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Checklists for business (112)

Recovering the debt
If it's time to go down the formal legal route, use this checklist to help weigh up your options and explain what's involved in attempting to recover your money. Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to arrange cover
Finding the right source to arrange your insurance is an important part of the process. You can either go direct to the insurance company or through an intermediary. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Data protection and your website
If your website collects personal data (information about a living person which enables them to be identified), then it must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Use this checklist as a guide to ensure that you don't fall foul of the Act. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Internet marketing
Marketing your business using a website is all about generating good publicity to increase your customer base. However, legislation is in place to govern what you can and can't do. Use this checklist to ensure that your business markets things in the right way and stays on the right side of the law. Read more
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Type: Checklist
E-commerce terms and conditions
Having the right terms and conditions in place is an essential part of any successful e-commerce business. Use this checklist to make sure yours are up to scratch. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Internet selling
It's a myth that selling anything in cyberspace is unregulated. It is actually highly regulated. Use this checklist to make sure your site is fully compliant and that any contracts made are legally binding. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Reporting accidents
There's a legal obligation to report certain types of accident. Additionally, because accidents are a fact of life, as a business, it's important to have the correct paperwork and proper procedures in place to deal with them. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Maternity
It's important to be fully aware of a pregnant employee's rights and to be able to handle things properly and correctly. Use this checklist to work through what's required of you.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Sickness
Dealing with sickness absence is a perennial problem for most employers. Use this checklist to help keep the impact to a minimum. Read more
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Type: Checklist
What to do if your claim is rejected
Don't just assume that your insurance company will pay out. It's not unknown for claims to be rejected. However, if this happens, all's not lost. Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to make a complaint and get compensation
Ultimately, the Adjudicator's Office handles all complaints about the Taxman. However, the adjudicator will only examine a complaint if the right people in HMRC have seen it first. If you feel you have been unfairly treated by the Taxman, you need to explore the avenues of complaint. Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to amend a tax return
What happens at the end of an enquiry?If the Taxman finds nothing wrong with your return, he should advise you of this and write to say so (in a closure notice). That is then the end of the matter. If he considers that there's something wrong, but does not think you have been negligent, he will normally... Read more
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Type: Checklist
Do you have to sign the record of what was said?
If you do attend an interview, HMRC will make notes and use the answers against you if it can. It may ask you to sign them as a true record of the meeting. Should you? Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to chase a repayment
Most tax districts deal with taxpayers in strict alphabetical order. So if your surname begins with "T" you'll have quite a wait for any repayment due to you. How can you speed up the process? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Dealing with a notice of enquiry letter
An enquiry is an examination of a self-assessment return to check that it is correct and complete. Your involvement in an enquiry usually begins when you receive a letter asking you to send further information. The letter is the Taxman's opening shot, so how should you handle it? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Challenging the Taxman's calculations
Can you challenge the Taxman's calculations?With self-assessment, there's an emphasis from the Taxman on records which seek to displace the profits shown in your accounts with an estimate based on a business economics exercise (BEN). How do you go about challenging a BEN? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Reviewing your tax return before filing
Before filing your tax return, it's a good idea to carry out health checks on it with a view to reducing the chances of being selected for an enquiry. Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to get an enquiry closed down
If you believe you've given the Taxman all the information he's requested, you may ask him to close the enquiry. If he refuses, it might be because he's on a fishing expedition or does not have the courage to close down the investigation. What steps should you then take to get closure? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Enquiries - what if HMRC wants to see you?
