Getting in shape for Business

Commercial Dept

The Downs are already starting to look more like an athletics track than Stratford. So with an improvement on last year’s time to beat, or even a first attempt looming, one thing is for sure, preparations will be key to a good run. The same can be said about running a business whether you are starting a business or ready to move to develop your business to new heights. 

Would you run the Bristol half marathon without preparation and training? Of course not. To give your business the best chance of staying the course careful pre-race preparations can make the difference between success and not making it beyond the first mile post. 

To start and develop a business successfully requires careful planning and commitment .You will need to consider what skills are needed to run your business, its start-up financial requirements, target client/customer base and your support team of employees and advisers. Every successful business needs a ‘race plan’. An experienced professional should be able to review it and put it into shape to satisfy your bankers.

You may also have to decide upon (or review) the structure of your business. Should you be a sole trader/partnership/or a limited company? Will you start from scratch or purchase an existing business complete with customers and products. Does the idea of operating a franchise appeal? If you trade as a sole trader/partnership then it is the individuals who carry on the business whilst where there is a limited company the company has a separate legal entity independent of its owners. There are advantages and disadvantages to be considered for each, in the areas of liability, tax, management and administrative obligations and ease of disposal. 

It might seem a simple solution to run your business from home but your home may be subject to restrictions either through planning or by covenant. If your business requires commercial premises you will have to decide whether it is best to buy or lease and professional advice as to the obligations and liabilities you are taking on is a must 

Preparation and planning are equally important to managing growth safely and efficiently. If you are an established business owner, are you on target with your projections? Is now the time to acquire another business or to expand into new business premises? Might you be able to set up a franchise model? 

Every business transaction is a contract of sorts ranging in its simplest from the purchase of a sweet for 1p to the supply and maintenance of computer systems. You may well need standard terms of business, advice upon your suppliers contract conditions, licences, permits, intellectual property advice and, where there are employees, contracts of employment, written disciplinary procedures, equal opportunities and anti-discrimination procedures.

AMD Solicitors of Clifton and Henleaze (www.amdsolicitors.com) has a commercial team who are enthusiastic about helping SMEs and family owned businesses get in shape and fit for business. AMD ‘s private client solicitors are able to work closely with the commercial team to cover the personal angles of owning a business such as inheritance tax planning. AMD offer a free initial consultation on legal issues. 

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