with clear details of their responsibilities, financial input, voting arrangements and share transfers thereby making it a strong safeguard against legal disputes and disagreements.
  • If carefully thought out and drafted it can protect individual shareholders and give them more protection that they would receive under the Model Articles of Association eg by giving each individual member a veto if the business is considering important changes
  • It is an essential agreement to have when a company has more than one shareholder as there is nothing to regulate what happens if the shareholders have a dispute or a shareholder dies.
  • It greatly reduces the risk of a shareholders’ dispute occurring and if it does it will be quicker to resolve.
  • If a shareholder is not pulling their weight or is damaging the business’s reputation the to her shareholders can vote to remove him or her and buy his or her shares for a fair price. This would be difficult to do without a shareholder’s agreement and if just relying on the standard Articles.

Our Shareholders Agreement solicitors can provide you with a professionally drafted shareholders agreement at reasonable fixed fees. Contact us today!





Managing licenses


Running an online business


Protecting your IP


Business Relationships


Writing a business plan


Managing a company

Company formation


What is it?

Companies House is the UK’s ‘registrar of companies. A UK company can’t be formed without approval from Companies House therefore all company formation requests need to go through Companies House. You can apply directly or via company formation agents – who may charge slightly more than Companies House and are able to offer everything that Companies House offer, plus extra associated services.

Why is it important?

Company formation documents are the key pieces of documentation (i.e. the certificate of incorporation, memorandum of association and articles of association) that you will need to keep and refer to following your registration of your company with Companies

House. If you have access to a computer, you can form your company online in a matter of hours The prices vary but Companies House charge £12 if the formation is done online. Using the paper method via the actual IN01 form sent via post costs £40 for the standard 5-10 da service or £100 for the same-day service.

To form a company, you need the following information:

  • Proposed company name
  • The proposed Registered office address
  • Shareholder(s) details
  • Company director(s) details
  • The share capital information and the particulars relating to each class of shares
  • Details of the people with significant control details

You also need Articles of association – These set out the rules for the running of the company, including internal management affairs and legal responsibility and a Memorandum of association – This document will contain the names of the subscribers (initial shareholders) or guarantors agreeing to forming the company.

If forming your company online, the Articles of Association and Memorandum will be automatically created for you although you still have the option to create your own ‘Articles of association’ if you wish. If using the paper method, you will still have the opportunity to use prepared ‘Articles of association’ but you will need to include your own ‘Memorandum of association’ when posting your completed IN01.




Directors' service agreement


What is it?

This is a more complex contract of employment between a director/executive and an employer.

Why is it important?

It sets out the employment terms and conditions of employment and the standard areas of the employment.

Risks

As a director is more likely to be exposed to confidential information and have more responsibility this contract will include clauses which help to protect the business’s interests eg garden leave, confidentiality, non-solicitation clauses and restrictive covenants and ensure any intellectual property created by the employee- director belongs to the business..




Articles of Association


What is it?

Every company formed in England and Wales is required to have articles, without which a company cannot legally be formed. This requirement applies whether or not the company is public or private and whether limited by shares or by guarantee.

Why is it important?

The Articles of Association set out the rules for the running of the company, including internal management affairs and legal responsibility agreed by the shareholders or guarantors, directors.

The articles generally cover five essential areas:

  • Limited liability of shareholders – a fixed sum limited to the nominal value of their shares.
  • Shares and distributions – rights attaching to particular shares, issues and transfers of shares, payments of dividends and another share dealings;
  • Shareholder decision making – quorum and voting at general meetings of shareholders and various decision-making options.
  • Directors and decision making – number of directors, their powers and responsibilities and procedures for decision making; and
  • Administrative arrangements.

Our corporate solicitors can provide you with legal advice on reviewing, drafting, or amending your articles of association and other constitutional documents. We can also provide you with bespoke articles of association.




Board Resolutions


What is it? A resolution is written documentation describing an action authorized by the board of directors of a company.




EMI Schemes


What is it?

An Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) scheme is an approved employee share scheme designed for smaller companies and accessible to most trading companies.

Why is it important?

It allows employers to attract and retain key staff by rewarding them with share options (equity participation ) in the business in a tax efficient way, as a reward for their efforts within the business and/or to incentivise key staff, It is ideal for smaller entrepreneurial businesses that might not be able to match salaries paid elsewhere.




Board Minutes


What is it? The minutes are a written document that describes items discussed by the directors during a board meeting, including actions taken and resolutions passed.




Share Certificates


What is it?

A Share Certificate (or stock certificate) is a written document which is evidence of a shareholder's ownership of shares in the company. The share certificate is generally issued by companies to shareholders after a transfer or transmission of shares or an allotment has been made.

Why is it important?

The share certificate will include the name of the company issuing the shares, its registration number, the details of the holders of the shares, the certificate number, the class(es) of shares being issued, date of issue, the amount paid on each share etc.

A share certificate can be issued by a private limited, public limited and unlimited liability company but cannot be issued by a company limited by guarantee as the company does not have shares.




Shareholders Agreement


What is it?

We always recommend that you put a shareholders’ agreement in place if your company has more than one shareholder.A shareholder agreement sets out the rights and obligations of each shareholder. The purpose of a shareholder agreement is to cover the most important issues in a business relationship:

  • How the shareholders will run the company
  • The mechanism for resolution of disputes between the shareholders(i.e. a “Deadlock” clause)
  • The process for valuation of the company
  • The transmission of shares in the event of the death or departure of a shareholder.

Why is it important?

