Legal firm Harper James shares its tips for new companies and advises on what start-ups should and shouldn’t be paying out for in their early stages

4 Choosing a name for your business: There are certain legal considerations when naming your business, and they are different depending on the legal structure your business takes. Generally, though, your business name must not be offensive or contain any sensitive words, or imply connection or endorsement from a government body

3 Market research: An absolute must when setting up a company. You can do your own primary research in the form of surveys, polls, questionnaires and focus groups. These are reasonably simple to do, once you have decided which questions you want answered. You can also commission any number of market research companies to do this for you on a bespoke basis. Some of the bigger market research companies include Mintel and Euromonitor.

his is the time of year when tens of thousands of new businesses will take their

first steps, and after Brexit confusion led to a slump in the number of start- ups last year, experts predict the start of 2020 will see a surge in numbers setting off on that journey. But many new businesses are put off by all the legal support they believe they need just to get going. Is there a misconception about what you do and don’t need to spend to get things started? 1 Having an idea! Obvious but true, your big idea is your biggest asset and entrepreneurs often get their light bulb moment when they least expect it. Others have to work on it. Talking to friends, family, work colleagues, attending local chamber of commerce events and visiting websites like are great ways to help come up with and develop an idea. 2 Making a business plan: There are numerous free templates and guides available online for writing your business plan. Some of the best are at and What you don’t need a solicitor to help you with

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