The new year is a good time to reset and refresh your business goals and ambitions. As part of this process, it’s important to make sure that your business has its legal documents and processes in place; you can do this by carrying out our free legal health check. It’s crucial to ensure that your business is in good shape legally, as failure to manage your legal risks can have serious consequences. In this blog, we explain the purpose and importance of our legal health check and why you should use it to assess your business.
What is the legal health check?
Our free legal health check helps you manage risks in all areas of your business. By using the legal health check, you can identify areas of legal risk and/or areas in which you are performing well, whether your business is newly incorporated or well established. After you’ve completed the questions, you’ll receive a report that details what you are doing well and what aspects of your business you can improve on.
The free legal health check will help you find out more about your business’s legal health and what you should do if you are at risk. You’ll also receive links to – and guidance on – documents that can help you improve your business’s legal health.
How does the legal health check work?
Our legal health check consists of a questionnaire for you to complete, and it then generates a comprehensive report on how legally compliant your business is. The report identifies areas of concern from a legal perspective, and your results will be colour-coded according to how well you are complying with the law:
- a green indicator means you are complying with the current law and best practice and therefore you do not need to take any immediate action;
- amber means you might be exposing yourself to some risks in which further action is advisable; and
- red means you are putting your business at serious risk or you are currently breaking the law, therefore you need to take immediate action.
The report includes helpful suggestions to help you improve the legal health of your business. It also contains additional links should you require further information on any of the matters concerned. The links take you to our Q&A and other suites of documents that you can use to help you improve your business.
What does it check?
Here are some of the areas of concern touched upon by our legal health check, and why it is important to assess these areas. Further details can be found in our legal health check itself.
How you normally deal with legal questions that arise in your business
The resources and services you use to obtain legal advice are important. Some online services are reliable and can provide accurate and useful legal advice but there are many that are simplistic, outdated or flawed. The type of services you turn to for legal advice can determine how well your business is protected.
Your legal obligations to staff
If your business has staff which includes employees, casual workers, agency workers and freelancers, it is vital to check your legal obligations to your staff and to make sure you comply with the law with regard to your workers. These laws can change over time, so you must regularly review and update your documents. If you fail to meet any of these obligations, your staff can take legal action against you and your business. Our report also contains links to further information on hiring new staff.
Data protection policies
We also ask about your data protection policies. Failure to have clear and proper data protection policies may lead to sanctions or fines as a result of a breach of duty under the UK GDPR. In your report you’ll find further information and guidance on using personal data. In addition, you can use our data protection policy toolkit to put the right policies in place and create up-to-date policies for your business.
Standard terms and conditions of business
Having standard terms and conditions of business is important for your business as it protects your business from significant risks and disputes with customers or other parties. You can find template terms and conditions on our website.
Whether you have ensured legal compliance for your website
It’s best to take precautions to protect your business before it is too late and you run into legal issues. Our legal health check makes you aware of whether or not your policies are up to date and what you should do to ensure legal compliance. Unknown legal problems in your business can be risky and detrimental to its performance in the long run. This may lead to administrative inconvenience and lawsuits, and may affect your business’s profits and valuation. Therefore, being legally aware is vital in strengthening your business’s foundation, which in turn helps it to grow sustainably, maintain great customer relationships, and remain free from legal problems.
Marion joined Sparqa Legal as a Senior Legal Editor in 2018. She previously worked as a corporate/commercial lawyer for five years at one of New Zealand’s leading law firms, Kensington Swan (now Dentons Kensington Swan), and as an in-house legal consultant for a UK tech company. Marion regularly writes for Sparqa’s blog, contributing across its commercial, IP and health and safety law content.