By Tom Armenante, special to Overdrive
Whether you’re buying or leasing your business premises, there are a number of pertinent technical and contractual obligations that you must observe to ensure that you’re operating within the boundaries of the law. Here are some things business owners need to be aware of as it relates to public liability and the effects it can have on startups:
Insuring Your New Business Premises
The law requires business owners to take out a variety of policies in order to comprehensively protect their business, including:
- Public liability – Protects business owners against liability for injury or illness suffered by third parties on your premises or as a result of an employee’s actions (or lack of).
- Employer’s liability (compulsory) – Protects business owners against liability for injury or illness suffered by employees as a result of their employment, and any subsequent compensation claims that arise.
- Insurance for the premises and equipment – While your landlord would usually insure the building if you have a lease, you will still have to protect the contents and equipment.
Professionals Who Can Help You:
Obtaining expert advice is crucial when committing to new premises, helping you source the very best site for your business and get the paperwork and legalities spot on.
- Commercial agents (the business version of estate agents, essentially) – They know the market inside and out, and can therefore keep you abreast of any new developments that are set to commence, helping you negotiate a good deal when you’ve found the best premises. Again, as you would with estate agents, register your interest with a selection to get a more comprehensive, broader spectrum of properties and service.
- Chartered surveyors – You can talk to them about valuations and structural information. As experts in their field, they also know the market inside and out and are experienced in negotiating the price and terms of a new contract. As such, they are often able to double as your commercial agent.
- A solicitor – They’ll run legal checks on the property and can also negotiate on your behalf, while also advising you on the legal aspects of any contracts.