What if HMRC wants to see you?There is no statutory obligation to attend an interview and some advisors advocate non-attendance. However, if you decide to attend an interview, how should you react to HMRC's questions? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Forming a company
How do we form a company?It's never been easier to form a company and to start trading immediately. But as always there's an element of you get what you pay for. So what are the pros and cons of each option? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Enforcing the judgment
OK, you've now got your judgment. But enforcing it is often the tricky bit and how successful you are will determine whether you get paid or not. Use this checklist to run through the various ¬≠options. Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to discipline an employee
From time-to-time, you will need to discipline members of staff. There is a right and a wrong way of going about this. Use this checklist to ensure you do things the right way. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Preventing discrimination and harassment claims
These are to be avoided at all costs. Quite apart from generating adverse publicity, they can be very costly as there's no cap on the amount of compensation that can be awarded. This checklist will help avoid such claims. Read more
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Type: Checklist
PAYE and National Insurance
As an employer you are responsible for deducting both income tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC) from your employee's salary. Failure to do so could result in you being fined as well as being liable for any unpaid tax or NIC. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Designs and how to protect them
There are four different types of design rights that you need to be aware of. This checklist will guide you in the right direction and offer protection if you're looking beyond the UK.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
IP, employees and third parties
You need to be clear who owns the IP rights - you or your employees. Use this checklist to ensure there are no costly and protracted disputes over ownership.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Service charges
What's a service charge?Service charges can be punitive. But the good news is that the landlord can't charge them unless the lease allows it. Use this checklist to be sure of your position.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
What can be copyrighted
? Copyright applies to written and musical works etc. But make sure that whatever you have in mind for copyright protection is an original.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Looking for property
Where do we start looking? These days there are countless places to look for property. This checklist should help ensure you don't waste too much time on the process.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
How leases work
How does a lease work?A leasehold agreement is a contract. However, as it relates to land, it will often contain unfamiliar language and all sorts of traps for the unwary. This checklist will help you stay out of trouble.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Shareholders
What is a shareholder?Shareholders often provide valuable investment in a company. But what's their full legal position? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Health and safety policy checklist
Health and safety policyThis must be the bedrock of your health and safety culture. It's a legal requirement in any event if you employ five or more staff, and it involves you putting together a written statement to set out how you will manage health and safety. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Pregnancy and health and safety
According to research, 97% of pregnancy-related tribunal claims involve a failure to carry out a risk assessment. To make sure you don't fall into that category, use this checklist to keep your business out of tribunal. Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to protect your company name
How do we protect our company name?To ensure maximum protection for your company's name, you need to take a proactive approach - include it on all business correspondence and check the register at Companies House from time to time.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Business rates
How are business rates set?You can't escape business rates but you need to be sure you're not paying too much either!  Read more
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Type: Checklist
General fire safety
Following a change in the law on April 1 2006, fire certificates were abolished. Now you are responsible for carrying out a fire risk assessment in order to ensure your premises are safe. Use  his checklist to help you take the necessary precautions. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Hours of work, rest breaks and holidays
All these areas are covered by legislation known as the Working Time Directive (WTD). Make sure you know what the WTD says and that you keep proper records so as to avoid getting into problems and disputes with any of your employees. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Planning and building regulations
How should we deal with planning and building regulations?Planning and building regulations are a fact of life and may serve to limit what you can do with your property. Work through this checklist to flag up the most important considerations.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to get paid on time
There are no real secrets to prompt payment. But following some basic rules will certainly help.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Getting your publicity right
You are legally required to ensure your website sets out certain details about your business. Use this checklist to make sure the publicity on your site is right up-to-date. Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to protect a trade mark
There are various hoops you have to pass through to ensure your trade mark (TM) is properly protected. Use this checklist to avoid any problems.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
First aid at work
You're under a legal obligation to provide workplace first aid for your employees. Use this checklist to help you to meet your requirements under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Display screen equipment (DSE)
Display screen equipmentThe Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 lay down clear guidelines for workstations. Use this checklist to ensure you are fully compliant with the Regulations. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Insurance
What's the position on insurance?You can't assume that the landlord will take care of all the insurance for the building. If you do, you might find yourself on the end of a claim that you have to pay yourself.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to make a claim
What, where and how do you make a claim if an insured event occurs? The events in the immediate aftermath of a claim can be crucial and the steps you take can be very significant should your claim be disputed. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Contents insurance
Your stock, machinery and equipment are valuable items and integral to the business. It's a good idea, therefore, to check that these items are properly insured, so that your business can continue to function in the event of an emergency. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Anything else to remember
?A final checklist to help ensure you haven't overlooked anything - something that's easy to do when there are so many things to consider.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Buildings insurance
If you either own or rent premises, having an adequate buildings insurance policy is essential. Don't be tempted to underinsure in order to save money. It could prove to be a false economy. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Problems with landlords
What if we have problems with the landlord?For the most part, landlords want to get on well with their tenants. But sometimes the relationship breaks down. Use this checklist for pointers on how to deal with such a problem.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Selecting and managing your it supplier
