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Traits Every Entrepreneur should have

Do you want to run your own business? Are you up to the challenge?
  1. Enjoy what you do and be good at it.

Most people become entrepreneurs because they are passionate about their products, passion is a key ingredient for every entrepreneur and without passion even the most exciting venture becomes a job like any other. It is important you find what you are passionate about before starting your venture as that passion will push you thought any difficulty you might encounter during your journey.

2. Plan and execute

Time is precious and time management is an essential skill for every entrepreneur. As your business grow you will have more things to juggle thus it’s essential that you learn to prioritise and plan your say ahead. Nowadays there are many apps that can help you organise your busy schedule so that you won’t miss another meeting!

3. Keep an eye on the small print

Running a business can be fun but it should not be taken lightly as there are many legal requirements that must be met. Always make sure you have a fully binding agreement with your customers and suppliers as disputes can be costly.

With a busy schedule it is sometimes difficult finding the time to keep up to date with legal requirements; nowadays there are many companies that provide legal services online which are just a click away.

4. Be the gamechanger

Behind every successful entrepreneur there is a mission to change the world. Remember you are in business for a purpose, you are the gamechanger. You can achieve your goals and if you work hard you can also shake up the status quo of your industry.

Are you up for the challenge? Remember we’re here to help you!


 

Difference between a Comfort Letter and a Guarantee

Comfort letters (also called letters of awareness, letters of support, letters of responsibility and letters of patronage) are a hybrid between a guarantee and making no commitments at all. Comfort letters are often given by a parent company to a lender in relation to a credit facility being granted by the lender to the parent’s subsidiary. They are usually used where the issuer is unable or unwilling to give a guarantee, but wishes to give some comfort to the lender. The purpose is to give some comfort to the recipient of the letter by specifying certain moral or legal consequences or commitments. There are several circumstances where the issuer of a comfort letter is unable to give a full guarantee, for example where there are restrictions in its constitution or in other contracts, or because of regulatory grounds.

Comfort Letters can either be legally binding or non-legally binding. Whether the comfort letter is intended to be legally binding or not depends on its wording; specific terminology used in the letter determines whether the assurance given constitutes a binding contract or only a moral obligation. Thus the wording used in a comfort letter may mean that it is equivalent to a legally binding guarantee, or it may have no legal effect at all.

Differences Between a Comfort Letter and a Guarantee

Under a guarantee, the guarantor undertakes to pay to the third party the amounts which the guaranteed party fails to pay. Guarantees normally operate within a clear legal framework, setting out the rights and obligations which attach to them.

The issuer and receiver of a comfort letter may have rights and obligations which are tantamount to a guarantee but this will depend on the exact wording, the surrounding circumstances and intentions of the parties.

In the case of a straight guarantee, the guarantor who has paid the creditor of a subsidiary has, by law, an automatic claim against the subsidiary. On the other hand under a letter of comfort the issuer of the letter does not have an automatic claim.

As mentioned above the wording, the circumstances leading up to the grant of the letter and the parties’ intentions can all affect whether the letter is legally binding or not. However it’s important to note that every comfort letter, even non-binding comfort letters, will give rise to some degree of legal responsibility, as it will contain at least representations as to present fact. If those representations are false, the giver of the letter may be liable on the grounds of deceit or negligent mis-statement.

It is therefore essential that the party giving the comfort letter should be satisfied that the statements in it are true as at the date when given.


The Legal Stop provides fixed fee legal services and legal and business document templates for all types and sizes of businesses. Our services include:

  • Legal and Business Document Templates
  • Request a Template Service
  • Fixed Fee Bespoke Document Drafting
  • Free Legal Documents and Information

We aim to make the law and provision of legal services accessible and transparent to people and businesses alike!

5 Business Trends You Should Not Miss in 2015

Our collection of 5 top trends that are on track to become popular in the New Year

Digitalisation of payment methods is well under way, and just when we thought that contactless cards, online payments and e-vouchers is enough, smartphones came to change our way of thinking.
There are three main mobile payment methods at the moment: Apple iPhone 6 payments (backed by Visa, MasterCard and American Express), Mobile Transfers, offered by most High Street banks, and PayPal app.

Whilst they are mainly used as a small peer-to-peer payments at the moment, many entrepreneurs have spotted a window of opportunity in attracting smartphone users to shop with them.

In October 2014 major UK supermarkets announced that they will introduce pilot mobile payments system in the first half of 2015.

You don’t have to be big to accept mobile payments. You can either build your own app (which is actually a good idea anyway), or use a readily available service like iZapp or PayPal.

There are more and more things you can print out using a 3D printer. Nowadays you can print with concrete, plastic or even nail varnish.

Houses built (or rather…printed?) entirely by 3D Printers are out there already — developers anticipate that they will cut building time to as little as 2 weeks.

Thinking of your own business — maybe you can improve the manufacturing of your product by investing in a 3D printer? That’s something to think about in 2015.

With increasing amount of data we put online analysing scripts will continue to grow. Facebook runs a lot of data analysis to work out what kind of content we like.

