At HJS Accountants we can provide start-up businesses in the Southampton area with help and advice. Here are some general points to consider regarding start-up businesses and the law.

One of the key complaints voiced by small business owners is the amount of 'red tape' they have to deal with on a day to day basis. Keeping up to date with business legislation can seem like something of a minefield.

The regulations you need to comply with will depend to a large degree on the specific nature of your business. Here are some of the key areas that are covered by the law.

Discrimination

By law you must ensure that your business services and employment processes do not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability, age, race, sexual orientation, gender, or religious or similar belief.

Employment

Employing staff carries with it a range of additional legal responsibilities. Key areas covered by employment regulations include:

  • employment contracts
  • holiday and sick pay and allowances
  • statutory maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay
  • disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • redundancy and dismissal
  • monitoring your employees
  • working time
  • the right to request flexible working patterns.

Health and Safety

There are numerous Health and Safety laws which are applicable to businesses. The aim of these is to provide a safe working environment which minimises the risk of work-related accidents or illnesses.

Insurance

The law only requires businesses to purchase motor insurance for any vehicles, and compulsory employers' liability insurance for businesses that employ any staff. However, other forms of insurance, such as public liability, product liability, and business interruption insurance, are also advisable.

Intellectual property

These laws exist to protect the intellectual property of a business. This includes the name of a business, and any material covered by copyrights, designs, patents and trade marks.

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage was first introduced in April 1999. It applies to nearly all workers and sets hourly rates below which pay must not be allowed to fall. Please ask us for the latest rates or refer to http://www.lowpay.gov.uk.

Privacy and data protection

The processing of personal data is restricted by the principles of the Data Protection Act, while email marketing and telesales are also restricted by regulations.

Specialised sectors

Some businesses are also subject to specific regulations relating to their line of work. This may include food businesses, health and care services, and transport businesses.

Tax and National Insurance

There are numerous tax implications when starting up a business. We have expertise in this area, and would be happy to assist you.

Trading regulations

There are a number of laws governing the description and supply of goods and services, terms and conditions of sale, and distance selling.

These are just some of the areas covered by the law, and new rules are constantly introduced.

You should obtain professional legal advice to ensure that you are complying with the appropriate regulations.

If you are starting a business in the Southampton area and would like professional assistance, contact HJS Accountants.

Southampton Office

12-14 Carlton Place
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 2EA

Tel: 02380 234 222

Winchester Office

6 Charlecote Mews
Staple Gardens
Winchester
SO23 8SR

Tel: 01962 842000

Reading Office

3 Richfield Place
Richfield Avenue
Reading, Berkshire
RG1 8EQ

Tel: 0118 9511 115

London Office

90 Long Acre
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 9RZ

Tel: 0203 470 0777