Our company lawyers can help to ensure that your interests are always protected when you invest in a business or bring on board new investors. We look beyond the obvious and propose legal safeguards that secure your position.
Whether you are deciding how best to set up a business, wish to structure a group of companies or agree documents which govern how a business is run, our lawyers can advise you every step of the way.
Our focus is on making complex matters simple. We can help you get on with your business by supplying documents and implementing structures which work and are easy to understand.
Our lawyers have extensive experience of working closely with a business’ existing professional advisors, particularly those in the accounting profession, to realise the most beneficial business structure. We ask the right questions for you, and make sure that you end up with a business which is both competitive and legally compliant.
There are some key issues to consider at the beginning of a business venture or as part of a review of your existing business .
Which business structure is right for your business?
There are a wealth of different options in terms of the legal structure you may choose to operate a business through. Many businesses operate as sole traders, unincorporated associations, charitable incorporated associations, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, private limited companies limited by shares, private limited companies limited by guarantee or public limited companies.
For the most part, businesses tend to keep things simple and the owners set up as a private company limited by shares. The main benefit of doing so is usually considered, with some exceptions, to be the ability of the business’ owners to walk away with limited liability if the business is unsuccessful. That has the advantage of not putting your home on the line if your business hits the rocks.
How do you protect your investment in the business?
Whichever business structure you choose, the way the business is run needs to work for you. If investing with others or bringing in new investment, there is a danger that at some stage in the future your ability to run the business will be undermined.
Protecting your position by placing protections in the business’ governing documents (its articles of association or constitution) and negotiating a shareholders or partnership agreement will help to protect your investment and plan for the future.
You can implement a wide range of rights such as who controls the business, the amount of profits each owner receives, who the owners may transfer their stake in the business to and whether a departing owner may poach the business’ clients. Doing so early on, creates certainty for your business and helps to avoid costly disputes between business owners.