Owning and running an SME is not an endeavour for the faint of heart. Grit, determination, hard work, and endless toil are required to make a success of your venture, and challenge after challenge must be met head on.
Business law is just one of the obstacles that you must overcome, and abiding by its numerous, intricate rules and regulations can seem daunting – but it shouldn’t. Made to benefit all parties, including entrepreneurs, it has been specifically designed to help you. Indeed, any propositions found to disproportionately disadvantage small businesses are inapplicable to them, so compliance is eminently possible.
However, doing so requires a degree of understanding that many lack at the outset. So, to get you started on the right path, here are the main areas of business law that you’ll need to familiarise yourself with…
Licences and Registrations
Different sectors and industries will be regulated to various degrees, but a little research should reveal any licences that you need, and any registration procedures that must be followed. Trading without these may well be illegal, and could carry consequences such as fining or worse, so it’s always worth taking the time to become clued up.
Insurance is often useful for a business, but did you know that in some instances you’ll actually be legally obligated to have it? It’s really important to find out the specific rules and regulations governing your industry, in order to properly protect you, your staff, and your customers should anything go awry.
Health, Safety, and Environmental Regulations
Where the actions of you or your employees could cause harm to a person or the environment, there will usually be laws regulating how you conduct your business. It’s essential that you abide by these for the sake of all concerned, and you could face very serious consequences if you fail to do so.
Make sure that you also take the time to inform yourself with regard to the laws regulating intellectual property. These cover issues such as copyright, trade marks, and designs, and ensures that you’re not infringing on the rights of other businesses, or having another venture infringe on your own. It’s essential for the future of your company that you read up on them and conduct yourself accordingly.
There is lots of information on data protection available on the Information Commissioner’s website, and it’s worth reading up on if your company keeps data pertaining to your employees, customers, or suppliers. The area is regulated by the Data Protection Act, which stipulates that such information must only be used for the purpose it was obtained for, and with the consent of those it concerns.
Employment law is extensive, and you will find that you have a number of obligations with regards to the rights of any staff members you take on. These will cover everything from discrimination to dismissal, and must be abided by at all times. You will find a large amount of information regarding this online, which should help you to fully understand how to create a legally acceptable working environment.
The number of potential rules and regulations mentioned above may seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that they have all been crafted with their practical applicability in mind. None of them are impossible or overly difficult to abide by, and the internet offers a wealth of information to help you better understand them. Should you still struggle, legal professionals like Withers Worldwide are always available to assist you, ensuring that your business can operate within the parameters of the law without you having to worry about it.