If you’re a small business in Coventry, you’ll want to make sure that you conduct your affairs responsibly, that you’re legally compliant and that you’ve got the right foundations in place.
As a commercial solicitor, I often give legal advice to people starting out in business. Here are the top five tips I’d give to any small business owner in Coventry.
1. Co-operate with the regulators
You’ll know who they are for your business. Most are more interested in ensuring compliance than punishing defaulters. No need to give yourself a hard time by treating them as the enemy or playing “cat and mouse”!
It’s often a good idea to subscribe to an update service, whether from the regulator or from a news agency or other service, that way you don’t have to worry about looking for changes in regulations yourself, you just get a notice into your inbox.
2. Integrity and honesty
We all make mistakes but if you do make one, it goes a long way to be able to show that it was a genuine error and hold your hands up to it. Most people are more forgiving and lenient in these circumstances – even judges!
Often it’s not so much the error that counts as what you do about remedying it. Maintaining a good relationship counts for a lot and if you’re honest enough to admit mistakes, you’ll gain a good reputation with other Coventry businesses.
Tedious perhaps, but if you have good documentation of your dealings you stand an infinitely better chance of succeeding if there’s a dispute than if you don’t.
It’s also important to develop a filing system that is easy to use and suits your way of doing business so that if you do need to go back and find a bit of evidence, you can actually find it!
Contracts are not limited to pieces of paper which say “CONTRACT” at the top, and any business document can be deemed by a court to be contractual if it contains details of an agreement, and could be as simple as an email or text message.
If you are unsure about the status of a working agreement, consulting a business solicitor in the Coventry area could be a good idea.
4. Negotiate rather than litigate
…if at all possible.
You’ll save yourself time, money and a whole load of stress. Often you can negotiate yourself, but if relationships are already strained, there’s a lot at stake, or litigation is on the horizon, it’s often helpful to have someone negotiate on your behalf.
Solicitors, barristers, and chartered surveyors all regularly undertake negotiations for clients.
5. Know when you need legal advice
Especially with important transactions that have significant value and/or risk to your business, major new commitments that you are thinking of entering into and employing people.
Many Coventry law firms offer a free initial consultation, usually over the telephone. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Do you need to speak to a solicitor?
At Mason Bullock Solicitors, we offer a free consultation to businesses in the Coventry area.
Call now to speak to a solicitor or complete the form below and we’ll call you back.