Legal issues surrounding your business can be complicated and confusing, but hiring a solicitor in the early stages of your business might be the best investment you ever make.
Whether it is laws made in Westminster, Brussels or Stormont, Northern Ireland businesses have to comply with a wide range of rules and regulations in their respective industry.
Failure to comply could cost you your business, your assets (both business and personal) and your reputation.
But a proactive – rather than reactive – approach to risk and compliance can save you a lot of money and severe consequences.
Making informed decisions
Seeking early advice from a legal professional allows you to make informed decisions about your business.
Rules and regulations govern everything in society, and when something goes wrong, it can ultimately end up before the courts.
And while there is an upfront cost to seeking legal advice at an early stage, it usually pales in comparison to the potentially significant legal expenses that may be incurred should you and your business find itself in court.
Mitigating risk for your business
All business owners should know and understand the full range or rules, regulations and governance structures involved in their industry.
If you are as business owner and you don’t, you are creating exponential risk for the future of your business.
In simple terms, whilst you may know the business space you want to operate in, you also need to know what all you have to comply with to operate in that space and how much it is going to cost, to be in a better position to understand the intricacies of your business and its potential for profitability.
Mitigation of risk is good for continued business existence. Continued business existence is good for profitability. It stands to reason then that mitigation of risk is good for profitability
Understanding compliance and associated costs to understand your business better
You may need to spend money to comply with regulations.
Once you know the costs, you can factor them into your product/service offerings, ultimately allowing you a better understanding of profitability and success.
For example, a services business might need professional indemnity insurance.
The cost of this can then be factored into your pricing, for example, instead of charging £200 per service; you can adjust it to £210 to cover your insurance costs.
Going into any industry without knowing the relevant compliance landscape, specific regulations and associated risk can prove costly to the long-term viability of a business.
Is there an acceptable level of risk that you’re willing to take?
No level of risk should be acceptable for your business; preparing your business to comply is not only strongly encouraged but legally required too.
What are the consequences of not seeking early legal advice?
The consequences of not having suitable contracts or terms of service in place are wide-ranging.
For example, an individual who operates a business gets sued by a client and loses a court case and is found liable to pay the client ten thousand pounds.
If he/she cannot afford to pay this to the client and because the individual does not operate in an incorporated entity or have a liability cap in their terms of service, their individual and personal assets may be in jeopardy; anything from their house to their car and everything in between.
Take home message
Nobody wants to lose their business, homes or cars.
The initial upfront costs for a legal professional might be the most significant investment you ever make for your business and the safeguarding of your future.
Ultimately, seeking legal advice should, if a dispute arises, either protect you or help you navigate out of the issues with the least risk to your business and assets.
Find out more by contacting Granite Legal Services today: click HERE.