A Shareholders agreement has several benefits:

  • It provides each member with clear details of their responsibilities, financial input, voting arrangements and share transfers thereby making it a strong safeguard against legal disputes and disagreements.
  • If carefully thought out and drafted it can protect individual shareholders and give them more protection that they would receive under the Model Articles of Association eg by giving each individual member a veto if the business is considering important changes
  • It is an essential agreement to have when a company has more than one shareholder as there is nothing to regulate what happens if the shareholders have a dispute or a shareholder dies.
  • It greatly reduces the risk of a shareholders’ dispute occurring and if it does it will be quicker to resolve.
  • If a shareholder is not pulling their weight or is damaging the business’s reputation the to her shareholders can vote to remove him or her and buy his or her shares for a fair price. This would be difficult to do without a shareholder’s agreement and if just relying on the standard Articles.

Our Shareholders Agreement solicitors can provide you with a professionally drafted shareholders agreement at reasonable fixed fees. Contact us today!





Managing licenses


Running an online business


Protecting your IP


Business Relationships


Writing a business plan


Settlement agreements & Ref

At risk of redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is at risk of being made redundant.




Dismissal for redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is being dismissed for redundancy reasons. Why is it important? It is best practice for the employee to be given the right of appeal against redundancy.




Invitation to a redundancy appeal meeting


What is it? This is a letter to an employee inviting them to a redundancy appeal meeting.




Redundancy consultation letter


What is it? This is a letter to an employee informing them of the redundancy consultation procedure. Why is it important? The letter should contain details of the consultation procedure.





Commercial notices

At risk of redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is at risk of being made redundant.




Dismissal for redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is being dismissed for redundancy reasons. Why is it important? It is best practice for the employee to be given the right of appeal against redundancy.




Invitation to a redundancy appeal meeting


What is it? This is a letter to an employee inviting them to a redundancy appeal meeting.




Redundancy consultation letter


What is it? This is a letter to an employee informing them of the redundancy consultation procedure. Why is it important? The letter should contain details of the consultation procedure.





Letting a commercial property

Commercial lease


What is it? A commercial lease is an agreement between a landlord and a business for the rental of a property for business purposes for a set period in return for the business paying rent to the landlord. It sets out the rights and obligations of the landlord and the business in relation to the property. The law relating to business leases differs from the law relating to residential leases. You will need a business lease if you have a business and wish to carry on your business from the commercial property. A properly written commercial lease is vital to carry on your business.




Home office rental agreement


What is it? A home office rental agreement is an agreement between an owner or lessee of property to share their home office space with another person. These agreements are usually used by start-ups and home-based businesses and will be in the form of a licence agreement. The licensor will be the owner or tenant of the property and the licensee will be the sharer who may be an individual or a company. If more than one individual sharer it is essential that they be all named on the agreement so that they remain jointly and severally liable under the rental agreement. The licence fee should be inclusive of the service costs eg internet, utilities, etc. Why is it important? If your business is a lessee, you must check your lease and check with your landlord to ensure that the grant of a licence to the sharers will not be a breach of your obligations as a tenant.




Office sharing agreement


What is it? Office space can be expensive in city centres and town centres. An office sharing agreement is an agreement between an owner of office space and another business which wants to share its office space. It is used where the owner of the property or lessee wants to share their office space with a business or individual or where two businesses or sole traders want to share the same office space. This agreement will be in the form of a licence agreement. If the office space is one room the licence will not grant each business or individual a defined and fixed space within the room but will grant the businesses and individuals the office space. The licence fee should be inclusive of the service costs eg internet, utilities, etc. Why is it important? If your business does not own the property you must check your lease and check with your landlord to ensure that your grant of a licence to the sharers will not be a breach of your obligations under your business tenancy.




Rent deposit deed


What is it? A rent deposit is a sum of money paid by a commercial tenant as security to their landlord prior to or at the grant of a commercial lease in respect of a commercial property rental. A rent deposit deed is the document which sets out how the landlord will safeguard a commercial tenant’s deposit. It works in a similar manner to rent deposits for residential lettings however in this case the deposit is usually held by the commercial landlord and not by a government- backed tenancy deposit scheme as in the case of residential rent deposits. Why is it important? A rent deposit deed protects the landlord and the tenant. Under the rent deposit deed, the deposit remains the property of the tenant however if the tenant does not pay the rent or breaches any fundamental term of the lease the landlord can take money out of the deposit in recompense. Rent deposit deeds are standard in commercial leases and provide peace of mind to a commercial landlord especially if the prospective tenant eg a start-up business or a sole trader cannot prove his/her trading credentials and creditworthiness. It gives a guarantee of easy access to funds should the tenant default. It is also beneficial for the tenant as it is akin to “savings” which will be returned to the tenant in future with any accrued interest if there is no breach of covenant and it is also a fund which the landlord may use to set off any breach of covenant by the tenant without the tenant having to incur further expense.




Lease Agreement


What is it? A lease is an agreement between a landlord and a business for the rental of a property for a set period in return for the tenant paying rent to the landlord. It sets out the rights and obligations of the landlord and the tenant in relation to the property. A lease can be for business or residential use. Why is it important? A commercial or business lease is an agreement between a landlord and a business for the rental of a property for business purposes. A residential lease is an agreement between a landlord and an individual for the rental of a property for residential use. The law relating to business leases differs from the law relating to residential leases. You will need a business lease if you have a business and wish to carry on your business from the commercial property. You will need a residential lease if you wish to rent property from a landlord for residential purposes.




