No business is completely insulated against legal issues that might crop up from time to time. It may be the case you are the claimant, or you may be the plaintiff. Whatever side of the law you find yourself on, there comes a time when you require legal assistance. Some cases are severe, while others are relatively typical. Here are some common business disputes you might come across while owning or running a business.
Running a business of any kind means you provide a service. And you deserve to be paid for that service. There are many methods of payment, and credit is ubiquitous. For example, your catering company might accommodate a 200 head wedding, receiving payment following the event. In most cases, people generally adhere to your terms, you get paid for excellent service, and everyone is happy. But sometimes, people can’t or won’t pay.
Shockingly, in the UK alone, the average household debt is £32,000. And people from all walks of life, whether rich or poor, young or old, are not impervious to money problems. But getting what you are owed can be tricky unless you hire a professional debt collection agency or a specialist law firm like Ellison’s solicitors. These are skilled at recovering money owed to you for a percentage fee that varies from firm to firm.
Another large-scale issue, especially during the global Covid-19 pandemic, is insolvency, otherwise known as going bankrupt. You may wince at the thought, yet it isn’t as bad as you might think. Of course, there is a stigma attached to insolvency. Still, it is a necessary tool for solving personal and corporate financial issues alike. And many solicitors and business advisors agree that declaring bankruptcy is the responsible thing to do in most cases. However, there is some discussion regarding bankruptcy vs consumer proposal, and there are always various factors that you should keep in mind.
You can declare insolvency in such cases where your company is unable to pay its debts. For example, one of the worst-hit trades during the pandemic was leisure and hospitality. As a result, almost 10,000 bars and restaurants permanently closed in 2020. Through no fault of your own, you could be liable for large debts, no money to pay staff or court proceedings. Yet if you claim bankruptcy, debts can be written off, employees can claim redundancy pay, and court action can be halted.
One of the most challenging tasks about owning, managing or operating any business is looking after your employees. Aside from assigning jobs and managing pay, there are numerous responsibilities, such as:
- Health and safety
- Development and training
- Hiring and firing
- Staff rotation
- Policies and procedures
All of these are rewarding as a senior member of staff. And you may be involved with multiple or all aspects of these, depending on your own role.
Yet, even the most responsible companies and managers are likely to face employee claims that require legal assistance. Such things include injury at work, sexual harassment and unfair dismissal. These are all complex subjects you are likely to face as a business or personal. A good HR team and a legal retainer will help when a claim is made. Yet ongoing development and staff training can help reduce the likelihood of an incident.