For any business to operate within the borders of the UK, it’s essential to comply with the required legal regulations and statutes. However, the intricacies of UK law can lead any business, especially emerging startups, into challenging waters without their knowledge. Throughout this piece, you’ll learn about the critical factors that affect commercial ventures and the areas of concern that come under various legislation within the country.
The Companies Act 2006
The Companies Act 2006 establishes the foundation for the legal framework of businesses within the UK. Over the years, it has received relevant updates to keep up with the evolving digital world. From intellectual property protection to consumer protection laws, the Companies Act is an all-encompassing regulation that covers all the requirements for a business to operate within the legal boundaries of the UK.
It also highlights the penalties for various offenses should businesses fail to comply with those regulations. Those can go from minor fines all the way to imprisonment of the responsible personnel. The most notable sections that businesses need to consider are highlighted in the following sections.
Data Protection Under GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was part of the multi-national initiative that protected consumer data in a digital world. Although it originated in the EU, the UK still strictly enforces its own version of GDPR post-Brexit.
The law mandates every commercial entity to mention its name and registration number on all marketing material. It also highlights that companies should exercise transparency and responsibility for user data. They should secure it with adequate measures and come clean as to how the data is used. Failure to comply with the data privacy regulations can result in hefty fines, scaling up to GBP 18 million or 4% of the company’s annual turnover, whichever is greater.
Taxes and Insurance
The HMRC is quite serious regarding the collection of relevant taxes from any business. Sure, there are specific relaxations for startups and small-scale businesses, and you can claim expenses for various assets. Yet, any attempt to evade taxes or failure to report might attract massive fines that would outweigh the payment tenfold. Thus, it’s best to hire an expert to outline any issues.
In addition, the business is responsible for the relevant insurance of all employees. They must also bear the public insurance liability for any visitors to the premises and the neighbouring structures (for instance, in the case of a factory). Such insurance could only be availed from insurance companies registered within the UK and mentioned within the company’s disclaimer form.
All businesses operating within the UK are responsible for fair working practices that expand to all employees. Those can include the following.
• Paying at least the national minimum wage per the contemporary fiscal year
• Ensuring adequate documentation so that the employees have the legal right to work in the UK
• Issuing the relevant insurance
• Exercising adequate health and safety measures within the company premises
• Providing all employees with a written copy of the terms and conditions as part of your organisation
• Applying for a DBS check and the relevant pension schemes (where applicable)
• Ensuring that there are no malpractices within the workplace, such as wage gaps and discrimination based on class, race, gender, etc.
As part of COP26, the UK committed to several changes to minimise the country’s impact on the environment. That includes amendments to the regulations that outline the responsibility of businesses to do their bit.
As such, it helps to examine the outlined parameters under The Energy Act 2016. A few measures include sourcing alternative energy sources and ensuring your supply chain remains sustainable. In order to smoothen the process, you can hire a business lawyer who can help you understand the nuances and take care of most paperwork.
Ensuring Legal Compliance For Small Businesses
Keeping up with UK’s legal regulations that change regularly can be challenging for most businesses. Fortunately, you can outsource most of the work to worthy professionals and focus on growing your business.
Mishoura is a proven legal consultation service that can help you connect with the right individuals without inflating your budget. Within a short period, you can remain content with the fact that your business fulfils all the legal guidelines established by the government.