Commercial legal advice in Bristol & Somerset

Business today is complex. It’s fast-paced, quick to change and highly competitive – so it’s important that your commercial lawyer is well versed in these commercial realities.

Our commercial law team have a varied background and a wealth of experience. We see the full picture; we’re flexible, intuitive and quick to grasp what you’re trying to achieve. We take pride in forming close working relationships with our commercial clients and get a real buzz from making the law work to your advantage.

We work with a range of individuals and businesses – ranging from entrepreneurs to investors, start-ups to established regional firms – and understand the challenges faced by small and mid-sized businesses in Bristol and Somerset. We’ll tailor our service to your needs, so whatever your size, industry or requirements, we can provide an effective commercial legal solution for your business.

Advice throughout the company life-cycle

We specialise in the company life-cycle – from the formation of your business and as it matures through to your exit. Whichever stage of your business life you’re at, our commercial solicitors are here and ready to help.

If you’re just getting started, speak to our commercial solicitors for advice on the structure and set-up of your new business. We can help you negotiate a commercial lease, put in place a shareholders agreement, prepare commercial contracts and draft bespoke T&Cs.

You might be an established business owner with acquisition plans. We can help you buy (and sell) businesses and choose the best legal, internal and corporate structure. We can also advise you on refinancing and entering into a partnership or joint venture agreement.

Or if you’re thinking of retiring or stepping away from the business, we can help you draw a line under it by putting in place a well-managed, transitional exit strategy or succession plan.

Commercial law costs

We understand that costs can be a concern – especially for smaller firms and when you’re just starting out. But we guarantee to be completely transparent about our fees.

We tailor our fee structure to suit your requirements and budget – so that no matter the size of your business, you can get the legal support it needs. Where we can we’ll provide a fixed cost upfront. If that isn’t possible, we’ll give you a clear indication of the likely fee based on an agreed scope of work.

We offer practical and cost-effective help and advice commercial law advice to businesses in Bristol and Somerset. To speak to a company commercial solicitor in Bristol or Somerset, call our Bristol office on 0117 972 1261 or our Shepton Mallet commercial lawyers on 01749 345 756.

We work with a range of clients in a variety of industries across South Bristol and Somerset, covering Shepton Mallet, Wells, Glastonbury, Street, Frome and Chew Magna.

Business T&Cs solicitors

Every business, from sole trader upwards, should have properly drafted terms and conditions that form the basis of all commercial activities for that business.

But terms and conditions – also known as user agreements, conditions of use or just plain old T&Cs – are frequently overlooked by businesses, particularly in the early stages. This is a mistake; terms and conditions are there for your security. They protect you, your rights and your business when dealing with clients, customers and suppliers.

As specialist contract lawyers, we can advise you on both the content and drafting of new business terms and conditions. We can also review and update existing T&Cs. Terms and conditions form a legal contract, so it’s important to get them right. We’ll work with you to draft documents that are clear, legally binding and bespoke to your business.

Why does my business need T&Cs?

Essentially having terms and conditions protects both you and your business. Starting a business without having proper T&Cs in place is risky. Put simply, if you don’t specify terms and conditions, you put yourself and your business at risk of uncertainty and misunderstanding.

Terms and conditions allow each party to understand their rights and obligations. Without T&Cs, what’s to stop your client, a supplier or business partner changing their mind or going back on their word? Furthermore, a lack of clear terms around payment could lead to cash flow problems – a major headache for small businesses – with no opportunity to charge late payment interest.

There are also practical reasons for having standard T&Cs in place. Using standard terms negates the need for a specific contract for each transaction – saving you time and money. It also ensures that you do business in a consistent way and that all clients, customers and suppliers are dealt with equally and according to your terms.

What should I include in my business T&Cs?

Terms and conditions vary depending on the type of business, but as a general rule should cover:

  • Payment terms
  • Credit limits and credit periods
  • Costs, including late payment interest charges
  • Details of the product/service being provided
  • Delivery arrangements

The type of terms you include will be specific to your business; but by addressing all issues at the outset, this in turn avoids disputes later on what may – or may not – have been agreed.

Do I need a commercial T&Cs solicitor?

We understand the temptation to take shortcuts when drafting T&Cs, especially when you’re just starting out. But off-the-shelf solutions are unlikely to give you complete legal protection for your business. We strongly advise against copying T&Cs from the internet or, worse still, ‘borrowing’ standard terms from a competitor – you simply can’t assume that another business will have the same needs as yours.

Speak to our specialist T&Cs lawyers about drafting terms specifically for your business. For a relatively small cost, you can have bespoke terms and conditions which protect you, your investment and your business – and that can pay dividends in the long run.

How much will bespoke T&Cs cost?

We’re transparent about our fees – that’s a guarantee. We aim to provide a fixed price upfront, so you’re clear about the true extent of your legal costs from the outset. If that isn’t possible, we’ll give you a clear indication of the likely fee based on an agreed scope of work.

We offer practical and cost-effective help and advice drafting T&Cs that protect both your investment and your business. To speak to a contracts solicitor in Bristol or Somerset, call our Bristol office on 0117 972 1261 or our Shepton Mallet T&Cs lawyers on 01749 345 756.

We offer practical, cost-effective company commercial law advice to a range of clients in South Bristol and Somerset, covering Shepton Mallet, Wells, Glastonbury, Street, Frome and Chew Magna.

