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The seminar run by three leading businesses in Chester gave help, support and advice on this topic to small companies and business professionals at the Holiday Inn Chester South. Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants, law firm Jolliffe & Co LLP and Ian Traynor from Luminate Ventures outlined some of the trickier areas in businesses.

John Farrell, account senior at Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants covered effective accounting policies and procedures and explained some of the latest changes for this tax year.

Ian Traynor from Luminate Ventures encouraged attendees to work ‘on the business’ rather than just ‘in the business’.

Tom Newman Solicitor in the Corporate and Commercial Department at Jolliffes outlined payment terms and contracts, how to protect the brand, copyright and shareholder agreements.

On Terms and Conditions he said; “A good set of Ts & Cs look like you mean business. They should include when you get paid, what happens if additional services are needed, details on late payment, interests and costs, or if you are unable to perform the contract. You need a break clause.”

On protecting the brand he said; “A class registration is a really cost effective way of protecting your brand. It needs proper searches, not just Google. A solicitor will help draft and register a trademark and establish if it may upset any existing marks. Any confusion could trigger a claim.”

He advised on shareholder agreements; “Add ‘key decisions’ which covers decisions for which you need to confer on, a provision for ‘bad leavers’, any restrictive covenants or share sale stipulation, and what happens in the case of the death of a shareholder.”

Stuart Burrows, a Partner in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team at Jolliffes finished with whether to incorporate, shareholder disputes, and encouraged attendees to get things right first time, planning ahead for any eventuality. He said; “Something in writing is much better. Ensure your Terms and Conditions are included into your contractual relationship. The most common action taken on shareholder disputes is unfair prejudice regarding shareholder disputes. The ‘nuclear option’ is to wind the company up.”

Questions were asked at the end on formal planning timescales, Brexit and R&D Tax Credits.

Simon Williams, Managing Partner and Head of Corporate and Commercial at Jolliffes said; “It was an excellent event and we were happy to be involved. We enjoy helping businesses at any stage of their growth with advice and support.” He added; “Often a short consultation which is free, is all that is needed and we would much rather set a company on the right path properly than sort out a problem later.”

Jolliffes is organising a series of further events throughout 2019.

(Photo LtoR: John Farrell, Account Senior at Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants, Ian Traynor, Managing Director, Luminate Ventures, Tom Newman, Solicitor, Corporate and Commercial Department and Stewart Burrows, Partner, Litigation & Dispute Resolution at Jolliffes.)