To be able to get the maximum benefit from your website, you will need to have a robust IT system in place. Use this checklist to ensure you ask the necessary questions of your IT supplier. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Choosing a domain name
If you're going to be involved in e-commerce, getting the right domain name and keeping it is one of the most important things to get right. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Database rights and protection
When you create a new database a protective right arises automatically. Keep careful records of when the database is made; protection lasts for 15 years.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Recruitment
The task of recruiting the right person for your business is not to be underestimated. There are various ways of going about this. Make sure you are clear before you start the process about what you want and who you're looking for. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Trading options
What are our options? It's important to understand the different trading options - some will be more suitable than others. Pay particular attention to the issue of personal liability. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Compulsory and optional insurance
What's compulsory and what's optional? You're legally required to have some types of insurance. Failure to comply will be a criminal offence. It could also mean that if a claim is made, the business itself will have to pay out compensation to meet it. However, many types of insurance are an optional... Read more
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Type: Checklist
Dos and dont's with clients and customers
Dos and don'ts with clients and customersThe customer is always right! Actually, they're not. But following our basic dos and don'ts should help ensure a trouble-free relationship.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Appraisals
Meaningful appraisals are all about reviewing your employees' performance and potential. It should be a two-way process. To ensure your appraisals achieve their objectives, use this checklist as a guide. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Choosing the right policy
All businesses require insurance cover. Getting the right type of cover at the right price is, and could be, very beneficial to your company. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Contracts of employment
Not only are they essential so that both you and the employee know where you stand but also the legislation insists upon you giving certain basic terms. Use this checklist to make sure you're fully compliant. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Dealing with your bank
Banks are solely in the business of making money so make sure you're aware of their charges. Check statements carefully.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Funding the purchase
How should we fund the purchase?How you fund the purchase will depend on a variety of factors. Use this checklist to consider the basic options. If nothing else, it might help to eliminate them.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Prevention
In an ideal world you'd want to be paid on time by every customer. Of course, there's no guarantee that you will achieve this, but use this checklist as a precaution to ensure you are not saddled with having to chase up too many slow or non-payers. Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to factor your debts
Debt factoring can be a convenient way of improving cash flow and removing risk. But it's not always straightforward so use this checklist to ensure you get the best deal.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Dividends
All shareholders will expect to receive a dividend. Can they be paid out at any time, irrespective of the financial standing of the company? This checklist will keep you on the straight and narrow. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Interviewing
Interviewing candidates is your opportunity to get to know them and to assess whether or not they are going to be suitable for the business. To ensure you choose the right candidate, use this checklist to remind yourself what's involved and what you should be looking for. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Directors
Directors play a key role in any company but what are the different types and what are their key responsibilities? Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to handle complaints
Effective complaint handling is essential to ensure a good business reputation and a strong order book. Done well, it can even lead to fresh sales.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Why form a company
?A limited company can offer you valuable protection from person liability. But what are the other benefits? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Chasing the non-payer
If you've a customer who simply won't pay, use this checklist to try to persuade them to settle your overdue account without the need to take them to court. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Options
What are the options?When it comes to choosing suitable premises for your business, the options are fairly limited. For complete control, you might opt for freehold but for more flexibility, something like serviced accommodation might fit the bill. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Selecting a hosting contract
A website needs to be hosted on a web server in order for it to be available on the Internet. As your website is the public face of the business, use this checklist to ensure that you're able to find a cost-effective, fast and reliable service to host your site. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Choosing a supplier
It might sound obvious, but it's vital you choose the right supplier - otherwise you might be stuck in an agreement that you can't get out of.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Shares
This checklist explains the different types of share that you can issue and the legal formalities involved. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Business plan
What is a business plan and what should it contain?A business plan can play a vital role in the success of any business - but what are its key constituents? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Premises safety check
It goes without saying that most accidents will happen in the workplace. To minimise the risk of this occurring, and to avoid any claims, use this checklist to ensure that your premises are a reasonably safe environment for both staff and visitors. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Shareholders' meetings
Thanks to the popularity of written resolutions, shareholders' meetings are less common. However, they are still sometimes necessary. Use our summary to check that you follow the rules and ensure your company's decisions are valid. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Asbestos in the workplace
Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, you are under a legal duty to identify whether or not there is any asbestos present in your premises. The Health and Safety Executive is increasing the number of spot checks, so use this checklist to help ensure you're not caught out. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Public liability insurance (PLI)
Public liability insuranceIf you have premises where members of the public, clients and/or customers visit, it would be very prudent to ensure you've got this type of insurance in place. It will also cover the scenario where you or an employee visit a third party's premises and have an accident, injuring... Read more
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Type: Checklist
Keyman, legal expenses and business interruption insurance
Although none of these types of insurance are mandatory, they are all very important in their own right and should be considered because they could prove to be beneficial for any business. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Removing a director
Things haven't worked out and you need to get rid of a fellow director. Will showing them the door suffice? Or do you need to follow a set procedure? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Contracts
There's so much confusion surrounding the legal status of a contract - in fact, there are four essential elements to any contract. This checklist shows you how to form contracts that won't leave you wanting.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Employers' Liability insurance (ELI)
