Every day, all around the world, thousands of new businesses are started. Some are simple, others are much more complex, but they’re all based on the same fundamental rules and principles. These rules are determined by commercial and corporate law. In other words, the things that businesses have to do to operate legally.
So, if you are in the midst of establishing a new company, it is a good idea to hire a reliable business lawyer. That way, you can make sure that it gets off the ground as quickly as possible. The longer it takes to get your new venture ready for the market, the more money and opportunities you’ll be missing out on, which is why a proactive approach is best.
This guide to the most important legal documents will help you decide where to start and what you really need.
1. Employee Contracts
You must not hire anybody without the use of a legally viable employee contract. This is to protect your business, as well as the worker themselves. Plus, you can convey the nature and values of your business early on with the use of employee contracts. They are a great way to tell people what you expect and what they will get in return for joining you. The document must cover essential issues like sickness, benefits, holiday, and pay entitlements.
2. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
For all businesses – great or small – an NDA is a legal method of protecting ideas and intellectual property rights. It is the simplest and fastest way to make sure that employees, affiliates, and other businesses do not release private information about the way that you operate. As this kind of behaviour is usually for financial gain (or for the benefit of another company), it is really important that you make your rules clear in writing.
3. Partnership Agreement
With a partnership agreement, you can prevent conflicts of interest from coming between important deals and arrangements. Neither party can go back on promises or change their mind about delivering something, because the agreement is in writing. This document must include a brief overview of all the associated enterprises, their respective rights and duties, and what steps will be taken if these responsibilities are not fulfilled.
4. Health and Safety Policy
All companies with five or more workers are legally required to create a health and safety document. Being able to present a thorough, logical policy booklet to new employees is a good way so show that your business is serious, trustworthy, and cares about its team members. It is also the document that will protect you from liability, in the event that a worker breaches the health and safety rules, then tries to blame you for an accident.
5. Letter Before Action
The survival of a business depends on the healthy movement of cash, so late payments from clients and customers is something that needs to be avoided. It is something that you are guaranteed to experience, however, at some point or another. So, a letter before action is needed to formally tell those in breach that they have a final chance to pay, before you turn to legal measures. In the event that a late payment does go to court, you’ll be able to show the judge that you gave the defendant reasonable opportunity to settle the balance.
The Rise of Digital Documents and Policies
The term ‘documents’ no longer has to mean paper copies of important information. It is okay to rely primarily on digital documents, as long as they are sufficiently protected and backed up. So, you will need to store more than one copy of each document, just in case your computer systems are compromised. Digital documents save space, time, and money; they can be copied, edited, and distributed in seconds.