Legal Obligations for your Company

There are a myriad of legal obligations on businesses, and this isn’t a definitive list, however it covers the main ones:

  • Keeping accounting records – this stems both from the Companies Act and tax law.  Companies Act requires that you know the financial position of your company at any given time; although this doesn’t have to be precise, it should be an idea of solvency and retained profit for dividend.  Obligations under tax law are to keep records sufficient to prepare accounts and returns.
  • Companies Act and Insolvency Act

    – Not to trade whilst insolvent

    – Run the company in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association

    – Not to act against the interests of the company and/or minority shareholders

    -Include company name and number on correspondence, letterheads, invoices and on your website (e-commerce laws)

  • Health and Safety Law including

    – liability insurances such as public liability for premises

    – fire requirements

    – food safety

  • Employment Law including:

    – Minimum wage

    – Workplace pensions

    – Employment contracts and statement of particulars

    – Payslips

    – No unauthorised deductions from pay

    – Operate PAYE

    – Consider employment status (employed or self employed) for workers and contractors

    – Employers liability insurance

    – Equality and diversity

  • Planning Law where you use business premises – generally this doesn’t effect an office at home, so long as the “character” of the home remains unchanged.
  • Consumer Protection if you sell direct to the public, including

    – Displaying prices

    – Unfair contract terms

    – Product liability

    – Sale of Goods Act

    – Trade descriptions

  • Data Protection including

    – Registering with Information Commissioner

    – Web and server security

    – Meeting security requirements of credit card companies if you accept cards for business

  • Environmental Law including controlled substances and waste disposal
  • Equality Laws including non discrimination and disability access
  • Motoring Law including making sure drivers are insured if they use their own car for business, vehicles are safe and maintained
  • Website Laws including contact and place of business details, and details of PI insurances in some sectors
  • Industry and Sector Specific regulation