From your online posts marketing companies will find out about your wedding and suddenly you will see everywhere on the net ads for brides-to-be.

Thanks to data analysis you are now able to access amount of information that was not available to advertisers before. Your ads will become more personalised which in turn will increase your ROI.

On the other hand, managing a growing amount of information will become challenging, so it’s better to start learning your Google Analytics now.

The process of putting into a cloud seems to be everywhere and it may have already reached your data, contacts or financial package run on the computer.

Actually, if you use any of the Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar or even android-based smartphone) — it all runs in a cloud.

There are numerous advantages of keeping your processing in the cloud. You don’t have to commit your computer’s power, as all the calculations are done on the server. Furthermore, you will never lose your data ( the service provider will do the back-up for you), and you can access it from anywhere.

Maybe 2015 will be the year of moving your own system into a cloud?

Whatever you intend to do in the New Year, whatever your pursuits, missions or struggles are, we will always be here to help you!

How to Make Sure You Are Getting the Right Document?

Getting the right legal contract or business document could be tricky. Here’s how to choose the right source, so that you can get a peace of mind that doesn’t cost the earth.

1. Do I need to see a solicitor?

Generally you don’t need to, unless the transaction recorded in the agreement is of high value, complex or prescribed by law (it is a legal requirement to have a solicitor involved) e.g. conveyancing. But if you need to have that document sorted at 2am in the morning surely a lawyer is no there to help.

2. What kind of documents can I get online?

You can find a vast array of legal providers claiming to sell the best documents for you and your business, but many are of dubious origin. How do you know the document you are buying is legally binding and up to date with current laws?

Only legally trained professionals keep up to date with legal changes, when choosing a legal provider online for your legal and business documents you should make sure they are properly trained.

3. How can I customise a document template?

Legal document templates are basically ready to go. What you need to do is simply fill in your details. They generally come with comprehensive guidance notes helping you with the tailoring.

Don’t worry about the legal jargon. Leave it to the wig-wearing guys. Good document templates are always written in plain English, so you won’t be confused.

4. But will it survive the Court???

You may wonder, how a document downloaded off the Internet can survive the scrutiny of the wheel of justice? It is possible, provided you have made sure your template is from a reputable legal provider. It’s sometimes worth paying a bit more to get it from a trusted place.

Trust me, when it comes to legal issues — better safe than sorry!

Watch Dave talking about how he used Deed of Gift Template

8 LEGAL QUESTIONS ANY START-UP NEED TO ANSWER

You have an idea and courage to make it happen. Great! This is the first step to become a successful entrepreneur! However, there are lots of questions you may have before setting up a business. You may be worried about legal documents you will require and where to register your company.

This post will briefly explain what you need to know before starting up. For more specific advice, please do not hesitate to contact us!

1. What structure should I choose?

In most cases, a business in the UK will be a sole trader (self-employed), limited company or a partnership. Whilst being a sole trader requires less paperwork, and you may want to choose this route if you want to try your idea on a smaller scale, a limited company offers better security since you have the limited liability protection and better value in terms of taxation.

2. Can I use that name?

There are certain restrictions of what you can include in your company’s name. For example, sole traders can’t use anything implying they are registered as limited company. This includes “ltd”, “limited”, “public limited company”, “plc”, etc. You can’t suggest that you are connected with any government or local authority, or include offensive words.

Full comprehensive list of restriction in names is available on Companies House website: http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/gbhtml/gp1.shtml#appA

3. How can I protect my idea?

The level of protection largely depends on your idea, product or service. If you have a product that is unique and innovative, you may want to apply for a patent to protect it. You may also want to protect your name and logo as trademarks (how to do it in our other blog post – link).

If your piece of work is original and fixed, i.e. written or recorded in some way, be it a song, e-book or video presentationcopyright law will automatically protect it against being used by otherswithout your permission.

4. Do I need a licence?

In some cases, you will need to apply for a licence to carry out your business. The easiest way to find out which one you need is to use Government Licence Finder https://www.gov.uk/licence-finder.

5. Do I need to register for VAT?

There is no obligation to be registered if your turnover is less than £81,000. However, you may want to sign up voluntarily.

6. Do I need to pay my National Insurance?

Sole traders are responsible for their own national insurance contributions. Depending on your earnings, the appropriate class of national insurance contributions will be applied to you (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/working/intro/selfemployed.htm). You will have to pay National Insurance for your employees as well.

7. How do I employ people?

If you need some help with your business and want to employ someone for the first time, there are six basic things you need to check. https://www.gov.uk/employing-staff . You may consider taking on an apprentice, in which case the Government support is also available http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/Employers/Steps-to-make-it-happen.aspx

8. What kind of legal and business documents do I need?

The type of documents you need depend on the business structure you chose i.e. sole trader, limited company, partnership, the type of business and your industry. Standard documents include contracts of employment, non-disclosure agreements, terms and conditions of business, privacy policy, cookie policy etc.

