Some small business-owners argue that they are burdened, rather than assisted, by the volume and complexity of laws with which they must comply. However, by keeping abreast of the legislation, businesses will find it assists them and prevents them from experiencing problems further down the line.
Does business law help or hinder companies?
Although some business-owners feel they are dealing with a constant tide of red tape, statistics show that in an average year, this takes only around two weeks for most companies.
Businesses should also take into account the financial implications of not complying with the law. Firms that don’t comply with legislation will receive a hefty fine, even if their mistake is accidental.
It’s a fact that laws actually protect your business’s interests. Legislation prevents businesses from suffering due to illegal acts by suppliers, competitors, employees, customers and even the government. The law also protects employees’ health and safety.
Changes in business laws
When any changes to business laws are proposed, small businesses are protected from any updates that might impact unfavourably on them. The Small and Micro Business Assessment 2011 allows small businesses to be exempt from any changes which may have a disproportionate impact on their trade in comparison to larger businesses. Previously, only businesses with up to ten employees were exempt. Now, businesses with up to 50 staff are exempt.
How the law protects businesses
The most important aspects of UK business law that actually protect your business include those relating to registrations and licenses; laws that protect the business, its staff and clients; laws relating to insurance; and health and safety legislation. In addition, laws relating to discrimination are important. Businesses must not discriminate against disabled people who work for you, who use your services and goods and who apply to work for you.
The laws relating to all of these areas actually protect your business. They may save you from suffering any financial loss, such as being fined for being in breach of the law.
Data protection and intellectual property
Other important laws are those relating to intellectual property, including protection for copyright and your company’s trademark and designs. The Data Protection Act, relating to retaining a hard copy or electronic information about employees, suppliers or customers, is also important. Businesses must have their consent to use it and only for the purpose for which it was gathered.
Businesses can claim expenses against some of their costs. This is a legal way of helping companies save money, giving them a better chance of success. All businesses pay tax from their profits, so when expenses are claimed, these benefit the company by allowing it to pay tax on a lower amount. This can save companies a considerable amount of money – and it’s all completely legal in accordance with business law in the UK.