The law creates risks for business, but these risks are not always negative. Businesses can miss out on the opportunities that the law provides to be more profitable or develop a competitive edge. If you work proactively with your lawyer, you can use one of the least used resources open to business. We have included two examples below.
All businesses like to be paid promptly, but the reality is that customers sometimes do not pay on time. That impacts on your cash flow. Your bank may charge extra interest because of the delays. If you do not have written contract terms that let you charge interest on late payments, you may think that you have lost out. However, you do have the legal right to claim interest, fixed sum and costs on late payments in business-to-business contracts for the supply of goods and services by sending a simple notice under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. The interest rate that can be charged is the Bank of England official Bank Rate plus 8 per cent. Calculating the amount you are owed is not complicated. Coupled with other legal credit control methods, you can improve your business’s financial health.
Your brand can define and differentiate you. Despite this, many businesses think that brand protection is expensive. However, managing your intellectual property (of which your brand forms a part) doesn’t have to be. For example, in addition to registering your own protections, you can oppose others trying to register trade marks similar to yours that may confuse your customers. You can stop them from “passing off” and stealing your business. Would you let someone put his or her hand in the till and walk out with the cash Not defending your brand in a knowledge economy is no different to that.
When you get into the mindset that the law can help and not hinder, you can work with your lawyer to open up other opportunities to identify changes that may make a difference to your business. The law is not only about bad news and more expense; it is not just about getting a contract written or recovering a debt. Used properly, it can be a tool for growing your business and your profitability.
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.