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UK Home-Based Firms Warned Not To Operate In Legal Bubble

Businesses Must Consider Their Legal Obligations


By David Shirt

A leading commercial lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has urged the millions of UK home business owners not to operate in a bubble when it comes to dealing with legal issues.

The warning follows the announcement from insurer, Direct Line for Business, that there are now 2.5m home businesses in the UK - a figure which represents 52% of the total number of small firms and 8% of the UK’s total workforce.

Steve Beahan, a partner at Irwin Mitchell and a member of the firm’s SME Group, said: “These findings are interesting and should be welcomed as they clearly highlight the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in the UK. This is something which must be supported as many of these businesses have the potential to be the larger organisations and employers of the future.”

He added: “Working from home can be popular, as it allows owners to keep costs low and operate in a way that suits their own lifestyle. It is important, however, that bosses don’t get lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to legal issues and think that some are not relevant to them.

“There are still many areas that a business owner must consider and although the Government has attempted to reduce some bureaucracy through its ‘Red Tape Challenge’ initiative, there remains a great number of legal obligations in areas such as contractual terms and conditions, as well as the recovery of late payments from clients and taxation. These can often be forgotten, or in some cases the business attempts to deal with them on their own.

“Ambitious SMEs will not always be based at home and it is important for owners to look at the next stages of their development. Expansion brings a whole new set of challenges and regulations, so early consideration can be crucial.”

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