If you have plans to establish a new business, then it is important to get a legal adviser on board as soon as possible. Planning and establishing the right structure at the outset will be key to your long term prosperity.
This is an important stage which requires strategic planning and a careful consideration of legal risks particular to the new business. Creating firm foundations for your finances and trading arrangements will ensure the founders are protected in the long-term.
Our experienced company and commercial solicitors will help you navigate the initial challenges for a start-up company, and you will benefit from commercially focussed legal advice and support as your business grows.
Each business is unique, but our support will usually include:
Choosing and establishing your business structure
The first step will be to consider your objectives, and decide on the best structure for your business. Initial corporate structuring advice can have a big impact on a business, its operations and financial returns. For example, the type of business structure you choose at start-up stage could impact several factors later down the line, including attracting investment for your business, how you will be taxed, and what regulations you will need to comply with. For example, companies must comply with mandatory legal rules, including the need to file documents annually at Companies House.
Once this decision has been made, we will support you to form any company, partnership or limited liability partnership, and to organise any corporate group structure if there is a connection to another business.
We will ensure that you have all the necessary documentation by drafting, updating and reviewing any shareholders agreement, articles of association, or partnership agreement.
As well as advising on company law and compliance with the Companies Act 2006, we will consider which regulations apply specifically to your business. For example this may include:
- drafting and reviewing start-up confidentiality agreements;
- ensuring your business has the required licences to trade; or
- health and safety obligations.
Funding and security
If you need external funding, we will advise on finance arrangements including loan agreements. This requires careful attention to the risks, for example, you may be required to give a personal guarantee and could be liable to pay the business debt if your company is unable to do so. Further, your loans may need to be secured against your assets, such as your home. As such, it is crucial that you understand the implications and make an informed decision before entering into these arrangements.
We will also support you with funding rounds, helping you negotiate investment terms successfully whilst protecting your interests.
Trading and operational support
We will provide advice on all areas of trading for the day-to-day running of your business, including:
- Commercial agreements – Robust commercial agreements are crucial for all start-ups, correctly formalising agreements between customers and suppliers to manage risk and help prevent disputes. Each needs to be carefully drafted to protect your business against legal risks, while also workable and practical.
- Cash flow – Ensuring you have an effective credit control procedure will keep the cash flowing into the business. If you do have bad debtors, we will help with all stages of the debt recovery process, including advising you on your options, drafting letters of claim and bringing debt claims in court if necessary
- Business premises – Whether you are renting or purchasing premises, our commercial property team can assist you through each stage of the transaction and use their extensive experience to help you identify pitfalls and negotiate terms on your behalf.
- Human resources – Employing and retaining staff becomes increasingly important as a business grows. Our employment team will help you with employment policies and procedures. We also advise on and setting up employee share schemes.
- Intellectual property – Intellectual property (IP) rights are extremely valuable business assets. We will advise you on all aspects of protecting your brand and commercially exploiting your IP rights to maximise their value.
Company secretarial services
We will help with your administrative needs, to support you and free up your time. Our company secretarial service includes reviewing and updating your statutory registers, dealing with Companies House filings, and advising on corporate governance requirements.
Why choose Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors?
Our knowledgeable and supportive company and commercial solicitors in Milton Keynes have assisted founders from a variety of sectors on setting up a new business and providing ongoing assistance as their businesses have grown. Our approach is to get to know our clients and provide strategic advice to help them maximise their potential. We work with our clients to provide ongoing assistance at all stages of their business journey.
Our business start-up experience has included:
- the formation of a new company in the finance industry, including preparing and advising on bespoke articles of association and shareholders agreement;
- the formation of a family investment company a company structure that achieved the client’s succession aims whilst also being tax effective; and
- setting up of a bespoke limited liability partnership as a vehicle for land development purposes.
What our clients say:
“From my first meeting with Danielle through until completion of our job I felt entirely in knowledgeable and capable hands. I was always kept up-to-date with the progress and milestones we needed to take and Danielle was efficient and diligent in following up with all parties to ensure the process moved along smoothly. Danielle was always available to answer and clarify any queries I had. I’d be very happy to recommend Danielle and her team at Geoffrey Leaver and will of course take any future legal problems I may have directly to Danielle for her expertise.”
The Company Commercial Team
Tim Roberts Senior Partner
Company Commercial 01908 689356Tim Roberts is Head of the Department and the firm’s Senior Partner. He began his career as a solicitor in the City of London before moving to Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors Company Commercial department. He has over 30 years of experience in Company Commercial and specialises in all aspects of the sale and purchase of companies and businesses, including management buy-outs, corporate restructuring, banking and corporate finance.