Small Business Start-Up Checklist – Legal Requirements

Here are some legal requirements to bear in mind when starting your own business:  

  • Health and Safety – Legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 means that you have a responsibility to protect the ‘health, safety and welfare’ of your employees
  • Data Privacy – In the UK there are strict rules governing how personal data is managed, these were set out in the 1998 Data Protection Act
  • Insurance – There is a minimum level of insurance required by law, but it would be prudent to insure everything because the risks of not doing so are great (e.g. damage to stock)
  • Minimum Wage – In 90% of countries there is a minimum wage required by law that workers cannot be paid less than
  • Recruitment – There are strict guidelines about what can be done during the recruitment process in regards to advertising for employees and deciding who to select, in order to guard against discrimination of any form (age, race, sex, disability etc.)
  • Industry specific requirements – Depending on which industry you are entering there may be specific legal requirements (e.g. opening a nursery would require an inspection of premises and employees would need a criminal record check)
  • Import / Export – There are country specific rules regarding import and export of products and these should be researched if you plan on doing this
  • Copyrights – Make sure you are not infringing copyright as part of your advertising or with the products you sell
  • Taxation – You must follow stringent guidelines relating to value-added tax and corporate taxation

For advice on any of these issues, it is advisable to consult a legal professional  

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