“How do I know im conducting my business legally and above board?
As a start-up or small business owner, you want to know you are operating legally and following best practice. Here are the main topics you need to know about and understand to some degree to ensure you are operating your business legally and above board.
The major consideration when running your business is knowing your tax position and liability.
For example, tax law dictates that you must register for VAT if you surpass the VAT threshold limit of £85,000 gross profit in a year.
If you are going to be running a limited company, you need to understand what compliance reporting you need to complete on an annual basis to HMRC and Companies House, and will likely need the support of an accountant to help you fulfil your obligations and help you make the most of the tax reliefs available to you.
If you plan to take on staff, you need to understand employment regulations and ensure you are following the rules.
2. Employment regulations
If you’re going to be taking on staff, a knowledge of employment law is a must. Learn how to navigate discrimination law – especially the thorny issue of parental leave, how to handle disciplinary issues and how the changes to the Default Retirement age may affect your business. Figuring out how much you should pay your staff not only ensures a well-remunerated workforce but means you won’t fall foul of National Minimum Wage regulations. Finally, ensure your workplace is compliant with health and safety regulations. If you think you might benefit from some help from an HR consultant, take a look at our guide comparing potential HR outsourcing costs.
4. Digital regulations
Doing business online means dealing with a host of laws and regulations applying to the digital sphere. Read up on the Privacy and Electronic Communications Act to ensure you’re not penalised for sending unsolicited marketing emails, and make sure your software is properly licensed so you stay on the right side of the law.
Understanding which types of business insurance you’ll need can be tricky, some are compulsory whilst others are just advisable – however you’ll certainly need some form of insurance, it’s the law. Ensure you understand the necessary business insurance jargon so that you can feel confident talking to insurers about the right package for your small business.
Written by Shaima Todd.