Commercial and Corporate Legal Advice

Are you looking to start up a business but aren’t sure what you need?  Do you need advice buying or selling a business?  Perhaps you need a shareholder or partnership agreement for an existing business?  We can help.

At Backhouse Solicitors our expert team can advise on most aspects of commercial law.  Whether you are at the early stages of starting a business, obtaining finance, drawing up and agreeing business contracts, buying or selling a business or putting shareholder and partnership agreements in place we can help you with expert, cost-effective advice.

Starting a Business

Setting up your own business can be the most exciting and satisfying decision you ever make.  But while the potential rewards can be enormous, so can the risks.  Our dedicated team will help you avoid the pitfalls and ensure you receive the right help and advice to give your business a sound platform for the future.

We will start right from the basics, helping you decide if you should operate as a sole trader or form a partnership or limited company.  Once you have decided on the structure we can help with all aspects of the formation of your business.  We can help you to set up a company, appoint directors, issue shares, obtain the Certificate of Incorporation and the Memorandum and Articles of Association you will need for a private limited company to commence trading.

If your business will be a limited company, you will need to appoint at least one director, allocate shares and decide if you will need a company secretary.  The company secretary is responsible for ensuring that all legal obligations are met and in many cases, the individual concerned has to rely heavily on the expertise of others to provide guidance on their duties and responsibilities.

Finally, our extensive network of contacts means that we can introduce you to bookkeepers, accountants, business coaches, marketing experts, web designers and any other specialist advisors you might need to help you grow and flourish.  We also run large and popular business networking groups in Essex which you will be able to attend to meet new contacts and potential customers.

For more information and to book a free initial consultation on how to start a business, contact our experts today.

Buying and Selling a Business

Businesses evolve and change constantly as new opportunities arise for diversifying, growing or even selling to realise an investment.  If you are looking to buy or sell a business, our team can guide you through all the stages and legal requirements giving you peace of mind and helping ensure no surprises or liabilities emerge in the future.

Shareholder Agreements

If your business is a company owned by two or more shareholders, it is wise to draw up a shareholders agreement right at the outset.  While everybody may have the same goals and plans on day 1, circumstances will change over time.  One party may wish to sell their shares, and if disputes are to be avoided it is very important that you have agreed procedures for valuing their shareholdings and deciding who can purchase the shares.

For example, should shareholdings be valued by an independent third party or using the balance sheet of the business?  Should there be a minority discount?  Should shares be offered to existing shareholders first (this is known as pre-emption rights for the other shareholders).  You probably wouldn’t want an unknown 3rd party getting involved in the business without your consent.  These things are particularly important where the voting strength is heavily unbalanced in favour of certain shareholders.

For expert advice on all aspects of preparing shareholder agreements, contact Backhouse Solicitors today.

Partnership Agreements

If your business is a partnership you should ensure a formal Partnership Deed is drawn up to reflect the terms agreed between yourself and the other partners.  If a deed is not in place, the partnership may need to be formally dissolved in the event of a dispute. You may also face difficulties and potential court action to remove a disruptive partner.

When drawing up a partnership agreement, things to consider include who the partners are, the division of shares and how profits (and losses) are shared.  We recommend that a Partnership Agreement is drawn up on day 1 and then reviewed periodically, to take account of any changes within the partnership, e.g. the inclusion of new partners.

For expert advice on all aspects of corporate commercial law, contact Backhouse Solicitors today to book a free initial consultation:

Tel:          01245 893400
Visit:       17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JU
Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website.