Writing Terms and Conditions
You might not read them, but you definitely need them.
In a word, yes.
Every business should have terms and conditions to outline the rules and guidelines of their products or services. Why I hear you ask? So that the businesses and its clients are protected by setting out expectations and responsibilities from the outset, so that misunderstandings are avoided and to protect businesses from claims. So, what do they include? Terms and conditions can cover a range of topics such as payment and delivery terms, refunds and cancellations, warranties and guarantees, intellectual property rights and liability limitations. They’ll also often include specific language related to data privacy and security, user behaviour and dispute resolution. So what’s the point? Having clear and comprehensive T&Cs can help avoid legal disputes and protect a business’s interests. They also have the dual purpose of protecting the client or customer and offer a sense of security, maybe even establishing trust between the two parties. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Well maybe if you’re into that kind of thing, like us. And if you’re not, well lucky for you we can handle it for you.
This entirely depends on the type of business, it’s structure and its goals.
However, here are some of the most common share structures for limited companies:
- Ordinary shares – these are the most common type of share which provide equal voting rights to any shareholders and are typically used as a way of raising capital and providing options in terms of dividends and other shareholders rights.
- Preference Shares – used to attract investors who’d like a slightly safer investment, preference shares allow you to offer priorities to certain shareholders such as the right to receive dividends before ordinary shareholders.
- Non-Voting Shares – A classic ‘does what it says on the tin’ kind of share, non-voting shares mean there’s no voting rights for shareholders, but they’re still able to participate in the companies’ profits. They’re great for raising funds without reducing the voting rights of any existing shareholders.
- Redeemable shares – these shares allow the company to buy shares back at a specific time or price in the future, giving a level of flexibility over the company’s structure.
- Alphabet shares – these shares have all different kinds of classes, each with its own voting and dividend entitlement which allows different levels of control for shareholders. Choosing which structure is right for your business is a minefield, which is where we come in. Speak to our experts to work out what structure is most appropriate for you.
Intellectual property covers the elusive ‘intangible assets’ of a business or in plain English, anything created by the human brain.
So what does that mean? Well, any inventions, artistic works, literary works, trademarks, trade secrets, and industrial designs are classed as intangible assets and can be protected. Here’s a rundown of the various types of intellectual property rights that we can help you with:
- Copyrights – slightly different to a patent, a copyright covers any original works by giving the creator exclusive rights to control the use of their creation, again, over a specified period of time. What do we mean by that? Think literary works, music, painting, photographs and even software!
- Trademarks and design rights – this is more related to branding to ensure no one steals your firm’s thunder! Trademarks and design rights cover symbols, names, logos or designs that encapsulate what your firm is about. They provide you with the exclusive rights to use them, and protection from anyone stealing your brand’s identity.
- Trade secrets – Think the secret ingredient of Coca-Cola – trade secrets refer to any confidential information, processes or techniques used by a business to give them that competitive edge. They can include customer lists, manufacturing processes, formulas, and other proprietary information.
- Industrial designs – Industrial designs refer to the aesthetic aspects of a products design which need to be protected. In English? This includes the shape, configuration, patten or ornamentation of an object. E.g., the distinctive shape of Coca-Cola bottles. Intellectual Property rights are there to protect the creators or owners of businesses or products from copycats. They might seem unnecessary when you’re selling to friends, but believe us, when your business flies to the moon, you’ll regret not having them in place.
Blowing our own trumpet
Joe Wilkinson, HEAT
Paul Kirtley, Frontier Bushcraft
Paul Kirtley, Frontier Bushcraft
I have been using Accounts and Legal to undertake bookkeeping, VAT returns and accounting for the best part of a decade. The day-to-day service provided is efficient and consistent, along with A+L having a range of...