Category Archives: Small Business

The Royal Courts of Justice, London. The Law Courts, The Royal Courts of Justice houses the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales.

Case Study: Silence does not amount to acceptance of an offer so no legally binding contract was in place

By | Business disputes, Contract law, Small Business, Terms of business | No Comments

This is a case study of a contractual dispute in which I was representing the claimant, John. The facts are true but names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Summary:

An offer must be formally accepted before a legally binding contract can exist. Offers cannot be accepted by silence. If you do not have a legally binding contract and a dispute arises, you are unlikely to be able to reclaim any money owed to you. Read More

website terms of use and privacy policy

Why your website must have terms of use and a privacy policy

By | Contract law, Small Business, Start Up | No Comments

The terms of use and privacy policy are two of the most important pages on a website and yet they’re probably the least read.

When I advise a client that they should have them in place and offer my help in preparing them, their first reaction is often “No, don’t worry, I’ll copy them off someone else’s website

Putting aside the fact that this would make them guilty of copyright infringement, here’s four reasons why this is a terrible idea and why your website should have a professionally prepared terms of use and privacy policy. Read More

how to terminate a contract without being sued

How to terminate a contract without being sued

By | Business disputes, Contract law, Small Business | No Comments

When you enter into a contract with a client, you’re entering into a legally binding agreement. In an ideal world, the contract will run its natural course and come to an end when, for example, the project is complete and you’ve been paid.

However, sometimes circumstances change and you may want to terminate the contract early. So, if you want to avoid being sued for breach of contract, you must do this legally. Read More

Confidential Information

7 Practical tips for protecting confidential information

By | Confidentiality agreement, Contract law, Small Business, Start Up | No Comments

If you’ve read our previous blog, the DNA of NDA’s, you will understand the importance of confidentiality agreements (also known as NDA’s and Non-Disclosure Agreements) for protecting confidential information.

However, you should not rely solely on the confidentiality agreement to protect your confidential information because once confidentiality is lost, it’s gone forever. Therefore, you should also take practical steps to protect the information as far as possible.

Related content: Blog – The DNA of NDA’s – Are confidentiality agreements worth the paper they are written on?

Here are our seven top tips for protecting confidential information. Read More

Confidentiality agreement NDA non-disclosure agreement

The DNA of NDA’s – Are confidentiality agreements worth the paper they are written on?

By | Confidentiality agreement, Contract law, Small Business | No Comments

There’s always a great deal of debate about the value of confidentiality agreements (or NDA’s / non-disclosure agreements as they’re sometimes known). Some people (usually the owner of the idea or information) will insist on a confidentiality agreement being signed before discussing anything. Others (usually the one receiving the information) will point blank refuse to sign anything.

So who’s right? Read More

Shareholders agreement working in partnership

Do I need a shareholders or partnership agreement?

By | Contract law, Shareholders agreement, Small Business, Start Up | No Comments

Why do I need a shareholders or partnership agreement?

If you own and control 100% of your business, you can run it (subject to complying with the law!) pretty much however you choose. You don’t have to consult with anyone before making decisions and you can change your mind at the drop of a hat.

If you don’t own and control 100% of your business, you can’t do this. You have to consult and agree with your business partners about how you will run your business.

How these decisions are made and what happens if you can’t reach an agreement will have a huge impact on the success of your business so this is what we are going to look at in this blog. Read More

Standard terms and conditions of business

Why use standard terms and conditions of business?

By | Contract law, Small Business, Terms of business | No Comments

Hands up if you read all the small print on the back of an order form?

Who scrolls through and actually reads the terms and conditions on a website before clicking to accept?

I’m not seeing many hands!

OK, I admit it. When I’m in a hurry (which is most of the time) I don’t read them either.

So, this begs the question, if nobody reads the terms and conditions why use them? Read More

5 essential contracts every business should have

The 5 Essential Contracts Every Business Must Have (And What Happens If They Don’t)

By | Contract law, Small Business, Start Up | No Comments

When a client comes to see me about starting a business, we always talk about the essential contracts their business needs.

Initially, they can be reluctance to spend money on them and often ask “Can’t I just download them from the net?

I fully understand that money is tight and clients are keen to keep costs to a minimum wherever possible, but this is an area where cutting corners usually proves to be a false economy. Legally binding contracts are the foundations of your business and as I’ll explain, having solid foundations in place is one of the best investments you can make for the future. Read More

Can I use an image I found on the internet

Can I use an image I found on the internet?

By | Copyright, Intellectual Property, Small Business | No Comments
We’ve all been there. We’re writing a blog or preparing a presentation and we need a picture to really get our message across. After all, a picture paints a thousand words.

So where do we look?

The first place most of us turn to is Google and after a quick search you find exactly what you’re looking for. But, can you use this image? Read on to find out. Read More