What Legal Documents Do I Need When Starting a Business?

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Starting a business is exciting and it is understandable to want to get up and running as quickly as possible. Getting the right legal documents in place is more than just a formality, however. They are there to give your business a solid legal foundation, ensuring you are in full compliance with the law and minimising the risk of future problems.

The exact documents you need will depend on the situation, including the business structure and how it will operate. Examples of these crucial legal documents include articles of association, partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, employment contracts, agreements with suppliers, confidentiality agreements and more.

Here we will provide insight into why commercial legal documents are important when starting a business, the type of legally binding documents that are necessary and how a solicitor can provide their expert advice and guidance.

Why are legal documents important when starting a business?

Legal documents are incredibly important when starting a business for many different reasons. They govern how internal and external matters will run, helping the business to operate smoothly and efficiently from the get-go.

These documents will involve agreements between relevant parties on how key relationships will work and what will happen if a dispute occurs. Having documents that set out exactly what is supposed to happen will help to prevent disputes from escalating, meaning timely and costly court proceedings can often be avoided where possible.

What legal documents are needed when starting a business?

Examples of legal documents a business might need include, but are not limited to, the following:

Articles of association

If you are starting a company, it is a legal requirement to have written articles of association. These include written rules for running the company and will need to be registered with Companies House.

Partnership Agreements

Going into business with a partner can be great, but it can also have its downfalls in the future, particularly when you may face disagreements with your partner over various aspects of the business.

Having a partnership agreement in place will help to set out a number of things, including each party’s responsibilities, their contributions to the business, percentage of ownership, how profits and losses are divided between partners and more.

Shareholders’ agreements

A shareholders’ agreement confirms how business operations should run, including essential matters such as the rights and obligations of shareholders, how decisions concerning the business will be made, and more.

Employment contracts

Starting a business that is taking on employees means that a number of legal documents will be necessary to ensure everything runs smoothly and that future employment claims can be prevented from coming forth.

Agreements with suppliers

Businesses typically rely on various different types of suppliers. To ensure these relationships are productive, having an agreement in place is important. Such an agreement can include the responsibility of the supplier e.g. specific quality requirements and delivery times. In addition, they will often include when invoices will need to be settled and how any disputes will be approached.

How can a solicitor assist with commercial documents?

When starting a business, you should always seek legal assistance from a professional company commercial solicitor. They can provide specialist assistance with all of the types of legal documents you need, making sure your business gets off the ground on a solid basis.

A solicitor will know exactly what is needed in any type of company commercial document, and they will ensure all essential aspects are included, in addition to finding an agreement that suits the needs and interests of the business.

Here to Help

Operating a business can be a great decision for your future, but it comes with many challenges and potential problems. New and upcoming business owners don’t have to face the hardship alone. With a company commercial solicitor’s specialist advice and guidance, robust legal documents can be put in place, creating strong foundations for success.

Longmores’ Company Commercial team are highly are highly experienced. To discuss how we can help, please get in touch with Michael Budd, Partner and Head of Company Commercial.

Our team of solicitors will take the time to understand your needs and circumstances. We can then provide tailored advice to protect your business from potential pitfalls, ensuring you are fully compliant with all relevant legislation.

To discuss how we can help with company commercial legal documents, please get in touch, and we will be happy to advise.

Please note the contents of this article are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.