Building works/Construction Agreement


What is it? Before you get building work done, check if you need permission or approval. Get quotes, check there is insurance in place and get a written contract. A building works/construction contract is a written agreement between the parties involved in the building or alteration of any structure. It sets out the rights and obligations of the parties and other parties involved eg sub-contractors, the administration procedures and the contract administrator if there is one. Why is it important? If you are a builder or a contractor doing work for a client or you are the client, you must ensure that the work arrangement is clear and that your contract sets out your work rights and obligations as well as the obligations of your client or the builder/contractor. A contract can be created for a specific project or you may wish to use a standard contract with amendments to fit the project. An example of a standard works contract is the JCT minor works building contract, which is designed for small, basic construction projects where the work is of a simple nature. Risks When checking the contract ensure that the contract describes the purpose of the contract; the work that will be done; the financial information eg the contract prices, deposit, schedule of progress payments, snagging, final payment and interest; payment due date and fees; project description; the handling of variations to the work order; dispute resolution; insurances and a signature line. Always ensure that your client signs the contract before you begin the work. Our construction solicitors can provide you with guidance on the different types of construction contracts and on which type of agreement is best for you. We can also help you negotiate a contract to protect your rights, assist you in reviewing contracts before you sign and provide you with representation in case of a breach of contract. Give us a call today at 01234 938089 or contact us online to learn more about the legal assistance we can provide.




Co-working Agreement


We help you prepare co-working agreements if you are setting up a business hub.





Sale and Purchase of Commerial Property

Company formation


What is it?

Companies House is the UK’s ‘registrar of companies. A UK company can’t be formed without approval from Companies House therefore all company formation requests need to go through Companies House. You can apply directly or via company formation agents – who may charge slightly more than Companies House and are able to offer everything that Companies House offer, plus extra associated services.

Why is it important?

Company formation documents are the key pieces of documentation (i.e. the certificate of incorporation, memorandum of association and articles of association) that you will need to keep and refer to following your registration of your company with Companies

House. If you have access to a computer, you can form your company online in a matter of hours The prices vary but Companies House charge £12 if the formation is done online. Using the paper method via the actual IN01 form sent via post costs £40 for the standard 5-10 da service or £100 for the same-day service.

To form a company, you need the following information:

  • Proposed company name
  • The proposed Registered office address
  • Shareholder(s) details
  • Company director(s) details
  • The share capital information and the particulars relating to each class of shares
  • Details of the people with significant control details

You also need Articles of association – These set out the rules for the running of the company, including internal management affairs and legal responsibility and a Memorandum of association – This document will contain the names of the subscribers (initial shareholders) or guarantors agreeing to forming the company.

If forming your company online, the Articles of Association and Memorandum will be automatically created for you although you still have the option to create your own ‘Articles of association’ if you wish. If using the paper method, you will still have the opportunity to use prepared ‘Articles of association’ but you will need to include your own ‘Memorandum of association’ when posting your completed IN01.




Directors' service agreement


What is it?

This is a more complex contract of employment between a director/executive and an employer.

Why is it important?

It sets out the employment terms and conditions of employment and the standard areas of the employment.

Risks

As a director is more likely to be exposed to confidential information and have more responsibility this contract will include clauses which help to protect the business’s interests eg garden leave, confidentiality, non-solicitation clauses and restrictive covenants and ensure any intellectual property created by the employee- director belongs to the business..




Articles of Association


What is it?

Every company formed in England and Wales is required to have articles, without which a company cannot legally be formed. This requirement applies whether or not the company is public or private and whether limited by shares or by guarantee.

Why is it important?

The Articles of Association set out the rules for the running of the company, including internal management affairs and legal responsibility agreed by the shareholders or guarantors, directors.

The articles generally cover five essential areas:

  • Limited liability of shareholders – a fixed sum limited to the nominal value of their shares.
  • Shares and distributions – rights attaching to particular shares, issues and transfers of shares, payments of dividends and another share dealings;
  • Shareholder decision making – quorum and voting at general meetings of shareholders and various decision-making options.
  • Directors and decision making – number of directors, their powers and responsibilities and procedures for decision making; and
  • Administrative arrangements.

Our corporate solicitors can provide you with legal advice on reviewing, drafting, or amending your articles of association and other constitutional documents. We can also provide you with bespoke articles of association.




Board Resolutions


What is it? A resolution is written documentation describing an action authorized by the board of directors of a company.




EMI Schemes


What is it?

An Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) scheme is an approved employee share scheme designed for smaller companies and accessible to most trading companies.

Why is it important?

It allows employers to attract and retain key staff by rewarding them with share options (equity participation ) in the business in a tax efficient way, as a reward for their efforts within the business and/or to incentivise key staff, It is ideal for smaller entrepreneurial businesses that might not be able to match salaries paid elsewhere.




Board Minutes


What is it? The minutes are a written document that describes items discussed by the directors during a board meeting, including actions taken and resolutions passed.




Share Certificates


What is it?

A Share Certificate (or stock certificate) is a written document which is evidence of a shareholder's ownership of shares in the company. The share certificate is generally issued by companies to shareholders after a transfer or transmission of shares or an allotment has been made.

Why is it important?

The share certificate will include the name of the company issuing the shares, its registration number, the details of the holders of the shares, the certificate number, the class(es) of shares being issued, date of issue, the amount paid on each share etc.

A share certificate can be issued by a private limited, public limited and unlimited liability company but cannot be issued by a company limited by guarantee as the company does not have shares.




Shareholders Agreement


What is it?

We always recommend that you put a shareholders’ agreement in place if your company has more than one shareholder.A shareholder agreement sets out the rights and obligations of each shareholder. The purpose of a shareholder agreement is to cover the most important issues in a business relationship:

  • How the shareholders will run the company
  • The mechanism for resolution of disputes between the shareholders(i.e. a “Deadlock” clause)
  • The process for valuation of the company
  • The transmission of shares in the event of the death or departure of a shareholder.

Why is it important?

