New start-ups and small businesses often fail to give much thought to their standard “Terms and Conditions of Business” (T&Cs). That is, until there is a dispute with a customer, by which time it may be too late.
Business owners who are unaware of the importance of T&Cs can even find that they are conducting business on their customer’s Terms and Conditions of Business. This can happen when a customer successfully substitutes their own T&Cs for yours. If this is the case, you could be in for a very nasty shock when a customer complains.
To help make sure you protect your business, and only work on the basis of your Terms and Conditions of Business, we asked Sheren Thiara, of Wright Hassall Solicitors, to explain why T&Cs are so crucial for businesses and to give some practical advice on how you make sure the work you do is under your standard T&Cs.
As all businesses and traders selling to consumers should know, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) came into force on 1 October 2015 and overhauled the UK’s legislation on selling goods and services to consumers.
It also introduced legislation on the sale of digital content for the first time (distinguishing digital content from goods and services) and re-clarified contractual terms that could be considered unfair when dealing with consumers.
In response to the Consumer Rights Act, all businesses should be updating their terms and conditions to ensure they reflect the new legislation. Other key points those selling to consumers need to consider, include;
This guide explains exactly what a trade mark is, how you can use one to protect your business and how to go about registering a trade mark for your business;
Data protection is now a more onerous regime for small businesses, and this will only increase when the EU General Data Protection Regulation is implemented.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which regulates the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), can impose penalties of up to £500,000. A glance at the ICO website will tell you how seriously they view failures to comply, so it’s crucial that small businesses understand their obligations under the DPA when dealing with any personal data, whether it relates to customers, clients or employees.
But for start-ups and small businesses, who can’t afford the luxury of a dedicated data protection officer it’s hard to know where to start. We therefore asked Clare Edwards, of Hill Dickinson, to distil some of the complexities of the Data Protection Act, and to offer some practical tips for start-ups and small businesses when dealing with personal data;
Automatic enrolment is looming large on the horizon for hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the UK.
With many small firms unfamiliar with company pensions, tackling auto enrolment (AE) can feel daunting, so this guide has been designed to help small business owners get to grips with the subject.
It outlines they key issues for small businesses, including what auto enrolment is, what’s happening, the implications for you and your employees and the steps you need to take to ensure you comply with the new rules.
A change is afoot for the UK’s self-employed workers, and it’s good news for some 1.7million one-man bands!
From 1st October 2015, if you are self-employed and your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then Health and Safety law will not apply to you.
So are you one of the sole traders that no longer has to worry about complying with Health & Safety legislation? Continue…
When you are starting a business, sitting down and grappling with Health & Safety legislation isn’t one of your top priorities. It’s fair to say that it’s not one of the more exciting parts of running your own business, and it doesn’t bring in any money.
However, with the average fine for Health & Safety prosecutions being over £30,000, it can be very costly if you don’t stay on the right side of the law. With so much at stake, we asked Louise Hosking of Hosking Associates to explain what small businesses need to do; Continue…
Picture the scene. You’ve spent years developing an amazing new product, the likes of which has never been seen before.
It will truly revolutionise the market and give your competitors many sleepless nights of agonising worry.
But it all depends on you shocking the world by announcing your new product at the annual trade fair. If word gets out before, it will ruin all your hard work and give your competitors a head start.
New parental leave legislation came into effect in April 2015, giving men and women the option to share child care over the course of a year.
Increased flexibility provided by shared parental leave will enable more men to be involved in child care and bond with their babies. It will also give women the freedom to return to work earlier if they wish, which could enhance their career prospects.
However, not everyone has welcomed the new legislation with open arms. Some of the harshest critics have been the Small Business Federation and The Institute of Directors who claims the legislation could create a “nightmare” for employers, particularly small businesses.
So what are the implications of shared parental leave legislation on a business and how can you overcome the practical challenges it brings?
As a small business owner, you’ve probably heard of the phrase “Intellectual Property”, or IP as it’s commonly referred to. But studies show that despite knowing what Intellectual Property is, many small businesses assume that protecting their Intellectual Property is only something that larger, well-known businesses need to worry about.
The fact is that IP protection is something that many start-ups and small businesses can benefit from considering early on, because without the right protection businesses could lose some of their most valuable assets.
To help you get to grips with the subject, this guide looks at some of the key intellectual property rights small business owners need to know about.
Copyright law is one of the key areas of intellectual property protection. In the UK, protection applies automatically once the work is created, so there is nothing further that needs to be done by an owner in order to obtain all the benefits of protection.
In this article we step through the different types of work that are protected by copyright, and explain the extent of the monopoly granted.
Business is all about partnerships – public-private partnerships, supplier relationships, collaboration with colleagues and competitors, and of course the way you work with your customers.
So it’s never a good thing when you find your closest partnership – that with the fellow leaders of your business – has begun to break down.
It’s the same old story – you start out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of optimism, but even if your business is successful, the cracks can start to show when you try to decide where to go next.
Without a partnership agreement in place, it’s hard to tell who’s actually got the decision-making power, and companies can collapse in a matter of minutes when it all comes to a head.