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How to prepare for and handle an employee grievance

September 1, 2015

Being an employer comes with all manner of responsibilities, not least ensuring the happiness and safety of your staff. So when an employee approaches you, or the person responsible for HR within your organisation, with a problem or complaint (a grievance) you need to ensure you have the necessary procedures in place to resolve the […]

What is a confidentiality agreement or ‘NDA’ and when might a small business use one?

August 4, 2015

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. […]

Automatic Enrolment – small businesses urged to act

July 10, 2015

As 2015 progresses, increasing numbers of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) – those employing up to 30 members of staff – are getting closer to their automatic enrolment staging date, where they will be required to enrol staff into a workplace pension scheme. Hundreds of thousands of small employers across the UK will have […]

What does ‘Shared Parental Leave’ mean for your business?

July 3, 2015

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 […]

Intellectual Property – A summary of IP law for small businesses

March 18, 2015

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 […]

Guide to Copyright Law – What is protected?

October 11, 2014

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 […]

Why it is important to have a Partnership Agreement

October 11, 2014

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 […]

Employers’ guide to employee holiday and leave entitlement

July 3, 2014

The Summer holidays are fast approaching and if you are an employer, you may soon be inundated with holiday forms from your workforce, as staff begin to prepare for their holidays. Although a lot of businesses have a workforce structure that enables adequate cover during holiday season, there are some that struggle due to the […]

Don’t let a divorce ruin your business

June 26, 2014

There’s no doubt that entrepreneurs need spark, grit, creativity and a huge amount of drive and commitment. However, adversity can be a helpful companion to an entrepreneur: it may be the catalyst for that light-bulb moment or it may create resilience.

Trade Marks – Limit your risk by protecting your brand

December 19, 2012

A limited company is by definition limited in its risk. Its legal status separates the business from its owner’s personal assets.  So for a limited company not to trade mark its company name and brand is to increase business risks that could be avoided relatively easily and cheaply.

How to enforce a County Court Judgment

July 25, 2012

You see County Court Judgments, or CCJs, mentioned on debt-related adverts all the time, but what are they, and how do you enforce one?

Discrimination law – the winds of change

April 3, 2012

There is a wind of change blowing through employment law landscape.  Employers need to think carefully during all stages of the employment relationship before taking any steps.

The importance of a trade mark if you’re selling online

March 28, 2012

Before online shopping became the norm, fake goods were widespread but because you could see and feel the products before buying them you were able to ascertain their providence (or at least try to).  This is not the case anymore.  Anyone can sell on eBay or Amazon, for instance, and pass off fake goods as […]

The ‘must’ and ‘should’ of good employment relations

March 26, 2012

If you own a small business you need to keep paper work to a minimum but not cut corners when it comes to employment law. But without any in-house HR support this can be easier said than done.

Commercial use of Facebook and Twitter – risks and rewards

March 19, 2012

Chris Hutchings, partner at Hamlins LLP, looks at the potential pitfalls and benefits of using social media sites for business purposes.

Top trade mark tips for small business owners

October 11, 2011

If you are starting a new business, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of securing trade mark protection.

Website copyright – how to protect your site content

October 11, 2011

More and more business owners now have their own websites. With the amount of content now available online, how do you copyright the articles and words you publish on your business site?

Family businesses – A guide to governance structures

October 11, 2011

The UK’s 3 million family businesses account for over 30pc of gross domestic product, provide 65% of the 4.5 million private sector businesses, employ 9.5 million and hand the Government £47 billion in tax receipts a year, 10% of the annual total.

How to manage and minimise the legal risks to small companies

October 11, 2011

In this article, Guy Hollebon from Bevans Solicitors looks at some key legal risks that can affect small businesses and how to manage and minimise such risks. Guy has approached the matter as an expert lawyer and also as a small business owner, providing both legal and practical tips.