A Shareholders agreement has several benefits:

  • It provides each member with clear details of their responsibilities, financial input, voting arrangements and share transfers thereby making it a strong safeguard against legal disputes and disagreements.
  • If carefully thought out and drafted it can protect individual shareholders and give them more protection that they would receive under the Model Articles of Association eg by giving each individual member a veto if the business is considering important changes
  • It is an essential agreement to have when a company has more than one shareholder as there is nothing to regulate what happens if the shareholders have a dispute or a shareholder dies.
  • It greatly reduces the risk of a shareholders’ dispute occurring and if it does it will be quicker to resolve.
  • If a shareholder is not pulling their weight or is damaging the business’s reputation the to her shareholders can vote to remove him or her and buy his or her shares for a fair price. This would be difficult to do without a shareholder’s agreement and if just relying on the standard Articles.

Our Shareholders Agreement solicitors can provide you with a professionally drafted shareholders agreement at reasonable fixed fees. Contact us today!





Managing licenses


Running an online business


Protecting your IP


Business Relationships


Writing a business plan


Buying & Selling a business

Cookie Policy


What is it? A cookie is a small text file that that is stored on a website user’s computer to collect information. Why is it important? If you have cookies on your website you should have a cookie policy that informs users to your website what the cookies do, why you are collecting the information and how they can turn off cookies within their computer browser. Risks You must also get their consent and the consent must be clearly given.




Terms of Business


What is it? Your Terms of Business set out the terms and conditions on which you conduct your business and is the contract between you and your customer. Why is it important? Written terms and conditions of business are important especially when there is a dispute between your business and a customer or supplier. Written terms of business will clarify the scope of your services or the goods you agreed to sell or supply and certainty as to the agreed price, payment method, guarantees, warranties, remedies of the buyer if there is a dispute. Risks When selling goods and services online you must comply with certain legal requirements including the distance selling regulations.




Commission Linking Agreement


What is it? If you are linking your website to another website in order to share commission with the other website owner or to benefit from extra sales you need a Website Commission Linking Agreement.




Consent Notices


What is it? The law provides that if your website is based in the EU or if you are targeting customers in the EU and your site uses one or more cookies you need to display a cookie consent notice. To comply with the law your need to do three things:

  1. Let users to your website know that you are using cookies.
  2. Provide a link where they can learn more about how you use the data you gather.
  3. Provide a way for your website users to consent to the use of cookies.
Consent can be explicit opt-in consent and implied consent. For explicit consent, users have to click a button, select a checkbox or complete some other specific activity to opt in to the use of cookies. The most common way to do this is to display a banner at the top or bottom of your website with a link to your Privacy policy and a button to consent to the use of cookies and hide the banner. For implied consent a clear notice must be provided, and the user must be made aware that a specific action will be understood to be implied consent to the use of cookies. One way that implied consent is obtained is by displaying a prominent cookie notice that ends with a statement like “By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies”. The law applies whether a user is on a smartphone, tablet, a laptop, computer or other device. So when you set up your cookie notice you must ensure that the notice appears and functions well on all devices. There are also plugins for Cookie consent notices.




GDPR Compliance


What is it? The Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates the processing of personal data by companies in the UK, specifying, for example, that data must be kept accurate and secure. A data protection policy is a statement of how you handle personal information given to you by your customers. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations set out a variety of rules which apply to the use of email marketing campaigns and regulates the use of cookies. Pure Business Law can assist you with all your data compliance matters.




Terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers via a website


What is it? Your Terms of Business or Terms and Conditions sets out the rights and obligations of the buyer and the seller in any sale of goods. Standard terms and conditions for the sale of goods help to make each party to the contract (whether a business or consumer) aware of their rights and obligations from the start. Why is it important? If you are dealing with a consumer there is a considerable amount of legislation eg the Consumer Rights Act 2015 aimed at protecting consumers which must be taken into account when preparing your terms and conditions. Make sure you do things right when creating your terms and conditions.




Terms and conditions for supply of services to consumers via a website


What is it? Your Terms of Business or Terms and Conditions sets out the rights and obligations of the buyer and the seller in any supply of services. Standard terms and conditions for the supply of services help to make each party to the contract (whether a business or consumer) aware of their rights and obligations from the start. Why is it important? If you are dealing with a consumer there is a considerable amount of legislation eg the Consumer Rights Act 2015 aimed at protecting consumers which must be taken into account when preparing your terms and conditions. Make sure you do things right when creating your terms and conditions.




Email footer and disclaimer


What is it? An email footer sets out information required by law about limited companies and limited liability partnerships. The Companies Act 1985 requires all business emails from a private or public limited company to include the company’s registered name, registered number, place of registration and its registered office address. Why is it important? An email disclaimer is a notice or warning added to an email designed to protect the email sender from breaches of confidentiality, contractual claims. Virus propagation and employee liability. An email disclaimer is optional.




Website terms and conditions


What is it? If you have a website it is a good idea to create website terms and conditions as it helps to ensure that customers and users know how a website can and cannot be used. They set out the legal rights and obligations between you and users of your website. They cover the acceptable uses of the website, prohibited use of the website, registration, password and security, linked websites, disclaimers and limitation of liability.




Privacy policy


What is it? A website privacy policy is a statement of how you handle personal information given to you by your customers. When you trade on the internet you will most likely be handling personal information because you keep records of your customers or website users. Why is it important? A website privacy policy helps build trust in your website and informs your visitors how their personal data is protected. In the UK the main legislation governing the collection, processing and distribution of personal data is the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).




Website Terms of Use or Online Terms of Use


What is it? Your Website terms of use set out the legal rights and obligations between you and users of your website. Even if you do not sell goods on your website, you should have a written set of terms and conditions to cover all permitted and prohibited uses of your website, including any registration requirements, linked websites, disclaimers, limitation of liability and associated subscription fees.





