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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.

What particular regulations do specific types of business (such as a hotel, or a printer, or a taxi firm) need to follow? We explain some of the key legal issues to consider for 200 types of business.

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.

Loos, noise, heat, light... Six things you need to know about workplace rules

Are you sitting comfortably? What about your staff? As a business-owner there are some key regulations governing work environments you need to know about - whether you run an office-based business, shop or factory. They apply to everything from space, lighting and noise to toilets and temperature. Here are some key rules and recommendations you should be aware of

1. Temperature

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the law does not specify a minimum temperature, but the HSE says the temperature in workrooms should be at least 16°C or 13°C if much of the work is physical. Under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, the Approved Code of Practice states: "The temperature in workrooms should provide reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing. Where such a temperature is impractical because of hot or cold processes, all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a temperature which is as close as possible to comfortable." Go to the HSE website for useful guidance on temperature in the workplace.

2. Space

Workspaces that feel cramped can affect the well-being and efficiency of your employees. The HSE says workspaces should have enough room to allow people to move about with ease and in safety. They also need sufficient space to store work equipment and documents.

The Approved Code of Practice to the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 says: "The volume of the room when empty, divided by the number of people normally working in it, should be at least 11 cubic metres. All or part of a room over 3m high should be counted at 3m high. 11 cubic metres per person is a minimum and may be insufficient depending on the layout, contents and the nature of the work."

3. Lighting

The lighting you provide will be dictated by the type of work that your business does. However, every employer must make sure lighting is adequate for the task in hand. For instance, while an office could be lit to 300 lux, employees may need a desk lamp to study things more closely. A corridor, though, may only need to be lit to 50 lux.

You must also consider aspects of lighting such as colour, contrast and glare, especially from screens. Giving staff control over their own lighting can reduce stress. Sudden changes in light levels can be a problem because it takes the eye several seconds to adapt to new conditions so contrasts should be gradual. More information on lighting legislation can be found here.

4. Noise and vibration

Exposure to high levels of noise can increase stress and even fairly low noise levels can be a problem if experienced over long periods. Employers must ensure that noise levels do not interfere with safety-related communication. The HSE has a guide to noise at work and what employers must do under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.

Whole body vibration (which might be experienced in vehicles) can cause lower back pain and fatigue and some frequencies of vibration affect visual performance. The HSE has a useful guide to the regulations that cover vibration.

5. Toilets and rest facilities

The law states that toilets should be readily accessible, adequately ventilated and lit; be kept clean and securable from the inside. But how many loos do you need for your business?

In most workplaces, the guidelines state that there should be one toilet for up to five staff; two toilets for 6-25 staff; three for 26-50 staff; and four for up to 75 staff. For businesses with male employees only, there must be one toilet for the first 15 staff, two toilets for 6-25 staff, three for 26-50 staff and four for up to 75 staff.

There should be as many washbasins as there are toilets.

In addition, the law states that an adequate supply of "wholesome" drinking water should be provided.

Facilities for storing a change of clothing and a place to change should be provided for any employees that need to wear special clothes for work. Employers should also provide suitable places for people to eat and rest, including areas for expectant or nursing mothers.

6. Health and safety

First aid: The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require you to provide adequate and appropriate first-aid equipment, facilities and appointed first aid people so your employees can be given immediate help if they are injured or taken ill at work. FAQs on first aid at work can be found on the HSE website.

Smoking: Public spaces and workplaces must be smoke-free. Even with smoke-free legislation, HSE advises that employers have a policy on smoking in the workplace in order to reduce the risk to the health and safety of their employees from second-hand smoke.

Insurance: Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees while they are at work and most are required by law to insure against liability for injury or disease to their employees arising out of their employment. More information about the legal requirements under the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 can be found on the HSE website.

Risk assessment: You must carry out a suitable health and safety risk assessment. You can find out about assessing health and safety risks in your workplace on the HSE website.

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