SlideShare a Scribd company logo
The legalities of running a
small business
25 NOVEMBER | 10:30 AM
Why me?
8+ years experience as a lawyer
City law firm + startup
Founder and social entrepreneur
Learning Outcomes
➔ Understand the basics
Company law, contracts and intellectual
property
➔ Discover tips, tricks and hacks
Learn what you can DIY
➔ Confidence
Feel more comfortable with how the law
affects your business
Disclaimer
No legal advice is on offer today
What is a company?
A company is a legal entity formed by a group of
individuals to engage in and operate a business
What is a limited
company?
A limited company is a private company whose
owners are legally responsible for its debts only
to the extent of the amount of capital they
invested
What is a sole trader?
A sole trader is one person carrying on business
on their own with complete control over their
operations
- Separate legal entity - can
hold assets and limited
liability for members
- Easier to obtain
funding/raise finance
- Better protection for
business name
Limited Company
- Little/no startup costs
- Low administrative costs
- Flexible structure
Sole trader
- A director manages the
day-to-day business
activities and finances of a
company.
- A director performs
his/her duties on behalf of
and for the benefit of the
shareholders
Directors
- Shareholders are the
owners (aka members)
- They own a company
through shares
- Some decisions, e.g.
changing company name
can only be made by a
company’s shareholders
Shareholders
Articles of Association
The Articles of Association is the rulebook for
your company
You cannot legally form a company without one
Why should I care?
The Real Jerk UK Limited
- Has four directors and 30 shareholders
- Its Articles say that every board meeting
must have a quorum of four
- Its Articles say that general meetings must
have a quorum of at least 50%
See any problems?
Incorporating your company
Is your company name available?
Would your trademark be available?
Do you have an address?
Are you happy with the Model Articles?
Complete online form and pay £12
You’ll have a company within 24 hours.
Tip
https://beta.companieshous
e.gov.uk/company-name-
availability - company name
check
https://gov.uk/search-for-
trademark - trademark
check
https://informdirect.com -
stay on top of filings
What is a contract?
An agreement between two or more parties
giving rise to mutual obligations which are legally
enforceable
What do you need for
a legal contract?
1. Offer and acceptance i.e. agreement
2. Consideration (usually money)
3. Intention to create legal relationship
Which one is a legal contract?
Agreement to rent a
property but paying
cash in hand and no
tenancy agreement
You send 100
samples of your
product to
prospective customer
with an invoice
requiring payment
Agreement with your
housemate to wash
the dishes for a week
for £50
A contract does not need to
be in writing
But disputes arise
when they are not
in writing
Tip
In this example, we’re
leading off with
something unexpected.
While the audience is
trying to come up with a
number, we’ll surprise
them with the next slide.
Top Tips
➔ Email is your friend
➔ Take inspiration from contracts
received
➔ Check out your competitors’
T&Cs (with caution!)
➔ Templates - Seedlegals, Farillio
and others
➔ Ask in your business/startup
communities
What is intellectual
property?
Something you create using your mind
Different IP rights?
