Law

Our legal category looks at the business codes of practice, laws and regulations that affect small and medium businesses to help you ensure your company meets all the necessary legal requirements for running a small enterprise.

Family Business Succession Planning – Some Legal Implications

Family Business Succession Planning – Some Legal Implications

Approximately, one third of family businesses survive into the second generation with 10% to 15% that make it into the third generation. Figures released by the European Commission demonstrate that about one third of family businesses will be transferred to the next generation within the next 10 years. These figures illustrate that it is vital that family succession planning warrants further consideration. A well drafted succession plan can provide detailed instructions of how the founder successfully managed the business. It provides a prosperous resource of information on key contacts, clients and suppliers and any nuances and idiosyncrasies. Yet there are legal implications for the unwary founder even with a successful succession plan. With the recession having had such a harsh blow to ... »

Family Limited Partnerships – A Commendable Alternative to Trusts

Family Limited Partnerships – A Commendable Alternative to Trusts

With the advent of the Finance Act 2006, lifetime trusts have been since 22 March 2006 subject to an immediate 20% inheritance tax entry charge on the initial capital above the threshold of £325,000, and an ongoing 10 year periodic inheritance tax charge and exit charge on capital distributions, capped at 6% of the value of the property in question. Family Limited Partnerships (FLP) have instead emerged as a conspicuous alternative to trusts for family succession purposes. Family Limited Partnerships refer to a limited partnership formed under the Limited Partnership Act 1907 to hold the family business or investments, with the notion that the parents will make gifts of their limited partnership interests to their children. Notably, the gift of the partnership interests to the other family... »

Create and Protect your Brand

Create and Protect your Brand

More lately, as a derivative of advertising and marketing, brand identity has become a prominent feature of recognising specific goods or services. Brands have extended beyond the precursor corporate image to incorporate a refined set of codifiers and signifiers which together abridge the emotional gap between brand owner and the person or entity that buys into the brand. As our appetite for sieving out advertising messages has grown, so has our desire to be associated with certain brands matured. Perhaps, the most recognisable and successful stories of international branding is Coca Cola. Love or hate it, Coca Cola illustrates that the use of a distinctive name, a powerful logo, an iconic design, an unswerving colour scheme and an aspirational set of statements all add to the entirety of ... »

Employee Privacy – Know the Law

Employee Privacy – Know the Law

Many employers are unaware of their employee’s rights when it comes to privacy and other issues at the workplace. Unfortunately, this is an area where ignorance is definitely not bliss, and could potentially land you in a lot of trouble. Rights to privacy at work As an employee you have rights, by law, to your own privacy at work – within limitations of course. According to the law that stands today, there are three main privacy rights that employees have, which both an employer and employee must abide by – use of telephone and email, surveillance and the right to protect personal data; the latter reflecting both parties. A general rule of thumb is to allow your employees privacy and help them feel comfortable in the office for example; let them have a personal space in t... »

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 – A Guide

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 – A Guide

Introduction The 2007 Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act puts the law on corporate manslaughter (in Scotland, corporate culpable homicide) onto a new footing, setting out a new statutory offence. In summary, an organisation is guilty of the offence if the way in which its activities are managed or organised causes a death and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care to the deceased. A substantial part of the breach must have been in the way activities were managed by senior management. The offence addresses a key defect in the law that meant that, prior to the new offence, organisations could only be convicted of manslaughter (or culpable homicide in Scotland) if a “directing mind” at the top of the company (such as a director) was also personally liable. The rea... »

Data Protection Act: How to comply with the law

Data Protection Act: How to comply with the law

‘Data protection’ can be an intimidating phrase for a start-up or small business owner like you; for many, it conjures up images of blinking data banks, difficult-to-understand legislation and expensive litigation. There is also a common misconception amongst business owners that the law only applies to large corporations, digital businesses, or companies that use customer information as a commodity, such as marketing firms. This is not the case – the Data Protection Act applies to virtually every business, including sole traders. Any customer information you handle – including names, addresses, photographs, card details and phone numbers – will be subject to the law on data protection. It is vital you understand the law, as failing to obey data protection regulations can lead to a fine of... »

Health and Safety: A Guide for Small Business Owners

Health and Safety: A Guide for Small Business Owners

It’s fair to say ‘health and safety’ isn’t the most fashionable of terms, conjuring up images of pedantic men carrying clipboards and an endless cavalcade of paperwork. However, it is not something to be dismissive of as a business – get it wrong, and the consequences can be extremely expensive. In this article, you will find a thorough guide to what you need to know about health and safety as a business owner, covering your duties, what to do when there is an accident, and the steps you need to take to comply with the law. Do I need to register as part of my health and safety responsibilities? In general, recent changes in the law mean that you generally no longer need to register with the appropriate authority to comply with health and safety. This includes businesses like offices and sh... »

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