Business & Commercial Business & Commercial
Business deals, meetings and negotiations take place all day every day around the world. In business, it is imperative to know your business sector inside out, to know your clients, your product or service and to be passionate about what you are doing. Before starting up a business of any size or any kind, you must choose how you wish to operate your business by evaluating one the various forms of business structure which are available. Below is a list of business vehicles which are most commonly used in today’s world of commerce.
- Business & Company
- Business and Company Legal Advice
- Company Formation (Offshore and Onshore)
- Special Purpose Vehicles
- Company Management
- Registered Address Services
- Company Secretary Services
- Directors Services
- Nominee Services
- Articles of Association
- Shareholders and Joint Venture Agreements
- Directors Service Agreements
- Partnership Agreements
- Confidentiality Agreements
- User/Customer Agreements
- Business Service Agreements
- Agency Agreements
- Trading Agreements
- Terms and Conditions
- Mergers, Sales and Acquisitions
- Licensing (Liquor, Entertainment, Premises)
- Directors Disqualification
- Finance & Funding
- Asset Finance
- Buy-in Management Buy-Outs (BIMBOs)
- Buying a Company or Business
- Debt Finance
- Demergers and Other Corporate Reorganisations
- Dividend Income/Share Schemes
- Equity Funding
- Family Company Succession
- Incorporation of Businesses
- Joint Ventures
- Management Buy-Ins (MBIs)
- Management Buy-Outs (MBOs)
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Partnership, LLP Agreements and Dissolution
- Private Placements of Shares
- Selling a Company or Business
- Share Introductions and Offers: OFEX, AIM
- Share Buy-Backs
- Shareholders’ Arrangements
- Venture Capital
- HOW CAN WE ASSIST YOU ?
At Protopapas LLP we can offer advice on suitable business structures and company law for your venture. Our department is geared towards serving the diverse interests of the business community; our solicitors are well experienced and offer independent advice without ever losing the sight of reality and what it is that you really wish to achieve. At Protopapas LLP we can provide the following services:
- Provide general business and company legal advice
- Advise you on the form of your business vehicle
- Draft business agreements
- Draft Partnership, Shareholders and Joint Venture Agreements
- Draft Directors’ Service Agreements and other employment contracts and agreements
- Draft Terms and Conditions and Trading Agreements
- We can form a company on your behalf as well as provide advice on the company structure and management
- Draft specifically tailored articles of association for your company. (These articles are the governing rules which your company will follow. There are statutory articles in place called ‘model articles’ which a company adopts if they do not have their own. Whilst these model articles are sufficient for a one person company, it is much more prudent to draft specific articles which relate to your company and how you want the company to be run, if more than one participant is involved.
- Through our associate in-house vehicle we can offer registered office facilities and company administration/management of your company all year round
- Assist you in the sale of your company as a going concern
- Advise on confidentiality agreements and other ways of protecting your intellectual property, such as trade marks, design rights, patents and copyright
- Advise on licensing of premises such as hotels and restaurants
- Merges and Acquisitions
When we are dealing with complex matters, normal office hours do not apply. In order to meet client deadlines we do, when necessary, attend early morning meetings, work through lunch, and late at night. We have dedicated English and Greek speaking solicitors on hand to deal with any issues in relation to company & business law or any aspects of business structures which you wish to discuss; we can clear any doubts you may have. Please contact one of our solicitors today
- YOUR BUSINESS STRUCTURE
Anybody who wants to set up a new business should ideally seek advice on which business structure they should use. The answer is not always straightforward and depends on various factors such as the size and nature of the business, the risks involved in the business, tax advantages, privacy and more. It is therefore always a good idea to consult an expert before beginning to trade. Once you have chosen your business structure, there are various other considerations which need attention, such as protecting any trade secrets or intellectual property in addition to deciding what documents you require in order to begin trading, for example, a shareholders’ or partnership agreement, terms and conditions of business or employment contracts.
Below, we outline the main business structures used in today’s busy world of business.
- Sole Trader
This is when one person starts up a business with no legal formalities. They begin trading as sole traders and are self-employed. They are taking on all the financial risks of the business. This means that all their personal assets are at risk if the business fails. However by being a sole trader you have almost complete control over how your business is run and how it operates. The only legal requirement is that you keep records for HM Revenue & Customs; other than that, administrative costs are minimal. Sole traders are rather efficient from a Tax and National Insurance point of view.
This is when two or more people run a business together with a view of making a profit. Although it is not legally necessary, a partnership agreement is essential and will outline how the business is to operate and how profits and losses are shared. It is important to know that even if you own a very small proportion of the partnership, you may be personally liable for 100% of the liabilities.
Although a partnership can be risky, it is easy to set up and has very few legal requirements. You are required only to keep records for HM Revenue & Customs purposes and each partner is taxed individually, however there is the risk that the partners’ personal assets are at risk if the business fails. The other risk with partnerships is that a large amount of partners have arguments and fall out with each other which can lead to the end of the partnership and often leads to litigation.
- Limited liability Partnership (LLP)
This is very similar to a partnership situation however the concept of limited liability is extremely important. This means that the liability of the partners will be limited; it will protect the partners’ personal assets so that they cannot be at risk if the business fails. An LLP has the tax advantages of a sole trader or partnership however they must provide financial information equivalent to that of companies including the filing of annual accounts with Companies House along with partners’ names and addresses and registered office.
- Private Limited Liability Company
Forming a limited liability company is the most common form of legal vehicle used by most businesses. A limited liability company is an entirely separate legal entity. The company is owned by shareholders and is run by directors who are appointed by the shareholders. The shareholders have limited liability in relation to the failure of the business and debts owed. Their liability is limited to the amount they paid or owe for their shares in the company. Although this is an advantageous point, limited liability companies have very stringent legal requirements and must report and file information with Companies House. Another big advantage of all limited liability vehicles is that unlike a sole trader or an ordinary partnership they have continuity, on change of ownership.
- Public Limited Company (Plc)
A Plc. is usually a company which can offer its shares to the general public, thus attracting large investment. It has the same limited liability comfort as a private company and in time can be floated on the stock exchange. A Plc. can also be run as a private company but is often avoided as the financial information required to be filed at Companies House is much wider than that of a private limited liability company.
At Protopapas LLP we can help you get your business started, whichever business vehicle you choose. For Limited Companies, LLP’s and Plc’s, our associate in house vehicle provides company formation services along with management services. With your instructions, we can set up your business vehicle exactly how you want. Our associate in house vehicle can also provide registered address, administration services, company secretary, Companies House annual requirement services and more. Please feel free to contact us for more information.