CORPORATE & COMMERCIAL
Our dedicated Commercial Solicitors have a wealth of experience and are committed to offering you and your business effective legal advice. We are here to help with any corporate or commercial property matter, irrespective of the business type or size. As a local firm we and enthusiastic about supporting local businesses.
Please see areas covered by our Corporate & Commercial team below:
Commercial property transactions often need to be completed speedily if they are to be completed at all, and require a high level of activity.
Your advisers need to be determined as well as knowledgeable. There are not only the problems of property law to consider, but also legal questions relating to the business to be carried out at the premises, including planning law and tax considerations.
We can help you with the purchase and disposal of large or small retail properties and businesses, freehold or leasehold, the acquisition, letting and disposal of offices, factories, retail and industrial properties and the sale of land for development.
We deal with a large volume of commercial properties across England and Wales; how can we help you?
Would you like an estimate? If so, please contact us HERE.
Business Terms & Conditions
Standard terms and conditions of business are one of the most important aspects to consider when starting a new business, however it is often the case that new businesses do not consider them in depth until a dispute arises.
Standard terms and conditions of business, if used correctly, are incorporated into the transaction and form part of the contract between the parties and it is therefore important that they accurately reflect the company’s procedures and policies to protect the company as far as possible from disputes and claims.
The terms and conditions of business should be specific to each company and can benefit the company by:
Providing the structure of how the transactions will be dealt on a standard basis
Providing certainty to the transactions and creating a point of reference for any disputes
Setting out the requirements which both the company and customer are required to adhere to
Enabling the company to limit (so far as the law allows) their liability in the transaction
Of course, there are legal limitations as to what can be achieved with standard terms and conditions and you should always have your terms and conditions of business regularly reviewed by an expert to ensure that they are enforceable and take account of any legislative changes.
Ranson Houghton Solicitors can help new companies with their terms and conditions of business and also offer a review service to companies who would like their terms and conditions updated.
Would you like a quote? Contact us here.
Landlord & Tenant
It is essential that the relationship between the Landlord and the Tenant is correctly documented and that all parties understand their obligations and liabilities from the outset.
It is crucial that both parties negotiate the terms of the relationship, including what will happen should certain events occur (for example a property in need of a repair) in order to avoid costly disputes in the future.
We are able to assist Landlords and Tenants of residential and commercial properties in providing, reviewing, amending, and negotiating the documentation of the relationship.
There is a plethora of legislation regulating the relationship between Landlords and Tenants which differ significantly depending on if the relationship is with regard to residential or commercial property.
It is therefore important to seek specialist advice to ensure that you understand your obligations under the law and under the terms of the tenancy.
Ranson Houghton’s specialist solicitors take a commercial and practical approach to documenting the relationship between the Landlord and the Tenant and are able to provide fast and effective advice in this area.
Prevention is better than cure. All businesses have an annual financial audit so that they know how well the business is doing and take action if there are problems. Indeed a properly run business will have monthly management information for this purpose.
There are often legal issues, sometimes urgent, lurking for a Business, a Company or indeed an individual which an occasional legal audit could find and rectify.
We will be pleased to discuss our method of providing a legal audit with you.
The exact brief will, of course, be worked out in discussion with you but can involve such matters as examination of titles to properties, planning permissions, necessary licences for running the business, intellectual property rights, employment contracts and industrial relations matters, health and safety at work, taxation and financial planning.
Many businesses fail because the proprietor does not have the commercial expertise to turn a good idea into a viable business. We offer you a preliminary advice service to help you set up your business.
We will discuss with you the many aspects relating to the establishment of your new business including its potential, viability and the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation with limited liability and partnerships.
If your business is set up properly from the beginning you can monitor progress, generate management information and make proper business decisions. The minefield of law relating to all businesses applies just as much to small businesses as large companies. Early consultation with us can avoid problems in the future.
Lease or Purchase of Premises
Contracts of Employment
Terms of Business
Ranson Houghton is a member of the Lawyers for your Business Network.
Services for Companies
Company law and the liabilities facing Directors make it very important that Shareholders, Promoters, Directors and Company Secretaries are fully advised on the law relating to any transaction involving their Company.
Taxation implications need to be considered. It is therefore important that before any transaction relating to a company is negotiated, advice should be sought from us.
We offer a full company service from the promotion and formation of companies to changes in capital structure and sales of shares. Disposal of Business Undertakings and Companies can be very complicated and expensive and expose vendor shareholders to substantial risk of claims following disposal, or expose purchasers to unexpected loss in value of shares because inadequate warranties have been given. We have considerable experience in these fields.
Our expert advice and negotiation can reduce the risk of claims and ensure that the interests of our client (whether Vendor or Purchaser) are protected.
Business & Corporate Pricing Information
Business and Corporate Law
We offer a wide range of services to support your business.
