+44 (0) 20 8346 2236

 

Business and Commercial

 

When you start in business, it makes sense to seek practical legal advice. We can help you to decide on the most appropriate business entity, assist with the acquisition of suitable premises, advise on contracts of employment and help with a whole range of other matters including insurance and bad debts. We believe the only way a solicitor can be sure of giving the best advice is to know as much as he possibly can do about the corporate client and his business affairs. That’s why we would welcome the opportunity to visit your premises and see how you work.

 

Sole trader, limited company or partnership?

 

Limited liability does not always give the degree of protection it implies; partners don’t always agree; sole traders have to shoulder all the responsibility. There are advantages and disadvantages to all the various business entities – let us discuss these with you before you decide.

 

Finance

 

We can advise you on the various sources of finance and tell you the implications of, for example, a second charge on your house.

 

Buying an existing business

 

Before you commit yourself to buying an existing business, please satisfy yourself as to it’s viability. Some of the following may help:

 

  • Ask to see accounts for the business and have accounts checked over by your accountant;
  • Attend the business several times, ask for permission to monitor the takings;
  • Make a list of fixtures and fittings and trade equipment;
  • Discuss with the seller who will pay the landlord’s solicitors costs;
  • If you are the seller, discuss with your accountant how the sale price is to be apportioned between the Lease, goodwill and fixtures and fittings;
  • If you are the buyer, the landlord will almost always require references such as bank, accountant, 2 trade references and sometimes a previous landlord’s reference. If you have been in business before, you may be asked to produce copies of accounts.

 

Leasehold or Freehold?

 

In the long term, it’s usually better to acquire freehold premises, but buying property ties up much needed capital. Rented premises may be an attractive option if you expect your business to expand, but will you be able to dispose of the Lease when the time comes?We can advise on both the leasehold and freehold option. In certain instances, property is available on a rent free or lower rate basis for a firm’s first few months in business, e.g. if repair or shop fitting is required.Whatever you decide, please don’t sign a Lease without consulting us. It should contain acceptable review procedures and be drafted in such a way that it does not deter any future potential purchaser.

 

Bad Debts

 

Customers who don’t pay their bills promptly can easily strangle an established business, let alone a new one. We can help you to persuade slow payers to settle their accounts by making it clear that legal action will be taken if they don’t. We can help you to recover money owed to you as quickly and cost effectively as possible. Small businesses can also benefit from the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1987 to claim interest and limited fixed costs on unpaid commercial debts.

 

Commercial Property Investment and Dealing

 

The purchase of property as a long term investment is deservedly popular. Yields are often better than those readily obtainable elsewhere and historically the long term potential for capital growth has been excellent. Property is not immune from recession, but even when times are difficult there is a steady demand for investment property which is reasonably priced. There is no substitute for personal experience of the local market in the assessment of a property investment. We liaise with surveyors and valuers instructed by you and manage the entire transaction. The legal title and ancillary paperwork for property investment must be in order and readily acceptable to other investors and lending institutions or there may be difficulty on re-sale. Because of the comparative security offered by property, lending institutions are normally very willing to assist. We invite you to take advantage of the experience we have in this work which represents a major portion of our practice.

 

Commercial and industrial premises

 

Rented property doesn’t come cheap so it’s always worth making sure the terms of a Lease are as favourable as possible. That means negotiating a fair rent, on appropriate terms and without unnecessary restrictions. We invite you to take advantage of our wide experience in these matters.

 

Business Expansion

 

There are various sources of funding available for growing businesses – from bank loans to venture capital. We can advise on the merits of each and may be able to put you in contact with suitable investors.

 

Acquisitions

 

Before you acquire or merge with another business there are many legal implications you should consider and we will be happy to assist you.

 

Major Problems

 

When you ‘re faced with a serious problem, remember we are only a phone call away. By considering your problem carefully and setting you on an appropriate course of action, we could possibly avert a major disaster.

 

Litigation

 

Whether you are bringing an action or being faced with an action, you will need us to help you decide who is likely to win the case and whether it is worth pursuing or settling out of court.

Hugh-Jones LLP

 

Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.Hugh-Jones LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (registered number OC357903, registered office as above) and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Any reference to partner in relation to Hugh-Jones LLP is to a member of Hugh-Jones LLP. \"The word \'partner\' is used to refer to a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing/or qualification.\"

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