We’ve got more than 150 document templates that are ready to use and come with guidance notes. If you need any help or if you are unsure about which documents you need just get in touch as we are happy to  help you!

Setting up your own business  may not be that complicated, it requires a bit of time to get familiar with all the legal requirements and most of all determination to succeed.  We are here to help you build a successful business so feel free to email us, call or get in touch via social media!

Webinar’s Topic – YOU DECIDE!

We at TheLegalStop keep innovating new ways to help people and businesses obtain practical and affordable legal services.

Check out our new revolutionary service: FREE Legal Webinars with Q&A where you decide the topic by simply emailing your requests at info@thelegalstop.co.uk!

 

Social media changes – quick survival guide

Social media can serve a variety of purposes – it could be your way to engage with your customers and share latest news about the company, and special discounts to attract new clients. You probably have a Facebook fanpage, with a group of loyal fans liking and sharing your content, a Twitter profile for microblogging and customer service, or even a Linkedin company page for B2B interactions.

If you use them on the daily basis, you may have realised they’ve been playing around with the design for some time and that they are now gradually rolling out new layouts on their pages.

This means that your current background, cover or logo, however beautifully crafted and calibrated, may soon look overstretched, pixelated and cropped, if not scrapped altogether.

Whether the bright, shining vision of the social networks’ innovators has already been bestowed on your profiles or you’re waiting with baited breath for the forthcoming changes – this guide is right for you.

1. Facebook cover stays the same

Facebook’s new fanpage features almost the same functions, as the previous one. The only difference is that they are located in different places, to make it easier for you to access your insights, apps and pictures from one place, without the top tab limitations.

Rules for the cover photo are the same: 851x315px, with logo at least 180x180px (although we recommend you to make it 500x500px)

Here’s a helpful template for you to download and create your cover.

Facebook cover

 

2. Images and thumbnails

When you post something on Facebook, you can include a photo or a thumbnail of the link you’re posting. Watch out! The rules for your business fanpage are different from your personal timeline, so you may need to resize some files to fit in the new restrictions.

TIP: Stick to the 252px X 484px dimensions to both pictures and thumbnails. Is the safest option to make sure your fans will see the picture in full, without any changes made by Facebook.

Untitled-2

3. Roadmap of the new panels

The new Facebook page feature animated panels with all the data you need at a glance. The standard limit of apps (3 tabs features) has now been lifted, so you can include as many as you like. You can also include your address, telephone number and website details right at the top of the page, without having to sacrifice precious characters in description section.

side

TIP: Your insights, apps, posts and pictures will be moved to the new layout, so you won’t lose anything. If you want to access the old-styled insights, click on the […] button near “messages” and choose “View insights”

Facebook is also introducing some new functions and algorithms changing the way users see your posts, and how they are distributed throughout your fanbase. It’s quite complex and still in test phase, but means you will have to change the way you share and what you share, for your posts to go viral… but that’s the issue for another post.

4. Twitter changed like never before

Untitled-4Twitter changes might be the most confusing of all. When you log into your account first, it will look normally, with your background and news feed with all the tweets of your followers.

Search box is also where it used to be… it’s just that box with your profile info and cover that looks suspiciously new.

 

The real change is visible on your actual profile, i.e. the page people go to see your own tweets.

Here’s the list of changes there

New cover image, with big space to express your innovation

The cover image space is massive, and could be used for a much more sophisticated design, than the old cover, “hidden” under the text about your company. You can use the 1500px X 500px picture, just make sure you won’t have any text or pictures within 70px of the picture top and bottom borders – they might not be visible on all resolutions.

Untitled-5

Facebook-styled timeline

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Farewell to the products and services on LinkedIn

As of 14th April 2014, all products and services subpages on your LinkedIn page has been discontinued, and will no longer be available. If you haven’t already, it’s the right time you switched to the showcase pages.

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You can have many showcase pages attached to your business page, and the attachment will be visible on both pages. However, your showcase page will live its own life, i.e. will have its own followers (that are not necessarily the followers of your business page – and vice versa!).

Apart from that, it will feature its own posts and pictures, and – most importantly – its own cover image, with the dimensions of 974px X 330px.

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The brave, new world of social media

Some of you may think new changes give you more space to express yourself, add more pictures, apps and craft bigger, more innovative covers. Other will disagree and would rather go back to the old style. The truth is, social media want to be as creative as possible, and they think about different solutions to keep you engaged. However, if you disagree with the proposed changes, share it!

The networks’ executives are not deaf, and they will listen to their users, scrapping the bad ideas. This happened with the proposed abolition of a hashtag on Twitter (which has already become an integral part of our culture).

The bottom line is simple – always keep up to date to stay ahead of the competition. Taking advantage of the new features of social media can give you the edge to be the best.

WE JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU

Since launching The Legal Stop in 2010, we’ve met some great people and watched the most incredible community come together; also we’ve been inspired every moment along the way.

This is just the beginning, soon we’ll be introducing some exciting new services so stay tuned.

A huge thank you to all of our customers, without you this would not have been possible