Managing licenses


Running an online business


Protecting your IP


Business Relationships


Writing a business plan


Operating as a Sole Trader

Communications and equipment policy


What is it? This policy explains to employees the rules and procedures to follow when using the employer’s IT resources and electronic communication systems at work. It sets out the extent to which the business allows the use of its IT resources and the use of PCs, laptops, internet, emails, software and passwords. Why is it important? Having such a policy ensures that your employees are aware of and comply with your rules regarding the use of IT resources and communication systems while at work.




Data protection and data security policy


What is it?

A data protection policy is an internal document that serves as the core of a business’s GDPR compliance practices.

It explains the GDPR’s requirements to employees and states the business’s commitment to compliance. The policy does not need to include specific details on how the business will meet the Regulation’s requirements, as these will be covered in the business’s procedures.

Why do you need a GDPR data protection policy?

  • to provide the groundwork from which your business can achieve GDPR compliance.

  • to make the GDPR understandable to your staff.

  • to prove that your business is committed to GDPR compliance.

Why is it important?

We highly recommend our clients to have the following data protection related policies :

a)Encryption policies

b)Acceptable use policies

c) Password policies

c)Email policies

d)Data-processing policies

Risks

Your business’s policies are at the heart of your business operations. They set out exactly how employees should handle certain issues, ensuring that everybody is following agreed best practices.

Effective policies are all the more important now that the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) are in place. The DPA and the GDPR are not just about implementing technological and organisational measures to protect the information your business stores.

You also need to demonstrate your compliance, which is why data security policies are essential.

Employee training is vital to ensure each of these policies is maintained.

For advice and more information on Data Protection, contact your expert Data Protection solicitors at Pure Business Law.




Social media policy


What is it? A social media policy sets out how a business and its employees should conduct themselves on the internet and what is and is not appropriate for employees to post about their company on social networks. Why is it important? It helps protect your company’s online reputation. The policy must reflect the business culture and be designed to minimise risks such as employees making derogatory remarks about your business or workplace online.




Equal opportunities policy


What is it? This policy sets out the business’s commitment to treating its employees fairly and giving everyone the same opportunities for employment, pay and promotion without discriminating against anyone on the grounds of age, sex, race, gender, ethnic origins, gender etc (the nine protected characteristics”).




Flexible working policy


What is it? A flexible working policy is a policy that sets out different working arrangements where employees are given greater freedom in the hours they work and how they fulfil the obligations of their roles. You are legally obliged to provide your employees with details of your business’s flexible working policy and procedures Flexible working includes working from home, part-time working job sharing, compressed hours, flexible start and finish times and phased retirement. Why is it important? The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) recommends that employers put in place a flexible working policy as best practice to ensure that you deal with flexible working requests consistently and to ensure that staff are all aware of how you deal with them. Flexible working has advantages and disadvantages. Is flexible working right for your business? Contact us to discuss!




Health and safety policy


What is it? A health and safety policy states the employer’s commitment to protect employees’ health and safety and to cooperate with other parties such as employees, supervisors, the health and safety representative to ensure a safe work environment.If you have five or more employees, you are legally required to have a written health and safety policy. Why is it important? If you do not have a written policy the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can take action against you and prosecute you. Even if you do not have five employees it is best practice to have a written health and safety policy to make your health and safety arrangements clear. Consideration of the health, safety and welfare of staff is an integral part of the management process. The purpose of a Health and Safety policy is to establish general standards for health and safety at work and to distribute responsibility for their achievement to all managers, supervisors and other employees through the normal line management processes. Risks Managers must approach health and safety in a systematic way, by identifying hazards and problems, planning improvements, taking executive action and monitoring results. There should be an annual audit and regular risk assessments.




Grievance procedure


What is it? You are legally obliged to provide your employees with details of your business’s grievance and disciplinary procedures. The grievance procedure is a tool by which a member of staff may formally have a grievance (i.e. “complaint”) regarding any condition of their employment heard by the Company management. Your grievance procedure should set out the process to be followed, to whom a grievance should be reported and the right to appeal a finding. The employee has the right to representation by a Trade Union representative or a work colleague. Why is it important? Your disciplinary policy should include examples of the types of conduct or behaviour that will lead to disciplinary action as well as information about the process your business will follow in investigating and handling a disciplinary matter. You also need to set out the names of the people in your business who will deal with disciplinary matters and any appeals arising from the disciplinary process. It is also good practice to have a Whistleblowing policy, a Bullying and harassment policy and a smoking, drugs and alcohol policy alongside your standard grievance and disciplinary procedures.




Redundancy policy


What is it? A redundancy policy provides employers with detailed procedures to follow within a business when making staff redundant so avoiding possible unfair dismissal claims. The policy also provides employees with information regarding the procedures the employer must follow thereby helping to avoid uncertainty for staff. It sets out each step of the redundancy process and outlines the statutory settlements for redundant staff. Employees who are made redundant and have at least 2 or more years continuous service are entitled to statutory redundancy pay. Why is it important? Having a redundancy policy in place will provide an employer with a clear framework to carry out redundancies and provides employees with clear notice of how any redundancy would be undertaken.




