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Self employment is becoming increasingly popular. Last year in the UK nearly 4 million people worked for themselves. Providing you have a service or product that the customer likes it may be the time to go it alone.
Self employment can seem like a big step to take, but with the right professional advice, you can become your own boss.
There are four main options
It is worth taking legal advice on the advantages and disadvantages of each structure. Whilst a sole trader structure is the simplest, setting up a limited company may save money on tax and limit your liability if things go wrong. There is no hard and fast rule for which structure will work and as your business grows its structure may need to change. A professional adviser can help you choose a structure that fits your circumstances.
The partners or directors of any new business need to agree their rights and responsibilities and what will happen if a dispute arises. It is important that you have a well drafted Partnership or Directors Agreement to reflect this. It is always better to agree how to resolve issues before they arise.
Firstly search Google and Companies House and see if the name you want is available. If somebody else is using it, it is unlikely you will be able to trade without getting into trouble. Buy the website domain name as soon as you know you are not copying somebody else.
You may need to lease or buy a shop, office or factory unit. Even the simplest lease may contain clauses that are designed to benefit the landlord. Landlords can be very worried about having empty properties and so may be willing to improve the terms of a lease to attract you as a tenant. Take legal advice before entering into any lease.
You are likely to need public liability insurance. You should take advice on how to comply with Health and Safety regulations, licensing and any other regulatory issues.
Whether you are selling goods or your own time (services) you need to set out the terms and conditions on which you will supply your product. Having the right small print can save you time and money in the long term and can strengthen your hand if a dispute arises.
Even if you only employ one person you must have an employment contract and ensure you comply with the minimum requirements for staff holidays and policies in line with current legislation.
At Everett Tomlin Lloyd & Pratt we offer fixed price advice on these matters. As members of “Solicitors for Business” we offer a free 30 minute consultation to find out what advice you may need. We have been awarded the Law Society Lexcel quality mark for our high quality client care.
To discuss this then please contact email@example.com or call 0845 60 222 99