How to Protect Your Start-up from Commercial Disputes

16th August 2023

Protecting your startup from commercial disputes is vital. Here’s some steps you can take to keep your business safe.

When you have a start-up, you are naturally very excited to get the business up and running. It’s a brand-new project and something that you’ll probably be very passionate about. However, commercial disputes arise all the time with start-ups, and they could be very damaging to the company.

If you want to protect your company from a commercial dispute, there are things that you can do. Gaining legal advice from solicitors in Reading and surrounding areas can help your start-up take off in the right ways, but else can you do to help protect your business?

Here are our top tips for what to do…

Have Clear Contracts in Place

Any business agreement that you create as part of your start-up needs to be clear, legally binding and detailed. Vague wording and poor documentation are prime causes for commercial disputes.

If you need to get your documents professionally created by a legal service, then it’s worth investing. These documents form the backbone of your start-up, so they can’t be done haphazardly. It’s one of the easiest ways to prevent a commercial dispute from happening.

Understand and Comply with Laws and Regulations

Understanding the laws and regulations which govern your industry is vital as a start-up. The last thing you want to do is be in violation of any of these rules. This is a very normal way for commercial disputes to take place.

Make sure that you stay up-to-date on different regulations and laws within your industry. Your start-up always needs to be operating in full compliance of the law, as this avoids any legal problems. Having a solicitor in an advisory capacity is always recommended.

Perform Regular Risk Assessments

Performing a risk assessment is a normal part of any business. Being able to identify possible areas of weakness or areas where conflict might occur is vital. It allows you to take a preventative approach and stop the problem from ever occurring.

If your risk assessment identifies a potential area of conflict, don’t wait to sort it out. If you act quickly, then you can stop a conflict from arising before it even becomes a possibility. This proactive approach will pay dividends later on.

Have Access to Professional Legal Advice

As a brand-new start-up, you will rely on professional legal advice to get you through the early stages of your company. It’s perfectly normal to have a legal advisor on retainer for the first few months or even a year whilst you find your feet.

Speak to experienced business or employment dispute lawyers in order to get support on your contracts and advice on day-to-day operations. They will be able to tell you if you have an immediate problem with regards to potential conflict. They can also help you make your next move when it comes to expansion, or finding the first round of investors.

Provide Excellent Communication and Transparency

One of the key aspects of a successful start-up is transparency and proper communication. If you want to avoid conflict, you have to communicate properly with everybody involved in the business. This can range from investors to partners, and to employees.

The goal of open communication and transparency is to prevent misunderstandings and miscommunication earlier on in the company lifespan. You don’t want a misunderstanding at the start of your business to turn into a conflict six months in.

Conduct Due Diligence on Potential Business Partners

Conducting due diligence on the people you choose to work with before you enter into business with them is a smart idea for any start-up. You need to know who you’re working with before you work with them.

For example, if somebody has a history of disputes during their partnerships with start-ups, you want to know about that. Doing this research ahead of time can help you to avoid making deals with people who are going to be a problem later on.

Protecting your start-up business from commercial disputes…

As a start-up, your goal should be a proactive approach to conflict resolution. You want to try and stop problems from happening before they get started. With the right strategy and a very aggressive approach to research and background checks, you can manage to do this.

It’s sadly easy for conflicts and disputes to destroy a start-up, so you have to be careful. Taking the time to do proper research and having a legal advisor available is key. It might seem like effort, but it’s well worth it if a problem does start to happen.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on business law and start-up advice. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.