Sickness policy


What is it? If you have employees, you are required to set out details of their sick pay and leave entitlements in their employment contracts. A sickness policy sets out your procedures for dealing with and managing employee sickness absences and return to work eg how you want your staff to notify you when they are sick, whether your company offers any enhanced sick pay (ie contractual sick pay) over the minimum statutory sick pay (SSP), what absence levels will trigger the beginning of the disciplinary procedure, your policy regarding time off for medical appointments. Why is it important? Having a sickness policy in place is not a legal requirement however it can be reassuring and can help to remove some of the stress and uncertainty associated with sickness absence. It can also help to ensure that sickness absences are handled fairly and consistently across your work force. Risks When writing your policy you must remember that if an employee is ill and or off work due to a disability you must make any reasonable adjustments to help that employee remain at work or return to work before imposing any sanction under your sickness absence policy. This could include agreeing to provide them with a special type of chair (if the employee has back pain), changing their working hours so they can attend work more easily or providing a phased return to work ie the employee works for 3 or 4 hours for the first few weeks and then increases their working hours gradually. If you do not have a sickness policy and you treat staff inconsistently you may end up being sued by an employee for discrimination.




Maternity policy


What is it? This is required by law. A maternity leave policy sets out the policies and procedures that your business has to manage pregnancy absence and return to work. Why is it important? You must ensure that written information about the rights and policies applicable to new and expectant parents is available to all staff members so that they are aware of their rights and obligations. Your maternity policy should also include information about time off work for antenatal or pre-adoption appointments, the rules about leave and pay during the child’s first 12 months and return to work rights of the expectant partner. Your policy should also include information about whether your business will offer the minimum statutory rights or an enhanced entitlement.




Parental leave policy


What is it? This is required by law .A parental leave policy sets out the policies and procedures that your business has to manage parental leave for reasons associated with childcare eg when a parent has to take time off to look after children for one reason or the other and return to work. Your parental leave policy should set out the policies and procedures that your business has to manage parental leave after pregnancy absence and return to work. Why is it important? You must ensure that written information about the rights and policies applicable to new and expectant parents is available to all staff members so that they are aware of their rights and obligations. Your parental leave policy should also include information about time off work for antenatal or pre-adoption appointments, the rules about leave and pay during the child’s first 12 months and return to work rights of the expectant partner. Your policy should also include information about whether your business will offer the minimum statutory rights or an enhanced entitlement.




Paternity policy


What is it? This is required by law . A paternity leave policy sets out the policies and procedures that your business has to manage paternity leave either when a father wants to take time off to look after his child after childbirth or adoption etc. and return to work. You must ensure that written information about the rights and policies applicable to new and expectant parents is available to all staff members so that they are aware of their rights and obligations. What is it important? Your paternity leave policy should also include information about time off work for antenatal or pre-adoption appointments, the rules about leave and pay during the child’s first 12 months and return to work rights of the expectant partner. Your policy should also include information about whether your business will offer the minimum statutory rights or an enhanced entitlement.




Shared parental leave policy


What is it? This is required by law. A shared parental leave policy sets out the policies and procedures that your business has to manage shared parental leave and return to work. Why is it important? Your shared parental leave policy should also include information about time off work for antenatal or pre-adoption appointments, the rules about leave and pay during the child’s first 12 months and return to work rights of the expectant partner. Your policy should also include information about whether your business will offer the minimum statutory rights or an enhanced entitlement.




Environmental policy


What is it? Although not a legal requirement it is good business practice to have an Environmental policy. An Environmental policy confirms that your company is committed to continuous improvement in managing environmental issues including proper management and monitoring of waste, reduction of pollution and emissions, compliance with environmental legislation and environmental codes of practice, training for staff and the monitoring of environmental performance. Why is it important? This will in turn assist you in building and maintaining good relations with the community and the general public. Once written it should be signed by the most senior director in the company to show that it is company policy and should be reviewed on a regular basis alongside your Health and Safety policies. Whilst not required by law an Environmental policy may also come in useful if you are bidding for medium-sized and large tenders. We are experienced in preparing such policies for offices, shops, construction, automotive workshops, hotels, transport ,logistics, parcel delivery, restaurants, manufacturing cleaning companies.





Ending or Assigning an Existing Agreement

Letter ending a contract


What is it? A letter terminating a contract also known as a Notice of Contract Termination, Notice of Cancellation of Contract or a Contract Termination Letter is a formal declaration indicating your intention to terminate a contract with the other party to the contract. When writing a letter terminating a contract ensure that you have the legal right to terminate the contract in the particular circumstances and keep your tone formal,straightforward, courteous and professional. Risks You should also ensure that :

  • The letter contains a clear description of the reasons for the termination of the contract.
  • The date of termination is mentioned.
  • The letter thanks the other party for their services.

Our contract solicitors can provide you with a bespoke letter for a reasonable fixed fee that you can use to cancel a contract or agreement.




Letter assigning a contract


What is it?

Transferring a contract from one party to another is known as ‘assigning’ a contract or ‘an assignment’ of the contract. An assignment ends one party’s involvement in the contract and transfers their contractual rights, benefits and interests to a new party.

Risks

Some contracts may contain a clause prohibiting assignment; other contracts may require the other party to consent to the assignment. Unless assignment is prohibited in a contract, a party may assign their rights to third party without the consent of the other party to the agreement. A letter of assignment is used to effect the assignment and will be signed by the outgoing party and the incoming party.





Health & Safety

At risk of redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is at risk of being made redundant.




Dismissal for redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is being dismissed for redundancy reasons. Why is it important? It is best practice for the employee to be given the right of appeal against redundancy.




Invitation to a redundancy appeal meeting


What is it? This is a letter to an employee inviting them to a redundancy appeal meeting.




Redundancy consultation letter


What is it? This is a letter to an employee informing them of the redundancy consultation procedure. Why is it important? The letter should contain details of the consultation procedure.





 
 
 
 

Planning & Highways

Cookie Policy


What is it? A cookie is a small text file that that is stored on a website user’s computer to collect information. Why is it important? If you have cookies on your website you should have a cookie policy that informs users to your website what the cookies do, why you are collecting the information and how they can turn off cookies within their computer browser. Risks You must also get their consent and the consent must be clearly given.




