The Legal Documents Every Business Should HaveApr 12, 2022
This blog post was first published on 9 December 2019
This is something which I get asked ALL the time. There is no need to feel embarrassed or overwhelmed if you really have no clue on where to start with legal procedures for your business, most people are in exactly the same position.
I’ve created a free legal checklist for you to ensure you’ve got everything covered for the legal foundations of your business. Download this now so that you can get the urgent documents in place ASAP and then add to your other documents as and when.
This documents listed in this post are relevant for you if you’re new to business or if you’ve been in business for years. No matter what stage you are at in business we are all bound by the same laws. In addition, we are all in the same position that we don’t want to spend more money than we have to, I get it. With that in mind, this post shares the “must have” policies and contracts. These are the things that you need to be considering as a priority as the law requires that you have these elements in place in your business.
POLICIES REQUIRED BY LAW
You might be surprised to hear that there isn’t a long list of documents which you MUST have for your business.
1 - Data Protection
What does this mean in reality? You need to consider the seven key principles as set out in the GDPR and also set out how you handle people’s data in accordance with them. The key principles are:
i) Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
ii) Purpose limitation
iii) Data minimisation
v) Storage limitation
vi) Integrity and Confidentiality
vii) Accountability Principle
2. Training and Certification
Depending on the type of business you are running you may need a certain certificate or qualification to operate using certain terms. Many titles are protected, such as dietitian, anyone can call themselves a nutritional coach or therapist but “dietitian” is a protected term. Be careful about the title you appoint yourself in your business and make sure you are not using a protected term.
The law requires that you have employers’ liability insurance. Most contracts will also require you to have certain types of insurance so ensure that you have the required insurance before signing.
Insurance isn’t mandatory for every element of business but it should be considered as mandatory to best protect your employees, your clients and your business.
If you hire any employees then you will need a contract of employment. You are also required to have six essential policies in place:
i) No smoking policy
ii) Health and safety policy
iii) Disciplinary policy
iv) Grievance policy
v) Equality and diversity policy
vi) Employee personal data policy
(NB: You will need to have an HMRC registered legal entity to pay your employees).
5. Tax Liabilities
Every business has to pay taxes, whether you operate as a sole trader or a company you have to pay tax. You can find out more about UK tax liabilities here.
6. Trading Legislation
There are a number of trading rules and regulations that you must adhere to. If you sell products then you are legally required to ensure that the goods you sell are as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. If you sell products or services online or by telephone then you must comply with distance selling regulations.
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