Our Business Team at Thomas Dunton can provide a complete and authoritative service for all small to medium enterprises (SME).
Call us to find out more about our free, no obligation, legal health check.
Free Employer/Employer Guide
Please click here for detailed Employment Law facts and figures for 2019\2020.
This information is also available in printed form as well as our Business Newsletter PDF (2MB)
Please call or email us to go onto our mailing list.
It is advisable for all employers to have a basic understanding of Employment Law.
However, when drawing up Contracts of Employment and Disciplinary Procedures, the help of an experienced employment lawyer can ensure regulations have been satisfied and strengthen your position if an issue arises.
At Thomas Dunton, our Employment Team can advise and draft contracts that will help to avoid problems in the future.
Debt Recovery and Cash Flow
Cash flow is the life blood of any business and most businesses at some stage suffer the problem of late or non payment of debts.
Efficient accounting methods and an effective debt recovery plan are essential to the future well being of your business.
We can help you with outstanding debts, leaving you to run your business.
Please click here for more detailed information on about debt recovery.
Buying or Selling Business Premises
Whether your business is starting out, relocating or expanding, Thomas Dunton have a wealth of experience and expertise to draw on. Whatever your Commercial Property needs you can feel confident that you are in safe hands. We can help you with all aspects of Commercial Property including:
- Sales and purchases of commercial properties
- Commercial lettings
- Lease renewals and rent reviews
- Business sales and acquisitions
All the terms of the lease or contract need to be fully understood.
Amongst other matters, you need to be aware of rent reviews, service charges, responsibility for repairs, and about change of use.
Licences, Permissions and Insurance
Special licences are required for the sale of certain products such as alcohol. Failure to acquire these licences or permissions could result in fines or the closure of your business,
If you employ staff, you are legally required to have Employer’s Liability Insurance and if the public or suppliers visit your premises, you will also need Public Liability Insurance.
Talk to us about what other insurance cover you may require such as Product Liability Insurance.
Finance and Taxes
Raising finance is often an issue with a new or existing business and taking out a loan or remortgaging your home are just two options available to you. It is important that the terms of any loan are fair and that you are aware of the legal implications of remortgaging.
Thomas Dunton are able to advise on the most suitable options and if necessary help negotiate on your behalf.
Whether business or personal, most of us would rather avoid a dispute; however sometimes it’s just not possible. That’s when you need specialist advice, both about the strength of your argument and how best to resolve the issue.
Taking your matter to Court is always an option but alternative routes like mediation and negotiation can be less traumatic and more effective than the Courtroom in solving disagreements. We can help you to choose the right course of action and can assist in a full range of disputes including Commercial matters, Employment and Debt and Insolvency.
Vernon Hadida is accredited both as a Mediator and a Mediation Trainer.
Protecting your trading name and ideas
The name that you trade under is very important as it will create an image of you in the minds of the public. Equally important make sure that a web domain name is available or you may not be able to create a website using your business name.
Talk to us about safeguarding your trading name or logo and protecting your ideas and designs from competitors.
Sole trader, Partnership, LLP or a Limited Company?
The legal form of your business provides an opportunity to influence how much financial and legal liability you take on and how much tax you pay. We can advise you on the differences between each form. We can then draw up the appropriate paperwork.
Health and Safety
It is required that all employers with five or more employees must have in place written policies and procedures and Risk Assessments to address health and safety issues in the workplace.
There are legal obligations on employers to address such matters as general risks, manual handling, fire, noise etc.
Under legal health and safety requirements, an employer is required to have:
- A Health and Safety Policy
- Risk Assessments
- Safe Systems of Work
- Training and Information
Should a business fail to comply, action can be taken against managers, directors and employees by The Health and Safety Executive. Penalties can include unlimited fines and imprisonment.
Focus on the basics
Businesses with Health and Safety policies in place should not become complacent. The following are some helpful tips to focus on key areas.
- Review your risk assessments at regular intervals and at least yearly. This will highlight any new operations or equipment that is being used.
- Operational procedures and Safe Systems of Work should also be reviewed regularly. This helps to ensure that there is training for new procedures or new or modified equipment.
- Talk to your employees to benefit from their experience and ensure that H & S documentation is meaningful, easily understood and relevant to them. Also remind them that they have a legal responsibility to ensure that they take reasonable care to protect their own health and safety and that of their fellow workers.
- Ensure that training is adequate. Induction and operational training must be sufficient with regular refresher meetings to ensure employees understand the issues. Employees should sign attendance records at training sessions.
- Keep all employee training records up to date. These records, together with risk assessments and procedures will be essential should action ever be considered by the The Health and Safety Executive.
We can help you avoid breaches which could mean criminal prosecutions as well as civil proceedings. It is certainly advisable to take advice from your solicitor or the local authority.
Our legal team are able to advise you on the legal aspects of the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act.
Whether you are a small or medium-sized business it is essential that you comply with this complex area of the law and are aware of your responsibilities if you are storing, copying or transferring personal data or replying to requests for confidential information.
Legal advice is highly recommended to ensure that you fully understand the legal requirements of this legislation.
Trading on Internet and mail order
If you sell online, by mail order or over the telephone, there are strict rules and regulations under legislation called The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 or simply DSR.
It was introduced to protect the consumer who purchases goods or services without first seeing them. It is essential that the seller is fully aware of his legal responsibilities; otherwise they may not only be breaching the law but also incurring unnecessary costs.
Please see below for further information.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaces a number of laws with regard to business-to-consumer transactions, including the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.
The following links provide useful information on different aspects of the new Act.
- ‘The sale & supply of goods – from 1 October 2015’
- ‘The supply of services – from 1 October 2015’
- ‘Digital content – from 1 October 2015’
- ‘Letting agents – display of fees’
- ‘The sale & resale of tickets’
- ‘Unfair contract terms’
- ‘Trading standards – inspections & powers’
We have been serving busines clients in all areas of Kent and the South East for nearly 40 years including Bromley, Chislehurst, Orpington, Petts Wood, West Wickham and Hayes, Bexley, Dartford, Swanley, Biggin Hill, Westerham and Sevenoaks.