Exciting times are ahead for the Sheffield and South Yorkshire region. The much awaited re-development of Sheffield city centre finally looks to be under way; works in Doncaster are on-going with the Finningley & Rossington regeneration and of course, the development of the national High Speed Rail College.
Lots of re-development and investment equals lots of opportunities for all types of businesses in our region. Whatever kind of business you have, it is vital that before entering into any business transaction that you take time to understand the fine print. For small to medium businesses that are likely to feel the greatest impact if things don’t go quite to plan, there can be enormous benefit in taking time to understand the effects of these transactions.
Stacey Pocock, Head of Commercial & Civil Litigation at Best Solicitors, advises “At the very least, small businesses and anyone new to the commercial arena should obtain independent legal advice before entering into a contract. The contract could impose obligations or limitations which could be costly to your business and once an agreement is entered into, it can be very difficult and expensive to walk away.”
Entering into business transactions can also impose statutory obligations on business owners. For example construction contracts may require planning laws to be complied with before a project can begin. Recent changes to the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 mean that business owners, users or managing agents having maintenance, small scale or minor building works carried out in connection with a business have a responsibility to ensure that the project is planned effectively from the outset.
For commercial tenants, particularly those who are taking out a lease for the first time and may not know much about the legal implications, you must safeguard your interests and ensure that the lease is independently reviewed and any terms which may be needed to protect your rights as a tenant are included.
Stacey points out that “unfortunately, it is not uncommon for small businesses that are understandably keen to keep costs and expenditure to a minimum to enter into transactions without fully knowing the implications, only to find at a later date, that it is going to be a costly exercise to get out of or implement.”
The benefits of having knowledge about the implications of the transaction that you are entering into can help with business planning, forecasting, credit control and cash flow. Vital issues for any business. Whilst no one can accurately predict the future and hindsight is a skill that all business people wish they possessed, forearmed is forewarned and for a reasonable outlay, having knowledge about the transaction that you are entering into can be the difference between success and failure.