Terms of Business


What is it? Your Terms of Business set out the terms and conditions on which you conduct your business and is the contract between you and your customer. Why is it important? Written terms and conditions of business are important especially when there is a dispute between your business and a customer or supplier. Written terms of business will clarify the scope of your services or the goods you agreed to sell or supply and certainty as to the agreed price, payment method, guarantees, warranties, remedies of the buyer if there is a dispute. Risks When selling goods and services online you must comply with certain legal requirements including the distance selling regulations.




Commission Linking Agreement


What is it? If you are linking your website to another website in order to share commission with the other website owner or to benefit from extra sales you need a Website Commission Linking Agreement.




Consent Notices


What is it? The law provides that if your website is based in the EU or if you are targeting customers in the EU and your site uses one or more cookies you need to display a cookie consent notice. To comply with the law your need to do three things:

  1. Let users to your website know that you are using cookies.
  2. Provide a link where they can learn more about how you use the data you gather.
  3. Provide a way for your website users to consent to the use of cookies.
Consent can be explicit opt-in consent and implied consent. For explicit consent, users have to click a button, select a checkbox or complete some other specific activity to opt in to the use of cookies. The most common way to do this is to display a banner at the top or bottom of your website with a link to your Privacy policy and a button to consent to the use of cookies and hide the banner. For implied consent a clear notice must be provided, and the user must be made aware that a specific action will be understood to be implied consent to the use of cookies. One way that implied consent is obtained is by displaying a prominent cookie notice that ends with a statement like “By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies”. The law applies whether a user is on a smartphone, tablet, a laptop, computer or other device. So when you set up your cookie notice you must ensure that the notice appears and functions well on all devices. There are also plugins for Cookie consent notices.




GDPR Compliance


What is it? The Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates the processing of personal data by companies in the UK, specifying, for example, that data must be kept accurate and secure. A data protection policy is a statement of how you handle personal information given to you by your customers. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations set out a variety of rules which apply to the use of email marketing campaigns and regulates the use of cookies. Pure Business Law can assist you with all your data compliance matters.




Terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers via a website


What is it? Your Terms of Business or Terms and Conditions sets out the rights and obligations of the buyer and the seller in any sale of goods. Standard terms and conditions for the sale of goods help to make each party to the contract (whether a business or consumer) aware of their rights and obligations from the start. Why is it important? If you are dealing with a consumer there is a considerable amount of legislation eg the Consumer Rights Act 2015 aimed at protecting consumers which must be taken into account when preparing your terms and conditions. Make sure you do things right when creating your terms and conditions.




Terms and conditions for supply of services to consumers via a website


What is it? Your Terms of Business or Terms and Conditions sets out the rights and obligations of the buyer and the seller in any supply of services. Standard terms and conditions for the supply of services help to make each party to the contract (whether a business or consumer) aware of their rights and obligations from the start. Why is it important? If you are dealing with a consumer there is a considerable amount of legislation eg the Consumer Rights Act 2015 aimed at protecting consumers which must be taken into account when preparing your terms and conditions. Make sure you do things right when creating your terms and conditions.




Email footer and disclaimer


What is it? An email footer sets out information required by law about limited companies and limited liability partnerships. The Companies Act 1985 requires all business emails from a private or public limited company to include the company’s registered name, registered number, place of registration and its registered office address. Why is it important? An email disclaimer is a notice or warning added to an email designed to protect the email sender from breaches of confidentiality, contractual claims. Virus propagation and employee liability. An email disclaimer is optional.




Website terms and conditions


What is it? If you have a website it is a good idea to create website terms and conditions as it helps to ensure that customers and users know how a website can and cannot be used. They set out the legal rights and obligations between you and users of your website. They cover the acceptable uses of the website, prohibited use of the website, registration, password and security, linked websites, disclaimers and limitation of liability.




Privacy policy


What is it? A website privacy policy is a statement of how you handle personal information given to you by your customers. When you trade on the internet you will most likely be handling personal information because you keep records of your customers or website users. Why is it important? A website privacy policy helps build trust in your website and informs your visitors how their personal data is protected. In the UK the main legislation governing the collection, processing and distribution of personal data is the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).




Website Terms of Use or Online Terms of Use


What is it? Your Website terms of use set out the legal rights and obligations between you and users of your website. Even if you do not sell goods on your website, you should have a written set of terms and conditions to cover all permitted and prohibited uses of your website, including any registration requirements, linked websites, disclaimers, limitation of liability and associated subscription fees.





Managing licenses


Running an online business


Protecting your IP


Business Relationships


Writing a business plan


 

Managing employee performance

Company formation


What is it?

Companies House is the UK’s ‘registrar of companies. A UK company can’t be formed without approval from Companies House therefore all company formation requests need to go through Companies House. You can apply directly or via company formation agents – who may charge slightly more than Companies House and are able to offer everything that Companies House offer, plus extra associated services.

Why is it important?

Company formation documents are the key pieces of documentation (i.e. the certificate of incorporation, memorandum of association and articles of association) that you will need to keep and refer to following your registration of your company with Companies

House. If you have access to a computer, you can form your company online in a matter of hours The prices vary but Companies House charge £12 if the formation is done online. Using the paper method via the actual IN01 form sent via post costs £40 for the standard 5-10 da service or £100 for the same-day service.

To form a company, you need the following information:

  • Proposed company name
  • The proposed Registered office address
  • Shareholder(s) details
  • Company director(s) details
  • The share capital information and the particulars relating to each class of shares
  • Details of the people with significant control details

You also need Articles of association – These set out the rules for the running of the company, including internal management affairs and legal responsibility and a Memorandum of association – This document will contain the names of the subscribers (initial shareholders) or guarantors agreeing to forming the company.