Employers' Liability insuranceIf you employ one or more employees, then you must have Employers' Liability insurance (ELI) in place. You must be insured for at least £5m and have the policy displayed where your employees can see it. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Personal protection
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is all about making sure your employees are wearing the right type of equipment to protect them against risks to their health or safety. Use this checklist to ensure your PPE remains effective. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Suitable premises
Are the premises suitable?Use this checklist to help marshal your thoughts so that you can decide upon something suitable.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
What should your terms and conditions include
? This checklist includes all the essentials of a contract (needed to protect your position) and several that you can include to suit the needs of your business.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Rent
How much rent should we pay?No one in business wants to pay any more rent than they have to. You need to check the leasehold agreement to see what the landlord can get away with.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to deal with late payment
Late payment is the bane of any business. Whilst you can't physically force your customers to pay on time you can at least make life easy for them and be sure of your own position.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Carrying out a risk assessment
All employers are required to carry out risk assessments. Use this checklist to guide you through what they should cover. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Using external help
For various reasons, you've decided not to go it alone. Where else can you turn to for help and assistance in trying to recover the debt? Use this checklist to run through your options. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Leasehold premises
Why should we consider leasehold premises?A leasehold premises can offer many advantages over a freehold - but there are pitfalls too. You need  to be aware of them all to be able to make a balanced decision.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Manual handling
You are legally required to assess the risks employees face when lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling objects. This should form part of your general risk assessment. Use this checklist to make sure this  s fully addressed in your risk assessment. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Publicity
The law requires you to display certain information about your business in a variety of places. You need to take care here as directors can become personally liable.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
How companies work
How do companies work? Companies are governed by their own set of rules and regulations that you need to be aware of  and comply with. Read more
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Type: Checklist
What to pay your employee
You are quite at liberty to pay your employees whatever you like, subject to complying with the National Minimum Wage. However, to retain your best staff, you might need to pay above the going market rate, provided your business can afford to do so. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Directors' liability
Limited liability should mean that a director cannot be personally liable for the actions of the ¬≠company. But it's not always so straightforward - use this checklist to see why. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Chasing the slow payer
It's essential to get the money in on time. Use this checklist to go about things the right way when it comes to getting your slow payers to cough up. Read more
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Type: Checklist
What can be trade marked
? Make sure you know what protection is available before you embark on what might be an expensive and time consuming exercise.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Leavers and the exit interview
When you lose staff, make sure that any departure is handled as smoothly and as professionally as possible, including carrying out an exit interview. Read more
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Type: Checklist
What are intellectual property rights
?Intellectual property (IP) can allow you to own things you create in a similar way to owning physical property. You can control the use of your IP, and use it to gain reward. This encourages further innovation and creativity. There are five main areas to consider.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to protect copyright
How do we protect our copyright? This checklist will help ensure you follow all the steps necessary to protect your copyright, e.g. not disclosing your idea to a third party without them first having signed a copyright agreement.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
What a patent is and how it is protected
What is a patent and how is it protected? Patents exist to protect things you've designed or made. Using this checklist will help ensure that all your hard work doesn't end up in someone else's hands.  Read more
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Type: Checklist
Appointment of directors
Will an offer to join the board made on the golf course suffice? What are the legal and other requirements? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Driving at work
Just because some of your employees are out on the road, doesn't mean you're not responsible for their safety. Make sure you still operate a safe system of work. Use this checklist to help achieve this. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Board meetings
Effective board meetings are necessary in any successful company. How should you run yours for maximum effect and in line with legal requirements? Read more
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Type: Checklist
Managing cash flow
Keeping the cash flowing is vital in any business. This checklist gives some valuable pointers.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
How to invoice
Make a mistake with an invoice and it might give a customer all the ammunition they need to avoid paying. Use this checklist to ensure you don't miss out unnecessarily.   Read more
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Type: Checklist
Redundancy
Making employees redundant is a task your business may never have to undertake. However, if you do have to perform this unpleasant task, you need to understand that it's procedure driven and getting it wrong could lead to a claim for unfair dismissal. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Inducting your new employee
Inducting someone into the workplace is all about introducing them to the business, meeting their colleagues and clients and generally helping them settle in as quickly as possible to make them feel welcome. It's all about creating the right impression, so use this checklist to guide you through the... Read more
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Type: Checklist
Directors and Officers insurance (D and O)
Directors' and Officers' insuranceAre you a director of a limited company? If so, long gone are the days when you could safely hide behind your company's shield and avoid liability if anything went wrong. Increasingly, company directors are in the firing line and Directors' and Officers' cover is a must. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Making an offer and taking up references
Having identified the successful candidate, an offer needs to be made and the potential employee must be checked out by taking up references to ensure that everything is in order. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Motor insurance
If you or any of your employees drive a vehicle on the road for business purposes, then by law you must ensure that, as a bare minimum, the business has a third party policy in place. Read more
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Type: Checklist
Buy or rent
Should we buy or rent?That's the $64,000 question. There are pros and cons to both options. Use the checklist to work through them.  Read more
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Type: Checklist

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