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Huntley Legal's Blog

Have you thought about discrimination lately?

Have you thought about discrimination lately?

I hope no one reading this has deliberately designed your business or how it works for the purpose of discriminating against one individual or one group of people. And I hope you already know something about anti-discrimination law as it relates to staff you employ (you can be liable if they do their work for you / run your business in a discriminatory manner).

However, not setting out deliberately to create discrimination in and around your business may not always be enough. It is worth taking a look at your business from different angles (whether by thinking through the possibilities, using secret shopper testing, or talking to your customers) to make sure that your business both meets your proper expectations on inclusion, and is legally compliant.

The Equality Act 2010, Part 3, Provision of Services states that it’s unlawful to discriminate against people with most – but not all – of the characteristics usually protected by law, in the way your service is offered and/or provided.

This article reminds you of the scope of the legislation and your duties under it.

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Does your business provide services?

Does your business provide services?

Almost every service provider is affected by the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, if your customers are UK nationals or UK-based businesses.

These regulations came in as part of the UK’s application of the EU Service Directive, and most have been retained following our transition arrangements.

If your business provides services, you are obliged to give these customers certain kinds of information.

This article explains what you need to do and why.

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What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

When it comes to your business name, there are a few things to think about if you want your legal position to remain sweet-smelling.

If you’re anything like me, you probably visit websites and receive emails from businesses who have a lovely logo and branding but who haven’t properly disclosed their credentials.

It seems to be something dull and pernickety that business-owners don’t think about enough. Is your business guilty of that? This article explains what you should be doing.

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Getting funding? Setting up agreements with your first lender or investor

Getting funding? Setting up agreements with your first lender or investor

I recently wrote Starting up? How to set up your first legal agreements. That article covered the agreements you’ll need with your first employee, client and supplier.

This time, I explain the agreements you’ll need with your first lender or investor.

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Starting up? How to set up your first legal agreements

Starting up? How to set up your first legal agreements

When you start or grow a new business, there are a massive number of firsts. Among them are the first time you’ll need a whole range of legal agreements, including your:

  • First employee contract
  • First client agreement
  • First supplier agreement
  • First investor agreement
  • First lender agreement

In this article, we explore the first three of these. In the next one, we’ll look at the other two.

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Preliminary agreements: The alternatives

Preliminary agreements: The alternatives

Preliminary agreements are intended to bring certainty to an early-stage deal. You know, the ones. They often have soft, almost cuddly, names such as: “Letter of Intent”, “Heads of Agreement”, “Heads of Terms”, or “Term Sheet”.

However, if not handled with care, they can give rise to uncertainty and issues that take you by surprise, such as:

  • The other side enforcing some part of the agreement against you
    or
  • You being unable to enforce some part of the agreement against them

This builds on my recent article: Preliminary agreements: Is it safe to use them?

If a preliminary agreement isn’t right for you or for the situation in question (now you know they may not be so soft after all), what can you do instead?

Here are your key options.

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Preliminary agreements: Is it safe to use them?

Preliminary agreements: Is it safe to use them?

When buying or supplying goods or services, people sometimes use a preliminary agreement before finalising the main legal agreement for the commercial deal. They might also use one when buying or selling a business or company, before doing the main corporate deal.

This article looks at why people use them and explores whether or not it’s safe. My next article will offer some alternative approaches.

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Using completion or ‘locked box’ accounts when buying or selling a company or business

Using completion or ‘locked box’ accounts when buying or selling a company or business

All companies and businesses are made up of a collection of moving parts. As such, their accounts and financial position are always in flux.

This makes it tricky when you’re:

  • selling shares in a trading company
  • buying shares in a trading company
  • selling a business or business unit by means of an asset purchase
  • buying a business or business unit by means of an asset purchase

When you initially start negotiations, the completion date may be some way off. This means it can be hard to decide the price, as the financial position and set of accounts you use to form the basis of your negotiations may well change over the period of time it takes to get the deal done and completed.

This article explores the established conventions for dealing with this situation.

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Things to watch on the legal landscape

Things to watch on the legal landscape

Nothing stays the same for long. Here are some of the potential changes coming up in 2022 that you need to be aware of.

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Loan notes, a useful alternative to a loan agreement

Loan notes, a useful alternative to a loan agreement

When you borrow money for your business, it’s likely to be under a loan agreement. But there is an alternative – loan notes.

I’ve had to review some quite complicated loan notes recently, so this article explores why you might consider them over a loan agreement (which is typically simpler).

This article builds on my previous one: Considering a loan?

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Marie took the time to understand our business, which made her advice very pertinent and useful.

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