Make sure your solicitor is qualified to take on your case

October 11, 2011

Following on from our recent article on how to find the right small business solicitor, Dr Yuri Rapoport, of the new consumer offering “Rapoport’s Directory”, believes that you shouldn’t be paying to educate your solicitor.

Choosing a solicitor for your business

October 11, 2011

When running your business, there may be times when you’ll need to obtain legal advice. Quite often, a solicitor will be called upon to review a contract, or to provide a legal opinion on a wide variety of business issues.

Passing the family business to the next generation – legal guide

October 11, 2011

Of all the many things that can disrupt or wreck a business, a change in ownership must be near the top of the list. When family politics are added to the mix of a process that is usually fraught with difficulties in any case, it can be an explosive combination.

Companies Act 2006 & derivative claims by shareholders

October 11, 2011

Stephan Weber of Sykes Anderson LLP discusses the new statutory provisions under the Companies Act 2006 in respect of derivative claims by shareholders

Charging interest in contractual relationships

October 11, 2011

Interest rates are important. They can substantially affect the return on investments and have a huge impact on inflation and the economy generally. In a highly geared economy like ours, they can be the difference between boom and bust.

Companies Act 2006 – Update

October 11, 2011

Tim Polding, Head of Commercial Department at Liverpool-based legal firm, Lees Lloyd Whitley, offers an overview of the Companies Act for Bytestart readers – and what to look out for.

Companies Act 2006 and Directors Duties

October 11, 2011

This overview of the Companies Act 2006 and Directors Duties was first published in 2006, prior to the introduction of the Companies Act 2006.

Shareholder Rights: Unfair Prejudice

October 11, 2011

Susanna Heley, Solicitor of Sykes Anderson LLP’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department discusses the rights of shareholders and the operation of section 459 Companies Act 1985.

How to comply with the Data Protection Act

October 11, 2011

Not only is compliance with the DPA a legal requirement, there are good business reasons for doing so – for example, using out of date or bad data could result in customer complaints. Also, using bad data costs money and time.

Data Protection and the Data Protection Act – An Overview

October 11, 2011

The Data Protection Act (1998) was drafted to ensure the privacy of personal information stored electronically on computers nationwide. The Act aims to “promote high standards in the handling of personal information, and so to protect the individual’s right to privacy”.

Companies Act 2006 and private companies

August 21, 2011

The Companies Bill, formerly called Company Law Reform Bill, received Royal Assent on the 8th November 2006. The Companies Act 2006 (‘the Act’) consists of 1300 sections and is the single largest piece of legislation ever made.

Are your ready for The Bribery Act?

May 19, 2011

By now you’ll have already heard a bit about the Bribery Act but you’re probably wondering what it really means for your business. In this article, Helen Besant-Roberts, business services partner at accountancy firm, Hurst provides some background to the Act, and what what you need to be aware of when conducting business.

What is The Bribery Act 2010?

April 12, 2011

The Bribery Act 2010, which comes into force on 1st July 2011, puts the onus on businesses to ensure that they have adequate procedures in place to stop its representatives from bribing another person on behalf of the business.

Seven leasehold property pitfalls for commercial tenants

July 8, 2009

Companies can often be faced with a nasty shock and a big bill when moving out of leasehold premises. In this article, we explore some common and costly mistakes often made by ill-informed commercial tenants.

What if someone copies your website content?

June 26, 2009

A leading web host says that 10% of businesses who responded to a recent survey had been the target of content theft over the past 12 months. What should you do if your website content has been stolen by a third party?

Make sure your business is using ‘legal’ fonts & typefaces

June 23, 2009

In today’s competitive business world, one of the best ways to increase awareness of your company is through an instantly recognisable logo.

Corporate Manslaughter Act – Do small businesses understand it?

September 4, 2008

This article on the Corporate Manslaughter Act was written exclusively for Bytestart by Ian Lower, Group Information Technology Director for BSI, Europe’s leading specialist business accommodation provider.