Self-employment is an attractive path for many UK residents. In 2017, 15.1% of the workforce was self-employed. It can be exciting, but it certainly is not easy. There are a lot of variables that you need to keep track of when running a business. One of the factors that many business owners overlook is the legal challenges they will face.
This is an understandable oversight. Starting a new business is a process fraught with difficulty. To do so successfully, you’ll need several competencies and personality traits. These include perseverance, intelligence, and a willingness to make sacrifices.
But even then, there’s a chance that outside circumstances will make life difficult for you. We’ve seen a spectacular demonstration of this in the outbreak of the COVID-19, which will certainly force our economy into an unprecedented realignment, and create a space for millions of entrepreneurs to fill.
If you’re considering starting a journey in self-employment, then it’s important to start by identifying the risks ahead of time. You will need to take the necessary steps to anticipate them. One of the challenges that you are going to face is navigating the legal issues associated with running a company. As a small business, you’ll be exposed to a number of legal risks that you cannot afford to ignore.
To deal with these, you’ll need to call upon the help of an experienced solicitor – and preferably one with whom you’re already acquainted. There is a reason that UK businesses spend $35.1 billion on legal services every year.
So what shape might these legal difficulties take?
Registering the Business
If you’re setting out as a sole trader, then you don’t need to worry about getting a professional in. But if you’re registering a limited company with multiple stakeholders, then having an expert deal with the paperwork will help you to cover every eventuality and make sure you’re considering things you might otherwise not have.
Certain sorts of trade require a license. If you proceed without obtaining one, then you expose yourself to heavy fines and even prison sentences. A solicitor will help you to stay on the right side of the law.
If you’re creating photos, music, text or other works, then you may need to occasionally prevent others from misappropriating them. Similarly, if you’re using such things, then you’ll need to be sure that you have permission to do so. The right lawyer will be able to help in this regard.
Even if the economic situation were totally normal, it would be reasonable to expect a few clients to occasionally dawdle when it comes to settling up. But in the current economic climate, it’s nigh-on inevitable. To extract the money you’re due, you’ll often need to call upon the help of a lawyer. In many cases, all that’s required is a strongly worded letter; in some cases, you’ll need to escalate. Legal expertise will keep you apprised of your options.
Claims of Criminal Negligence
If you’re been a victim of criminal negligence, you’ll need someone to fight your corner. And the same applies if you’re been accused (wrongly or rightly). Professional negligence law is designed to keep care-giving bodies a reason to maintain high standards, and should be viewed as something to be planned for, even if you hope never to have to deal with it.
Get the Support of a Qualified Solicitor
You need to make sure that you are on the right side of the law as a UK business. You can’t afford to make those choices on your own. Fortunately, there are good solicitors that can assist you.