Corporate and Commercial

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Commercial solicitor, Nick Arthur, who is based at our office in Barnstaple, North Devon, looks at the legal obligations of a director of a limited company. Company directors are often surprisingly uncertain about their duties and obligations. They are frequently that they effectively act as agents of the company, being appointed by the shareholders to manage the company's affairs on a day-to-day basis. As a general principle, the directors of a company should act together as a board. The board can however delegate powers to...

Corporate and commercial solicitor, Emma Reed, considers whether a company requires a shareholders agreement   If your company is set up and running smoothly but without a shareholders agreement to govern the understanding between the shareholders, what will you do if someone dies or wants to retire or leave ? Without a shareholders agreement in place, there are no default procedures to govern how such circumstances are to be dealt with. You could therefore find yourself locked in a costly shareholders dispute...

Depreciation is not a deductible expense for tax purposes. Instead, the owners of qualifying commercial property can claim capital allowances as a method of providing tax relief on qualifying expenditure on certain assets (plant and machinery) used in a business. Qualifying Commercial Property Qualifying commercial property may include: shops offices hotels restaurants care homes pubs factories industrial units/warehouses Capital Allowances can be claimed when buying or developing such freehold properties, constructing new properties or developing leasehold properties. Qualifying Expenditure Broadly, qualifying expenditure can be defined...

Property owners letting their properties to holidaymakers risk breaching planning law rules, writes property solicitor Iain Robinson of Slee Blackwell Solicitors’ Barnstaple office. By way of background, one usually needs planning permission from the local council to materially change the use of a property. Residential, or ‘C3’ use, is where the property is used as a dwelling house by people who form a family unit (or by an individual). It need not be their only or even their main home. In...

Sam Hannon reviews the likely impact of this latest piece of legislation The long-awaited Guidelines for The Bribery Act 2010 have now been published. The Act will be in force from 1 July 2011, replacing the complicated, piecemeal offences at common law and Acts of Parliament dating back as far as 1889. The Bribery Act is intended to assist in combating bribery and corruption worldwide. Slee Blackwell Solicitors have undertaken a review of this controversial new law and its potentially serious...

Franchise Businesses are more likely to thrive in a recession than a non Franchise Business. UK Franchise turnover in 2009 was 11.8 billion. Today there are approximately 465,000 jobs and 842 Franchises in the UK with over 34,800 franchised units (ref: Natwest/British Franchise Association Survey 2010). A growing number of businesses have chosen Franchising as a cost effective and efficient means of expansion and individuals in turn see buying a franchise of a proven business safer than starting a new business...

A recent High Court decision is likely to provide welcome relief to landlords who are being pursued by local authorities in respect of tenants that have failed to pay their council tax. The court decided that a landlord was not liable for council tax where the property was held not to be a house in multiple occupation (HMO). What is an HMO for council tax purposes? A property will be an HMO if it satisfies one of the following criteria: It was...

In these difficult times Landlords are increasingly finding their Tenants are experiencing difficulties in paying their rent. Whilst it is always possible for a Landlord and a Tenant to agree a temporary reduction in rent or a change in frequency of rent payment (ie monthly rather than quarterly) in the hope of retaining the tenant this does not always produce the desired result and the Landlord could be left out of pocket. If the Tenant becomes or is about to become...

The imminent election has forced the Government to drop planned tax rises on holiday lets and phonelines and to reverse the extra tax on cider as of the end of June. The Prime Minister called an election on 6 April. This means Parliament is to be dissolved on 8 April and the Government has to push through important legislation quickly. To speed things up it does deals with opposition parties, cutting out contentious measures so that MPs allow the rest through...

The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 came into force on 28 December 2009. The Regulations apply to the majority of private sector businesses in the UK. They apply to business-to-business and business-to-consumer services. The Regulations impose obligations on businesses to make certain information available to customers, and to deal with customer complaints promptly. They also prohibit discrimination against individual customers in the provision of services on the basis of their place of residence. This checklist highlights the obligations that the Regulations impose...