Business law impacts hugely on any small business in Ireland. The regulatory environment which business law imposes on small business and starts when you decide to incorporate a company, register a business name, register a patent or trade mark and so on.
The challenge for your company or small business imposed by company law are many and the consequences are pretty severe for breaches of company law.
Penalties for breach of business law
Many of the breaches of company law, which are provided for in the Companies Acts are not just civil penalties, such as fines but many criminal penalties are provided for in the Companies acts. It is clearly vital that if you are involved in small business then a good familiarity with the relevant law is very useful.
Business law issues and problems
Some of the most common questions which occur in relation to company law and in Ireland include-
1. how to set up a company
2. how to register a business name
3. how to register a patent or trade mark
4. what is the law surrounding insolvency/liquidation?
5. how can I recover a debt?
6. how do I wind up a company?
7. what law covers domain names and doing business online?
8. what business law covers copyright and data protection?
9. what is the situation covering redundancy and unfair dismissal?
10. what about health and safety at work?
11. what law covers the use on internet by employees in the workplace?
12. what is ‘passing off'?
13. what business law cover confidential information?
14. as a landlord, do I have to register with PIAB?
15. what legal issues arise in franchising?
16. is the law applicable to an Irish franchise the law of Ireland or the (probably) international franchisor?
17. what law governs partnerships?
For any entrepreneur involved in small business in Ireland, including those who wish to work at home, a good working understanding of the main provisions of commercial law as it impacts on your small business is a very useful tool to have.
You do not need to fully understand the ins and outs of commercial law in Ireland; but to have a good working knowledge will provide you with a huge asset in your skills inventory. It can also save you money. For example if you have a look at the checklist on this site when you are considering buying a franchise in Ireland, you may well spot some issues that you can talk to your future franchisor about BEFORE you go to your legal professional.
If you spot an issue that for you is a deal breaker and your future franchisor will not budge on, then you may save yourself a lot of time and money by recognising that at the outset.
Business and company law is a crucial area for any would be small business owner or entrepreneur and a good understanding of how it impacts on your small business will leave you with an edge over your small business rivals.
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
Samuel Goldwyn (1882 - 1974), Goldwyn's Law of Contracts