Small business advice and business lawyers
Small business start ups
Company structures, leases and contracts
Our small business advisory services are designed to help you set up and operate your business so that it is well-structured and affords you the legal protection you need. You can then get on with the business of doing business.
In our experience as business lawyers, we find that getting a contract or a lease correct at the start is critical in avoiding costly litigation and fighting breaches of contract in the future.
We can advise you on the best legal model for your needs. It may be a partnership, a family trust or a company structure. Each structure has its own benefits as well as responsibilities. Our business contract lawyers will advise you on the best fit for your needs.
If you are one of several independent owners of the business, you may also benefit from a shareholders agreement in which each owner's rights and obligations are made clear.
You may be eager to start a small business from scratch and be preparing to sign a lease. Is the lease a "Retail Lease"? If so, does the lease comply with the Retail Leases Act? How can you protect your interests? Leases are often long and full of legal jargon. It makes sense to have an expert check and advise you on what is reasonable to agree to and what should be rejected. You should also be aware of the implications of terminating a lease should you need to do so.
Contracts are also important in many business transactions in which you agree to buy or sell your products or services, or indeed have them delivered. These contracts can be overly long and complex. If you're in business, you should obtain legal advice before you sign significant contracts.
Expanding your business or selling it
At some stage in the growth of your small business, you may wish to expand by purchasing another business. Or you may have reached the stage where you wish to sell.
In buying a business, you should be clear about issues to do with property or leases and matters relating to the valuation of the business itself, its stock and capital equipment.
If selling your business, how should you structure the sale and payments? What provisions should be included in any legal contract of sale to protect your financial interests? How should you go about valuing your business, its goodwill and its assets?
Trouble shooting for your small business
Mediation and court action
Mediation is generally the preferable way to resolve any dispute with a supplier or customer. What should you do if a debtor cannot or will not pay their bills? We are skilled at advising you on how best to reach a solution that protects your interests whilst also sparing you the additional expense of costly litigation.
There will times unfortunately when you may have to consider court action. We will offer you a clear account of what the likely outcome of litigation will be and what sorts of costs you may face for business legal advice in the event of having to go to court.
Understanding the challenges of small business
It can be difficult making a go of a small business. Overheads, red tape and onerous operating expenses can all seem to conspire against you.
Equally, it can be enormously rewarding, both in a personal sense in growing something and working with your own team and also from a financial perspective
We've helped thousands of small operators over many years, appreciating the unique pressures they are under and how best to structure their business so that they can concentrate on the rewarding aspects of running their own business.
It helps to work with someone who understands.
Call or find us at an office near you for advice on a Small Business matter.