- Copyright Software code, e-book,
recordings
- Trademark Logos, business name, taglines
- Patent Inventions, formulas
- Design Rights Shape, appearance
- Trade Secret Customer list, recipes
How to protect your IP
Register Trademark
Assert copyright on docs/website
Use the symbols © ® ™
NDAs
Security/Confidentiality
Tip
https://beta.companieshous
e.gov.uk/company-name-
availability - company name
check
https://gov.uk/search-for-
trademark - trademark
check
https://informdirect.com -
stay on top of filings
Useful resources… Q&A
https://gdpr.eu/checklist/ - GDPR compliance
https://www.farill.io/ - template legal docs
https://seedlegals.com/ - template legal docs
https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-formation - step by step re setting up a company
https://www.ipo.gov.uk/ip-support - IP online training and resources - FREE
https://www.bl.uk/business-and-ip-centre - British Library and IP Centre
https://www.acas.org.uk/ - Employment-related resources
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company-name-availability - company name check
https://gov.uk/search-for-trademark - trademark check
https://informdirect.com - stay on top of filings
Tip
You will need lawyers at
some point but first
consider the risk or
impact if you don’t
Thank you
https://ktn-uk.org/programme/young-innovators/
http://bit.ly/YoungInnovators-LinkedInGroup
@IdeasMeanBusiness
#IdeasMeanBusiness

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#IdeasMeanBusiness | Legalities of running a business

  • 1. The legalities of running a small business 25 NOVEMBER | 10:30 AM
  • 2. Why me? 8+ years experience as a lawyer City law firm + startup Founder and social entrepreneur
  • 3. Learning Outcomes ➔ Understand the basics Company law, contracts and intellectual property ➔ Discover tips, tricks and hacks Learn what you can DIY ➔ Confidence Feel more comfortable with how the law affects your business
  • 4. Disclaimer No legal advice is on offer today
  • 5. What is a company? A company is a legal entity formed by a group of individuals to engage in and operate a business
  • 6. What is a limited company? A limited company is a private company whose owners are legally responsible for its debts only to the extent of the amount of capital they invested
  • 7. What is a sole trader? A sole trader is one person carrying on business on their own with complete control over their operations
  • 8. - Separate legal entity - can hold assets and limited liability for members - Easier to obtain funding/raise finance - Better protection for business name Limited Company - Little/no startup costs - Low administrative costs - Flexible structure Sole trader
  • 9. - A director manages the day-to-day business activities and finances of a company. - A director performs his/her duties on behalf of and for the benefit of the shareholders Directors - Shareholders are the owners (aka members) - They own a company through shares - Some decisions, e.g. changing company name can only be made by a company’s shareholders Shareholders
  • 10. Articles of Association The Articles of Association is the rulebook for your company You cannot legally form a company without one
  • 11. Why should I care? The Real Jerk UK Limited - Has four directors and 30 shareholders - Its Articles say that every board meeting must have a quorum of four - Its Articles say that general meetings must have a quorum of at least 50% See any problems?
  • 12. Incorporating your company Is your company name available? Would your trademark be available? Do you have an address? Are you happy with the Model Articles? Complete online form and pay £12 You’ll have a company within 24 hours. Tip https://beta.companieshous e.gov.uk/company-name- availability - company name check https://gov.uk/search-for- trademark - trademark check https://informdirect.com - stay on top of filings
  • 13. What is a contract? An agreement between two or more parties giving rise to mutual obligations which are legally enforceable
  • 14. What do you need for a legal contract? 1. Offer and acceptance i.e. agreement 2. Consideration (usually money) 3. Intention to create legal relationship
  • 15. Which one is a legal contract? Agreement to rent a property but paying cash in hand and no tenancy agreement You send 100 samples of your product to prospective customer with an invoice requiring payment Agreement with your housemate to wash the dishes for a week for £50
  • 16. A contract does not need to be in writing But disputes arise when they are not in writing Tip In this example, we’re leading off with something unexpected. While the audience is trying to come up with a number, we’ll surprise them with the next slide.
  • 17. Top Tips ➔ Email is your friend ➔ Take inspiration from contracts received ➔ Check out your competitors’ T&Cs (with caution!) ➔ Templates - Seedlegals, Farillio and others ➔ Ask in your business/startup communities
  • 18. What is intellectual property? Something you create using your mind
  • 19. Different IP rights? - Copyright Software code, e-book, recordings - Trademark Logos, business name, taglines - Patent Inventions, formulas - Design Rights Shape, appearance - Trade Secret Customer list, recipes
  • 20. How to protect your IP Register Trademark Assert copyright on docs/website Use the symbols © ® ™ NDAs Security/Confidentiality Tip https://beta.companieshous e.gov.uk/company-name- availability - company name check https://gov.uk/search-for- trademark - trademark check https://informdirect.com - stay on top of filings
  • 21. Useful resources… Q&A https://gdpr.eu/checklist/ - GDPR compliance https://www.farill.io/ - template legal docs https://seedlegals.com/ - template legal docs https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-formation - step by step re setting up a company https://www.ipo.gov.uk/ip-support - IP online training and resources - FREE https://www.bl.uk/business-and-ip-centre - British Library and IP Centre https://www.acas.org.uk/ - Employment-related resources https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company-name-availability - company name check https://gov.uk/search-for-trademark - trademark check https://informdirect.com - stay on top of filings Tip You will need lawyers at some point but first consider the risk or impact if you don’t