Setting Up Your Business
Set your business up for success from the start. Plain English Law can help you with:
Starting a business with more than one owner can require extra care. First, you need to be sure everyone truly agrees on how to manage the business. If you run into conflict later, a clear shareholders’ agreement or joint venture agreement will provide efficient and predictable methods for resolving deadlocks. This helps you preserve value in the business as you solve problems.
We’re not going to lie to you: articles of association and shareholder agreements are a bit of a dull read (not a murder mystery), but getting them right can save a lot of expense and heartache down the road.
Articles of association and shareholders’ agreements
All limited companies must have articles of association. These are the rules that govern how your company operates and makes decisions. You can create your own articles when you form the company. If you don’t, your new company automatically adopts the default set (called the ‘model articles’) provided by law.
Ask any corporate lawyer, and they’ll tell you model articles are anything but ‘model’, especially if you have more than one shareholder.
They don’t address a raft of common issues, such as:
With the model articles, you could get stuck with business partners the other shareholders choose for you when they sell their shares or leave them to someone in their will.
With a shareholders’ agreement and a bespoke set of articles, you can spell out how you want it to work instead.
There is more about shareholder issues in this FAQ.
Restructuring your business
At the start, your business probably just needed a fairly simple structure. But as the business grows, you may want to consider a more complex structure to manage legal risks, or plan for retirement and succession.
We can help you identify the best way forward for your business, then draft the necessary documents in straightforward, understandable language.