Start Me Up Series


At first glance, the legal requirements for a business may look quite off-putting, especially if they are presented together.  However, a step by step approach can make the process a relatively painless approach.  Here are just some of the issues you need to look at.


Legal Structure

There are four basic types of legal status available to a new business; a sole trader, partnership, Limited Partnership or Limited Company.  In addition, there is an emerging trend towards social enterprises where there are other legal structures such as limited company by guarantee or shares, community interest companies and co-operatives.

Professional and legal advice should be sought when deciding on the best option for the legal structure of your business.


Health and Safety

Health and Safety at Work legislation ensure that you take adequate measures to provide a safe working environment.  Health and Safety is regulated, and compliance with the law will help keep a business sage, within the law and ensure it does not encounter legal difficulties.



There are a number of different types of insurance which may be required when starting and running your business.  Some are a legal requirement, whilst others are optional.  The types of insurance required will vary, depending on the type of business and the number of employees, premises etc.

Planning Permission

Planning Permission may be required when starting your business, even if you set it up from home.  Obtaining planning permission can be a lengthy process, so it is essential that it is dealt with at the outset.

Employment Legislation

Employment Law is extensive but there are three key areas which will need to be addressed: Equal Opportunities, Employee Rights, Pay and Tax.

There are other legal issues that may need to be considered when starting and running a business including Intellectual Property, Licences and Environmental Legislation as well as tenancy agreements.

Putting that little extra effort in at the start is really worth it.

f you are interested in starting a business, but unsure where to begin, get in touch with one of the business support team to discuss how to turn an idea into a reality: or

028 9446 7774

Jennifer McWilliams
Written By
Jennifer McWilliams

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