If forming your company online, the Articles of Association and Memorandum will be automatically created for you although you still have the option to create your own ‘Articles of association’ if you wish. If using the paper method, you will still have the opportunity to use prepared ‘Articles of association’ but you will need to include your own ‘Memorandum of association’ when posting your completed IN01.




Directors' service agreement


What is it?

This is a more complex contract of employment between a director/executive and an employer.

Why is it important?

It sets out the employment terms and conditions of employment and the standard areas of the employment.

Risks

As a director is more likely to be exposed to confidential information and have more responsibility this contract will include clauses which help to protect the business’s interests eg garden leave, confidentiality, non-solicitation clauses and restrictive covenants and ensure any intellectual property created by the employee- director belongs to the business..




Articles of Association


What is it?

Every company formed in England and Wales is required to have articles, without which a company cannot legally be formed. This requirement applies whether or not the company is public or private and whether limited by shares or by guarantee.

Why is it important?

The Articles of Association set out the rules for the running of the company, including internal management affairs and legal responsibility agreed by the shareholders or guarantors, directors.

The articles generally cover five essential areas:

  • Limited liability of shareholders – a fixed sum limited to the nominal value of their shares.
  • Shares and distributions – rights attaching to particular shares, issues and transfers of shares, payments of dividends and another share dealings;
  • Shareholder decision making – quorum and voting at general meetings of shareholders and various decision-making options.
  • Directors and decision making – number of directors, their powers and responsibilities and procedures for decision making; and
  • Administrative arrangements.

Our corporate solicitors can provide you with legal advice on reviewing, drafting, or amending your articles of association and other constitutional documents. We can also provide you with bespoke articles of association.




Board Resolutions


What is it? A resolution is written documentation describing an action authorized by the board of directors of a company.




EMI Schemes


What is it?

An Enterprise Management Incentive (“EMI”) scheme is an approved employee share scheme designed for smaller companies and accessible to most trading companies.

Why is it important?

It allows employers to attract and retain key staff by rewarding them with share options (equity participation ) in the business in a tax efficient way, as a reward for their efforts within the business and/or to incentivise key staff, It is ideal for smaller entrepreneurial businesses that might not be able to match salaries paid elsewhere.




Board Minutes


What is it? The minutes are a written document that describes items discussed by the directors during a board meeting, including actions taken and resolutions passed.




Share Certificates


What is it?

A Share Certificate (or stock certificate) is a written document which is evidence of a shareholder's ownership of shares in the company. The share certificate is generally issued by companies to shareholders after a transfer or transmission of shares or an allotment has been made.

Why is it important?

The share certificate will include the name of the company issuing the shares, its registration number, the details of the holders of the shares, the certificate number, the class(es) of shares being issued, date of issue, the amount paid on each share etc.

A share certificate can be issued by a private limited, public limited and unlimited liability company but cannot be issued by a company limited by guarantee as the company does not have shares.




Shareholders Agreement


What is it?

We always recommend that you put a shareholders’ agreement in place if your company has more than one shareholder.A shareholder agreement sets out the rights and obligations of each shareholder. The purpose of a shareholder agreement is to cover the most important issues in a business relationship:

  • How the shareholders will run the company
  • The mechanism for resolution of disputes between the shareholders(i.e. a “Deadlock” clause)
  • The process for valuation of the company
  • The transmission of shares in the event of the death or departure of a shareholder.

Why is it important?

A Shareholders agreement has several benefits:

  • It provides each member with clear details of their responsibilities, financial input, voting arrangements and share transfers thereby making it a strong safeguard against legal disputes and disagreements.
  • If carefully thought out and drafted it can protect individual shareholders and give them more protection that they would receive under the Model Articles of Association eg by giving each individual member a veto if the business is considering important changes
  • It is an essential agreement to have when a company has more than one shareholder as there is nothing to regulate what happens if the shareholders have a dispute or a shareholder dies.
  • It greatly reduces the risk of a shareholders’ dispute occurring and if it does it will be quicker to resolve.
  • If a shareholder is not pulling their weight or is damaging the business’s reputation the to her shareholders can vote to remove him or her and buy his or her shares for a fair price. This would be difficult to do without a shareholder’s agreement and if just relying on the standard Articles.

Our Shareholders Agreement solicitors can provide you with a professionally drafted shareholders agreement at reasonable fixed fees. Contact us today!





Managing licenses


Running an online business


Protecting your IP


Business Relationships


Writing a business plan


Reorganisation & Redundancies

At risk of redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is at risk of being made redundant.




Dismissal for redundancy letter


What is it? This is a letter that can be used to inform the employee that the employee is being dismissed for redundancy reasons. Why is it important? It is best practice for the employee to be given the right of appeal against redundancy.




Invitation to a redundancy appeal meeting


What is it? This is a letter to an employee inviting them to a redundancy appeal meeting.




Redundancy consultation letter


What is it? This is a letter to an employee informing them of the redundancy consultation procedure. Why is it important? The letter should contain details of the consultation procedure.





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Excel House

3 Duke Street 

Bedford MK40 3HR   

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Pure Business Law is the trading name for Pure Business Law Ltd-a private limited company registered in England & Wales with company registration number 10405413. Registered office and Principal place of business : Excel House, 3 Duke Street, Bedford. MK40 3HR. VAT number 265 5386 75.

 

 

Pure Business Law is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 635679)- we are governed by the SRA's  professional rules which may be found at www.rules.sra.org.uk. A list of our directors is available on request.  The term "director" denotes a shareholder or director of the company or an employee or consultant who is a lawyer with equivalent standing and qualifications. Calls may be recorded for security and training purposes.

 

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Settlement agreement and references

What is a settlement agreement?

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