Frequently asked questions
There are a variety of legal structures available for your business, ranging from sole trader to partnership, limited company or PLC. The question as to what is right for you will depend on a number of factors, including the type of business, tax planning issues, and how the owners of and workers in the business are to be remunerated.
You will need to register for VAT if you expect your turnover to exceed £70,000 during the next month or once your turnover exceeds £70,000 in a 12-month period. You may also want to register for VAT even though your sales do not exceed the threshold. For example, if a significant part of your sales are "zero-rated" or "reduced rate" for VAT purposes, then if you register for VAT you may be able to claim a refund of some or all of the VAT you pay on inputs.
If your business has employees, it is required to have employer liability insurance. In addition, many businesses also carry public liability insurance -- since most businesses, one way or another, interact with the public. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need motor insurance, product liability insurance and/or special types of risk cover such as professional indemnity insurance or performance bonds.
Employers must use the PAYE ('pay as you earn') system to deduct taxes from their employees' earnings and remit them to HMRC. Nearly all businesses are required to make such deductions. You are also required to pay a separate employer's National Insurance contribution. The amounts that you are required to deduct depend on each individual employee's tax coding. Many businesses choose to out-source their payroll accounting, but some do their own. For people who run small businesses and want to handle their own payroll, HMRC offers free assistance.
Yes, all businesses need to prioritise health and safety. If your business is labour-intensive, and especially if it involves physical labour and/or transportation services, it will likely present a range of health and safety issues and may be subject to inspections to ensure regulatory compliance. You will need to determine how you will ensure compliance, and how much it will cost the business to do so.
Although most people try to avoid lawsuits and prefer not to breach contracts, there are times when people find it necessary to take a contract dispute to court. This article provides a basic overview of the law relating to breaches of contract and the remedies for breach of contract.
- Co Habitation
- Theft by employee
- Changing name by deedpoll (British national with UK passport living in Switzerland)
- Probate/Estate question
- Not sure who is legally responsible to pay
- Serach warrant
- what happens if you miss a sign in?
- Withdrawal of Employment offer - Advice needed
- Redundancy question
- purchase a property
- Lawyer needed
- Attic over Neighbours Bedroom
- Please please help
- How do I get my stolen car back
Apology from Met chief over use of CS spray on Protesters
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has apologised for an officer using CS spray during the UK Uncut protests on Oxford Street, London, in January 2011, reports the Guardian. In January 2011, protesters were sprayed with 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS) whilst protesting against tax avoidance....
EU law: Citizens blow off over European ban on powerful vacuum cleaners
A new European Union law banning powerful vacuum cleaners because they are not eco-friendly has put British citizens in a spin, as a number of popular high street models will no longer be available from September 1, reports the Daily...
Privacy law: modern technology needs to be considered
The president of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, has stated privacy laws need to be overhauled due to advancements in technology, reports The Telegraph. Lord Neuberger, speaking at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club, has stated the "astonishing"...
Scottish Independence: Former EU judge says plans to charge fees in Scotland would be illegal
A former EU judge has spoken out against proposals that would see an independent Scotland charge students from the rest of the UK tuition fees, saying that such charges would be illegal under EU law, reports the BBC. A former...
Divorce: Family lawyer says 'poker effect' is making divorces less fair
A family lawyer has told the Telegraph newspapers that the 'poker effect' is causing the financially weaker party in a divorce to fold early and accept unfair settlement offers to avoid the high costs associated with contested divorces. The Telegraph...
Employment law: Tribunal rules sacking of professor unfair dismissal
TV psychologist Professor Geoff Beattie was unfairly dismissed by the University of Manchester, reports the BBC. For ten series, Channel 4's psychologist for their hit show Big Brother was Professor Geoff Beattie from the University of Manchester. While the Professor...
Criminal law: No charge for members of the public who brought about the death of an armed robber while restraining him in the street
Despite the death of Clint Townsend, an armed robber who was held down by brave passers by after he raided a jewellers, a coroner has ruled that those restraining him committed no crime, reports the Daily Mail. In an armed...
Family law: Proposal to open up family court hearings to the public
In a remarkable move to address criticism surrounding judgements made in the Court of Protection, President of the High Court's family division, Sir James Munby, has proposed that the public be granted access to family court hearings in the future,...
Criminal: Ministers plan to create a crime of domestic abuse
The Home Secretary is in consultation with ministers to create a crime of domestic abuse, making the process of convicting perpetrators significantly quicker and easier, reports the BBC. No specific crime of domestic abuse is currently recognised under UK law,...
Criminal: Armed Selfridges robbers are sentenced to 58 years in prison
Thugs who stole millions of pounds worth of jewellery during an armed raid on Selfridges are sentenced to prison, reports the Daily Mail. During daylight hours on 6th June 2013, five armed robbers entered London's Selfridges store and terrified staff...
Contract law: Government hit with £224m bill for unlawful abolishment of e-Border scheme
Arbitration tribunal rules that government's termination of its contract with e-Borders firm, Raytheon, was unlawful, reports the BBC. Having signed a nine-year contract with US e-Borders firm, Raytheon, in 2007, the government later deemed the programme a failure and believed...
Copyright law: Lawyers from Premier League clubs not suing video-makers
Legal teams representing Premier League football clubs will not be pursing legal action against fans who had shared unofficial match footage via the video distribution site Vine, reports the Lawyer. On Friday 15 August, Premier League officials told fans any...
Human Rights: EU 'Right to be Forgotten' law causes controversy
Numerous requests made to Google to have links to articles removed quoting the European right to be forgotten have sparked a heated debate, reports The Telegraph. Following the removal of countless links to articles regarding criminal activity, the EU's right...
Extradition law: Assange finally ready to leave Ecuadorian embassy in London following changes to UK law
After two years inside the safety of the building in Knightsbridge, Julian Assange has announced his plan to leave the embassy as a result of the changes made to UK extradition law, reports the Telegraph. Having claimed political asylum in...
Public services companies may be forced to publish details of their business activities under new Freedom of Information laws
Due to a potential overhaul of the current Freedom of Information laws, any company providing public services such as energy companies could be compelled to reveal details of their business, reports the Telegraph. The Liberal Democrats are attempting to put...