Find the legal side of business complicated?
Our lunchtime session with Daniel Walker, founder of Zegal, along with guests from the 360 Law Group to answer all your legal questions when it comes to starting up!
What you will learn after reading:
🖋️ How to keep your legalities tight
🖋️ Keeping in control
🖋️ How to avoid getting tangled in hosting havoc
🖋️ The importance of keeping a record
🖋️ How the location of your consumers can affect your legal requirements
Let’s meet our guests and then hear their top tips to keep legal simple! ⚖️
Robert Taylor, CEO & General Counsel at 360 Law Group - provides legal services to SMEs across a broad range of industries
Amanda Williams looks after the commercial contracts within the 360 Law Group - she facilitates contracts with customers and suppliers, and supports contracts that could be partnerships or forming strategic alliances as businesses grow.
Erika Moralez-Perez, Corporate and Commercial Solicitor at Virtual In-House Solicitor - she deals with business-related legal issues and supports businesses in enabling them to use law and their legal contracts and to raise their revenue.
Mark Hall also joins us as a commercial lawyer from the 360 Law Group - he helps companies of all sizes get value from their innovation and IP, help bring it to market, exploit it well and sometimes use it as leverage, for example, gain capital.
Now, let’s hear what they had to say on how to keep your business legally on track and secure!💬
Get the right your foundations right first
It’s great having an idea but you need to, first of all, make sure you build from steady plans, including how your business is going to operate.
For example, “being a sole trader might not be the right vehicle because you might be exposing yourself to liability, whereas you might be better off going through a limited company" says Robert.
You've got to get the foundation of how you're going to trade sorted out first. “The next thing that's really important and you need to do it cost-effectively and understand the way you're trading,” he says.
Make sure that “the contracts that you're trading on are solid there are no holes in them your liability is protected so that you're not going to go out of business as soon as you do for your first transaction”.
Make your contracts clear
Being precise on your product or service is crucial so you don’t get tied up in avoidable legalities
Ensure that “your contracts reflect your services you're providing the products you're providing they're protecting your liability,” Robert advises further.
Cover the law in all locations
If you're setting up a platform that's going to be offered in different parts of the world, think about what jurisdictions there are going to be and what laws apply to your platform.
IMAGE OF WORLD MAP MAYBE?
If you are a UK-based company that's governed by UK law you may need to cover laws in other countries where you could have another consumer base.
Particularly in Europe, if you are dealing with consumers in a European country, “as a consumer their local law applies to them” Erica points out.
Avoid hosting havoc
“A lot of people are using the same centralized hosting services,” says Amanda.
“From a confidentiality perspective, often we don't even know where those data centers are and so it's important that all of that's disclosed and all of that is understood and managed effectively.”
Keep in control
Mark Hall reminds us that you should always be “in control” to keep your business legally safe and on track.
Think about how easy it is to terminate that license remotely if somebody's using it inappropriately.
It can be “extremely sensitive and the consequences of getting that wrong can be really quite severe and things that we may take for granted you know don't necessarily replicate in countries across the rest of the world,’ Amanda adds. “So be mindful of that and make sure that all of that gets checked out first”.
“If there is an opportunity for remote control that allows you some form of screening or audit around that content, get the software development so that you've got more control over that usage locally,” she suggests.
Giving away equity is a big decision for any business, so even if you’re sure that you want to take that step with somebody, make sure they are committed and make them prove that they should be trusted to have a share in your company.
Robert suggests that you should “ incentivise” the individual “when they've actually done the job”, so you know you have made the right choice.
Keep everything documented
If you don’t have it in black and white, then how will anyone know if you actually have a settled agreement or deal? Nothing is official without the correct paperwork.
“Even if it's a piece of paper that you keep in the drawer document it” Robert emphasises, instead of it ending up back at the litigator's door and costing a fortune.
It's all about “people and putting the right processes and the right documents in place but take advice because that transcends everything we've discussed here today it's really key but know your worth,” Erica adds.
To round off the session, Amanda pointed out that together, the guest speakers have “over 100 years of experience” so, “ learn from somebody else's mistakes, don't learn from your own mistakes”.
Thank you to all of our guest speakers for such brilliant insights into what startups and new businesses should think about when setting up a business, you really did make the legalities simple!
To see more of the session, head to our YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss our new uploads!
If you want to be part of more of our Lunch and Learns, keep your eyes open on the website for more events coming soon.