There are a number of activities a business owner may need to undertake whilst running a business, for example business planning, marketing, networking and searching for premises. 

An area that will require close attention is being compliant. This can range from submitting end of year accounts to the having the correct insurance policies. Not complying with the legal requirements of running a business may result in the business owner being prosecuted and/or getting fined.

Below are a few areas to consider whilst starting a business:

Registering the business:

Whether you decide on operating as a sole trader, limited company or a partnership you are required to register with either HM Revenue Customs (HMRC), Companies House or both.

Insurances: A new business may consider a number of insurance policies such as public liability Insurance, business interruption insurance and vehicle insurance. For example, if you intend on hiring staff you are legally required to have employer liability insurance. This usually protects you and the employee in the event of an injury happening within the workplace.

Solicitor: Starting a business my involve having legal documents such as contracts or leases being reviewed. Prior to signing it it’s worth using a solicitor to review these documents. Having the documents checked could limit your exposure and potentially save you costs in the long run.

Key information to look out for in legal documents include:

  • Price;
  • Term;
  • Cooling off periods;
  • Fees;
  • Limitations;
  • Deposits; and 
  • Break clauses.

Business bank account: As a sole trader you should ideally use a separate bank to your personal bank account. If you operate as a limited company, limited liability partnership, charity or a community interest company you are required use a business bank account.

Accountant: Some businesses may use an accountant to assistant with their financial affairs. If your business has limited or a charitable status it is worth hiring an accountant.

Health & Safety: Health and Safety requirements will differ depending on the sector which you operate within. It is worth contacting the HSE for sector specific advice.

Handling Personal data: If your business involves handling personal data such as names, addresses, and CCTV footage you may need to register with the ICO. By visiting and completing a registration self-assessment on the ICO website will know if you need to register.

At Markel Law we provide specialist business start-up advice to SMEs.

Follow this link to find out more about Markel Law and how we can assist your business.