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Setting up a business involves complying with a range of legal requirements. Find out which ones apply to you and your new enterprise.

While poor governance can bring serious legal consequences, the law can also protect business owners and managers and help to prevent conflict.

Whether you want to raise finance, join forces with someone else, buy or sell a business, it pays to be aware of the legal implications.

From pay, hours and time off to discipline, grievance and hiring and firing employees, find out about your legal responsibilities as an employer.

Marketing matters. Marketing drives sales for businesses of all sizes by ensuring that customers think of their brand when they want to buy.

Commercial disputes can prove time-consuming, stressful and expensive, but having robust legal agreements can help to prevent them from occurring.

Whether your business owns or rents premises, your legal liabilities can be substantial. Commercial property law is complex, but you can avoid common pitfalls.

With information and sound advice, living up to your legal responsibilities to safeguard your employees, customers and visitors need not be difficult or costly.

As information technology continues to evolve, legislation must also change. It affects everything from data protection and online selling to internet policies for employees.

Intellectual property (IP) isn't solely relevant to larger businesses or those involved in developing innovative new products: all products have IP.

Knowing how and when you plan to sell or relinquish control of your business can help you to make better decisions and achieve the best possible outcome.

From bereavement, wills, inheritance, separation and divorce to selling a house, personal injury and traffic offences, learn more about your personal legal rights.

Brexit leaves UK firms in an "impossible situation"

17 September 2019

Brexit leaves UK firms in an “impossible situation”A new poll by the Institute of Directors has found that UK firms want an end to Brexit uncertainty but don't want the UK to leave with no deal.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has called on the UK and EU to compromise on Brexit while urging both to improve their no deal planning efforts, as its latest survey results reveal the "impossible situation" facing business leaders.

The IoD has polled 950 business leaders about the prospects of a further Article 50 extension or of a no-deal Brexit. The findings show that 51% said that no deal would be more negative for their organisation, above the 32% who said further delay could have a worse impact.

The new analysis also shows that directors of smaller firms are "notably less likely to be fully prepared" than their larger company counterparts. Nearly a third of IoD members surveyed said they are engaging with relocation as part of their Brexit contingency planning, with 14% saying they have already moved operations or are in the process of doing so.

Allie Renison, IoD head of Europe and trade policy, said: "Firms are facing an impossible situation as they try to prepare in advance for the possibility of simultaneous sweeping changes on an unprecedented level. The idea of leaving the EU without a deal in place is certainly the bigger concern, but the prospect of repeated delays with no clear path forward is far from an appetising prospect for enterprise."

Businesses urgently need more targeted help and financial assistance, she said. "Both the UK and its European counterparts must also step up clear communication about the full raft of changes that no-deal would bring for business, as many key areas are still light on detail. After all, it's companies who will have to make the new systems work, not just public sector infrastructure.

"Crucially, both UK and EU politicians need to strain every sinew to find a deal, extension or not. Compromise is not a dirty word, and neither side wants to be managing the fall-out of no-deal for the foreseeable future. This is as much about the jobs and livelihoods of those who would be most affected as it is about politics and procedure."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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