Small Business Advice
We understand the challenges of small business
It can be difficult making a go of a small business. Overheads, red tape and onerous operating expenses can all seem to conspire against you.
Equally, it can be enormously rewarding, both in a personal sense of growing something and working with your own team, and also from a financial perspective.
We've helped thousands of small operators over many years, appreciating the unique pressures they are under and how best to structure their business so that they can concentrate on the rewarding aspects of running their own business.
It helps to work with someone who understands.
What’s next? – first steps
Your first interview with us is free and with no strings attached. We will never follow up your appointment with a sales call. An appointment will be made for you to see one of our experienced lawyers.
Confidentiality and privacy
Your information is personal and private and we respect that.
Our lawyers have ethical obligations to keep the information you disclose when obtaining legal advice confidential. This is called client legal privilege. This is a legal right belonging to you which ensures that you can obtain confidential advice about your circumstances. It allows for the proper administration of justice because it enables you to talk frankly and honestly with your lawyer about your legal concerns.
Small business and start-up advice
Our small business advisory services are designed to help you set up and operate your business so that it is well-structured and affords you the legal protection you need. You can then get on with the business of doing business.
In our experience as small business lawyers, we find that getting a contract or a lease correct at the start is critical in avoiding costly litigation and fighting breaches of contract in the future.
Company structures and shareholders
We can advise you on the best legal model for your needs. It may be a partnership, a family trust or a company structure. Each structure has its own benefits as well as responsibilities. Our business contract lawyers will advise you on the best fit for your needs.
If you are one of several independent owners of the business, you may also benefit from a Shareholders or Partnership Agreement in which each owner's rights and obligations are made clear.
Leases and contracts
You may be eager to start a small business from scratch and be preparing to sign a lease. Is the lease a "Retail Lease"? If so, does the lease comply with the Retail Leases Act? How can you protect your interests? Leases are often long and full of legal jargon.
It makes sense to have an expert check and advise you on what is reasonable to agree to and what should be rejected. You should also be aware of the implications of terminating a lease should you need to do so.
Contracts are also important in many business transactions in which you agree to buy or sell your products or services, or indeed have them delivered. These contracts can be overly long and complex. If you're in business, you should obtain legal advice before you sign significant contracts.
Expanding your business
At some stage in the growth of your small business, you may wish to expand by purchasing another business. Or you may have reached the stage where you wish to sell.
In buying a business, you should be clear about issues to do with property or leases and matters relating to the valuation of the business itself, its stock and capital equipment.
Selling your business
If selling your business, how should you structure the sale and payments? What provisions should be included in any legal contract of sale to protect your financial interests? How should you go about valuing your business, its goodwill and its assets?
Our lawyers can assist you to answer these and any other questions that may arise.
Mediation and Court action
Mediation is generally the preferable way to resolve any dispute with a supplier or customer. What should you do if a debtor cannot or will not pay their bills? We are skilled at advising you on how best to reach a solution that protects your interests whilst also sparing you the additional expense of costly litigation.
There will times unfortunately when you may have to consider court action. We will offer you a clear account of what the likely outcome of litigation will be and what sorts of costs you may face for business legal advice in the event of having to go to court.
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