We’re all juggling hundreds of different balls right now, and sometimes it’s easier to forget about some than others. And with children circling at our feet, bills to pay and the general uncertainty of this period, one of the balls we may have dropped is the legal side of our responsibilities as a company director.
But this ball is a particularly important one - and as it turns out, a lot has changed in the last few months (and in even the last few weeks) as to what our requirements are. More importantly, to get through the next few months or longer, we may need to change how we do things, and a key part of that change is going to involve negotiating with various different clients, suppliers and possibly employees.
In our webinar with Jacqui Barrett, Partner, Corporate and Commercial at Hall and Wilcox, we explore the legal side of your business. We delve into what the risks are for the next few months, and how you might need to do things like vary contracts and take other measures to mitigate those risks.
If you’re a director in your own company, even if it’s a small business that only employs you or a few others, you still have a number of responsibilities, and some are quite important at the moment. According to Jacqui, there is one key responsibility which all business owners need to remember at this time:
‘Directors have the important obligation to ensure their company doesn’t trade insolvent. There are consequences if you do do this.’
But how do you continue to operate your business, if you’ve been effectively shut down by the coronavirus? Jacqui believes that negotiation is key at this time, and you should use it in all of your dealings with your clients and suppliers:
‘Remember that no one has control right now, so you may need to agree to temporary changes to contracts and terms. Have the discussion, be prepared to find a middle ground. Talk about the way forward.’
If you’ve varied any terms of how you deal with anyone in your business, Jacqui believes there is one critical thing you need to do. Find out what it is in the webinar, access it here.
With the current crisis, the solvency (the ability to service debt) of many businesses has been affected. But, Jacqui says, the government has made a raft of changes to help those who may be struggling. One of these changes is around statutory demands:
‘If, for example, a customer is struggling to pay you and you’ve made a statutory demand, previously they would have had two weeks to pay. Now, they will have six months under a new concession the government has created.’
If your business is struggling with solvency, Jacqui also says that a number of changes have been made to help safeguard directors and businesses. Some of these changes include:
‘Previously, you could have personally gotten in trouble for insolvent trading. But now, the government has given temporary relief to directors.’
‘In addition to this, they’ve extended their safe harbour provisions.’
Jacqui talks more about what safe harbour provisions are in the webinar. Access it here.
If you’re concerned about your business though, Jacqui recommends you immediately seek legal advice.
Listen to the webinar now to ensure you legally protect your business.
Mums & Co have created a special taskforce to support our 345,000 + members to best manage throughout the coronavirus crisis. The taskforce includes 15 experts, who will be answering your questions via daily webinars and making themselves available for individual consultations, if you need. We’re also developing a chat-bot to support you, 24.7. Access to our taskforce is available via a Mums & Co premium membership, which we are providing for free for the next 3 months.
We’re here to support you and we’re stronger together. Join us here.
All advice provided is general advice only. Please consult a lawyer or financial advisor for specific advice on your personal situation.