Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) for Small Businesses

You may frequently be in a situation where you need to disclose sensitive information about your business to potential clients, customers or partners. If you do that, you will want to make sure that any disclosures are protected so that the recipient cannot pass the information onto anybody else or copy it, or use it for their own purposes.

Equally, you may find that when information is disclosed to you, the discloser seeks to impose stringent or even impractical non-disclosure obligations on you. So, it makes sense to talk to an expert and/or use the right document so that you are suitably protected in relation to business information you reveal, and not unfairly burdened in relation to information you receive.

We have both one-way and mutual NDAs to suit your small business needs and if you need help with drafting, we'll be on hand.

Free Tip Sheets and Documents

Plese find below our selection of free tip sheets and documents which can be downloaded or viewed on the subsequent product pages.

We hope these provide you with some insight and assistance but should you require any further, more specific help, please contact us via the Business Legal Advice page

Consultancy and Freelancer Agreements for Small Businesses

We all use consultants and freelancers in our businesses on a routine basis in order to bring in expertise that we don't have in-house. So, they can be as important to the business as employees, but you don't necessarily know them that well or have as much control over what they do. Therefore, you need to make sure that your agreements give you the best platform for getting the most out of your consultants.

Alternatively, if you are going to be a consultant, you will want to make sure that your duties and compensation are clearly laid out. Our consultancy agreement works whether you are a company or a contractor.

Corporate/Business Incorporation Agreements for Small Businesses

When you are running a company you have numerous responsibilities under the Companies Act in relation to the way that the company is administered, the way that decisions are taken and reported, and in making notifications to Companies House. If you do not comply with these obligations, then your company could be fined.

Furthermore, anyone looking to invest in your company or to purchase it will want to see that the company books are up to date and fully compliant with current legislation. If you are a director, you will also have numerous duties that you must comply wth as a director.

We have a range of document templates in this area, which are listed below. You can also use our expertise to make sure that you are compliant at all times.

Small Businesses Agreements for Disputes and Resolution

Disputes are a drain on the business that we can all do without. They are stressful, costly and take up precious management time. Anything that reduces any of those three elements has got to be helpful.

We offer a range of useful documents in relation to disputes including clear template letters before action, mediation and arbitration clauses you can put in your agreements, draft settlement agreements and compromise agreements (for exiting employees). Furthermore, we also provide access to documentation to enable you to initiate and conclude mediation or arbitration.

Furthermore, we offer negotiation, mediation and arbitration services as well as assistance through direct access barristers using our partner Clerksroom, who can also help with contentious matters.

Employment Agreements for Small Businesses

Employment contracts are not only a legal necessity, they can also help to set the tone of your business. Our Employment Contracts are straightforward and business-like. They cover key issues required by employment law, such as duties, pay, benefits, hours, holiday, sickness and termination.

What will I need before drafting?

- Full name and address details for the employer and employee.
- Details of the terms of employment that will be offered.
- Details of any previous employment with the same or an associated employer.

Funding and Share Agreements for Small Businesses

You can't have a much more important agreement than one that involves buying or selling shares in your company. Your investors are likely to be with you for some time, so you need to strike the right balance between risks, rewards and control of the company.

Make sure you work through all the commercial and legal issues associated with taking in investment (including share price, due diligence, warrantees, dilution and exit).

We provide a range of documents covering share investment and loans, including different variations of a Shareholder Agreement, which can be edited to your exact requirements.

Intellectual Property Documents for Small Businesses

Intellectual Property is often the key valuation metric for a company. Yet all too often, small companies are so focused on trading that they neglect this important side of their business.

Make sure you protect the copyrights and other intellectual property you may be creating by properly documenting transactions you carry out with others. This could be by way of licenses or assignments for software, audio, visual or literary material, databases, design rights, trademarks or patents.

Joint Venture Agreements for Small Businesses

Joint Ventures are common in business as partners seek to share costs, data, expertise, resources and rewards.

However, such arrangements can easily go wrong if there is a mis-match of expectations as to the allocation of responsibilities, risks and rewards.

It's worth taking the trouble to work through these issues before you start and write them down in an agreed document. We have templates in this area covering trading joint ventures and those where one or more parties invests.

Licensing Agreements for Small Businesses

You may frequently be in a position where you are either licensing intellectual property off others (such as copyrights, software, visual material or trademarks), or you are wanting to grant rights to third parties.

If you are acquiring rights you will want to make sure you have as much freedom of exploitation as you need and that the grantor is properly authorised to grant rights to you.

If you are granting the rights you will want to make sure the licensee comes to you for appropriate approvals, accounts regularly and properly, and respects any restrictions you may wish to impose. In either case we have the documents to assist you.

Media and Entertainment Agreements for Small Businesses and Artists

This is a specialised area with its own custom and practice for dealing with contractual issues.

Whether those concern management, publishing, recording, licensing, filming, production, distribution or live performance, we have accumulated expertise in all of these areas and can provide you with, and help you create, appropriate documents tailored to this industry and your needs.

Mediation Documents and Forms for Small Businesses

Mediation is a time-saving and cost-saving method of resolving disputes without going to court. It normally only takes one day and it is successful over 70% of the time. It also saves the stress of litigation without taking that option away from you if mediation doesn't work. We have expert mediators ourselves as well as access to a mediator network available from our partners at Clerksroom. Forms are available below for easy and instant access to Mediation services at a highly competitive cost. Call us on 020 7148 1066 to arrange a free consultation with a Mediation expert.

Property Agreements for Small Businesses

If you have an office or a retail property, you will have legal issues arising out of your lease, rental or property license agreement. These may be commercial or concerned with statitutory obligations.

These kinds of documents in particular are traditionally written in very lengthy and old fashioned language which is confusing and difficult to understand. We can bespoke business property documents for you for every need.

Agency and Distribution Agreements for Small Businesses

Trade is the lifeblood of any company. If you use third parties to sell, distribute or provide services in relation to your business, you need to ensure there is a proper balance between risks and rewards, and rights and responsibilities.

It's often not enough to deal with these matters verbally or across email - a complete agreement can give your business reassurance and peace of mind.

We have template documents in this area to cover both pro-distributor and pro-supplier arrangements.

Software and IT Agreements for Small Businesses

No doubt there will be many times when you wish to use software providers to help your business, whether they are writing or designing software programs, selling you existing programs or applications, or maintaining any of these for you. Or perhaps you are a software developer yourself?

We have a variety of software documents covering the full range of possibilities in this area, including commercial terms, delivery specifications, service levels, testing and acceptance, disaster recovery, maintenance, training and ownership of intellectual property.

Website Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies for Small Businesses

In dealing with consumers over the internet you will be subject to a number of laws and regulations governing issues such as; the way you process consumer data, distance selling, privacy, cookies and unfair contract terms.

You'll want to make sure that your website terms and conditions address all of these issues. You will also want to make sure that you regulate the way in which consumers use your website (e.g. you do not want them to post infringing material or introduce viruses).

We have templates available to cover all of these requirements and these can be further tailored to your industry. Our documents also cater for your rights and liabilities should anything go wrong in any of these areas.

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Our lawyers can help with selecting the right document or drafting them to your requirements. Call us on 020 7148 1066 or complete the form to set up your free consultation.

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