Business – Mergers and Acquisitions.
The cost of selling or purchasing a business
This will depend on a range of factors including the size of the business, its assets, staff, the services it provides, whether it is held by an individual or a company and what is happening with the business premises. We will tell you about all the associated costs, such as search fees, land tax or stamp duty. We offer fixed fees for business sales and purchases, so that you will know what costs are involved right from the start.
Heads of Terms
Heads of Terms or Letter of Intent essentially set out the main terms of a corporate deal. The Heads of Terms will include, for example, sale price, what assets are included, who the seller and the purchaser are and any other key terms. They may be drawn up by the selling agent or one of the parties’ solicitors. Heads of Terms are commonly agreed and signed by both parties and can be legally binding. It is strongly advisable to seek legal advice before signing. Clauses with regard to exclusivity, legal costs etc. need to be very carefully considered and consulting one of our expert lawyers will ensure you get the best deal possible.
Types of business structures
There are several different types of business structures available: Sole trader, limited company, an ordinary partnership, a limited partnership, a limited liability partnership or an unincorporated organisation. The different business structures will define your legal responsibilities in terms of the paperwork that must be completed (including accounts and Companies House forms), what types of taxes the business will be required to pay and determine how profits and losses will be shared. We will advise you on what type of business form your new business could take. We can advise you as to each of the options and assist you with setting up your business according to your choice. Spending some time at this stage making sure the business structure is right, can often save time and money as the business develops. We will make it clear from the start what the cost will be so that you know how much to budget for legal advice.
Essentially this is a “fact finding” exercise about the business; its accounts, its employees, its clients, its assets and liabilities and any appropriate insurances in place. When we act for a buyer, we submit relevant and comprehensive enquiries requesting copies of all the necessary documentation, reviewing these and identifying any gaps or issues, raising further enquiries as appropriate. When we act for a seller we advise on completion of all the enquiries received from the purchaser and assist in organising and indexing the documentation which will then be referred to throughout the transaction.
Most purchasers want to avoid the risk that the seller immediately opens a competing business nearby after the sale has completed. Usually there will be some provision in the agreement, restricting the seller from opening or working for a competing business within a certain geographical area around the business. An agreement will also commonly contain provisions that the seller agrees not to contact existing clients or customers or poach staff for the benefit of another business. These terms are negotiated as part of the agreement for sale.
Joint Venture agreements
A joint venture is when two or more business entities or individuals combine to access or grow a particular market or set up a new undertaking or project. Entities such as partnerships, consortiums and trade alliances all fall under the Joint Venture term. A Joint Venture agreement will be drawn up to deal with terms such as the business’ objectives, how they will be achieved, financing, management and how profits will be shared.
Commercial leases - Landlords
We provide advice to landlords on all aspects of their property investments including granting leases, licenses for alterations, assignments, under-lettings and lease termination. We deal with service of dilapidations schedules at the end of the lease and advice on resolving disputes when payments cannot be agreed.
For tenants we will negotiate new leases on your behalf, carry out due diligence, deal with SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) and Land Registry formalities. We also advise on licences to assign or under-let, rent deposits and licences for alterations. We guide you through the ‘sometimes tricky’ business of serving break notices and advise on minimising your liabilities at the end of your lease.
If you are considering acquiring a property for investment purposes, we can deal with all aspects of the acquisition including acting for your lender and advising on the terms of the occupational leases. If you have an existing property investment portfolio, we are happy to take on all aspects of management including dealing with assignments, under leases, tenants’ alternations and giving notice under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
We pride ourselves in offering a good value service, particularly when compared with our larger competitors.
We are happy to discuss fixed-fee arrangements with you on most transactions in order to provide you with cost certainty.
Services to Personnel
Staff who are worried about personal problems are not the efficient staff you need. We can help you by helping them. Their conveyancing, tax and financial matters as well as all manner of family problems can be made much less of a worry with prompt legal advice or action.
Our offices are conveniently located in the centre of Andover and Salisbury.
Compromise / Settlement Agreement
From July 2013 Compromise Agreements became known as Settlement Agreements in the UK.
What is a Settlement Agreement?
A legally binding agreement which is usually between an Employee and Employer setting out the agreement reached where employment is being terminated or where the parties are resolving a dispute.
The purpose of the agreement is to give certainty to the parties and it is essential that you fully understand the content and implications of signing the agreement before you enter into the same.
It is a legal requirement that you have independent legal advice from a professionally qualified adviser (Employment Rights Act 1996) to give that advice and, in many cases, the Employer will pay for you to obtain that advice or contribute toward your legal costs.
If you sign the agreement and accept the settlement terms, you specifically exclude your right to make an Employment related claim against your Employer.
If you are offered a Settlement or Compromise Agreement, you should contact an expert immediately to ensure that your rights are adequately protected.
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