Business sales & purchases

Whether you’re growing, consolidating, restructuring or exiting your business, one thing is clear – getting expert legal advice at an early stage is crucial in ensuring that the deal is done properly.

All commercial transactions are complex – even the seemingly straightforward ones. That’s why it’s so important that you choose an experienced commercial lawyer with experience in dealing with all aspects of buying and selling a business.

Buying and selling commercial businesses

Buying or selling your business could be one of the most important things you ever do. And whilst it can be life-changing, it could also be an incredibly stressful and complex process.

Our commercial solicitors in Bristol and Somerset offer practical and professional advice and support to business owners and purchasers at every step of the transaction – from initial discussions through to completion. We offer a complete service and can draw in experts at every stage, including our own in-house specialists in commercial property and employment law where necessary.

Every sale and purchase is different, but we understand the processes and what they mean for you. We’ll make sure that every box is ticked – from managing confidentiality agreements and dealing with due diligence issues to providing advice on restructuring and asset valuation.

We know what’s important. We’ll draw upon our years of commercial experience to identify key issues quickly whilst helping you plan, negotiate and execute the best possible deal – for you and your business.

Exit planning legal advice

Having spent time and effort building up your business, it might seem counterproductive to be thinking about stepping away from it. But exit planning can be a long, formal process – so it pays to start thinking about it early, even if the reality of it is some years away.

Speak to our commercial lawyers for advice on exit planning. We can talk you through the possibilities open to you. Are you likely to sell to an external buyer? Might your existing management team take over? Is family succession an option? Good advance planning will help you get the right return from your business, on the right terms, at the right time.

As well as help you decide the most appropriate exit strategy, our exit planning lawyers will put in place the necessary paperwork and help you map out a plan for an exit that is gradual, well managed and transitional.

If you’re buying a business, selling a business or planning to exit your business, we offer practical and professional help and advice. To speak to a company commercial solicitor in Bristol or Somerset, call our Bristol office on 0117 972 1261 or our Shepton Mallet commercial lawyers on 01749 345 756.

We offer practical, cost-effective company commercial law advice to a range of clients in South Bristol and Somerset, covering Shepton Mallet, Wells, Glastonbury, Street, Frome and Chew Magna.

Joint venture lawyers in Bristol & Somerset

Growing and developing your business is exciting; but to turn your vision into a reality, you might need to partner with another company – or even companies. If you’re considering a joint venture or you’re in the process of entering into a partnership, you’ll need a joint venture agreement.

For advice on joint ventures, speak to our commercial lawyers in Bristol and the Mendips. We’re commercially minded. We’ll look at your plans and objectives, recommend a business structure and outline potential areas for conflict – with advice to pre-empt them.

We’ll then work with you to draft, review and refine a joint venture agreement that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved, whilst ensuring that you and your business interests are safeguarded.

What is a joint venture?

A joint venture is a commercial arrangement that brings together the skills and experience of at least two participants to collaborate on a project or objective. Joint ventures cover a wide range of business arrangements with varying degrees of integration. They can be short-term, fixed term or continue indefinitely.

There are many reasons and benefits for considering a joint venture. You might want to expand or develop your business whilst sharing the risks and costs with a partner. Or you may need access to specialist expertise or resources which you simply don’t have or can’t bring into your own business.

What is important however, is that you don’t enter into a joint venture without a signed joint venture agreement. Misunderstandings lead to conflict and disputes, potentially jeopardising an entire project, so consult our commercial lawyers about drawing up an agreement which outlines everyone’s expectations from the very start.

What’s included in a joint venture agreement?

A joint venture agreement is a commercial contract which is bespoke to your partnership and tailored to your particular circumstances.

The first thing you need to decide on when entering into a joint venture is how to structure it. We can advise you on the best structure for your requirements, including:

  • A limited company
  • A partnership
  • A limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • A contractual collaboration

You’ll also need to include information such as the defined length of the joint venture, how you intend to divide any shares or profits, the process for decision making and the steps required to bring the joint venture to an end.

What does a joint venture agreement cost?

We guarantee to be completely transparent about our fees. Where we can, we’ll provide a fixed price upfront, so you can be clear about the true extent of your legal costs from the outset. If that isn’t possible, we’ll give you a clear indication of the likely fee based on an agreed scope of work.

We offer practical and cost-effective help and advice on forming joint ventures and drafting joint venture agreements that protect both your investment and your business. To speak to a specialist joint venture solicitor in Bristol or Somerset, call our Bristol office on 0117 972 1261 or our Shepton Mallet commercial lawyers on 01749 345 756.

We offer practical, cost-effective company commercial law advice to a range of clients in South Bristol and Somerset, covering Shepton Mallet, Wells, Glastonbury, Street, Frome and Chew Magna.

Shareholder agreement solicitors in Bristol & Shepton Mallet

Establishing a new business isn’t easy; you need firm foundations on which to build and grow. That’s why it’s so important to put in place a shareholder agreement from the very start – both to protect your financial interests and to ensure the future stability of your business.

If you’re in the process of setting up a business or you’re running a business without a shareholder agreement in place, speak to our commercial lawyers in Bristol and Somerset. As well as drafting new agreements, we can review and advise on out-of-date or inadequately drafted documents.

We have many years’ experience drafting shareholder agreements. We’ll work with you to produce a clear, concise document that avoids misunderstandings, enables effective decision-making and is flexible enough to allow for business growth.

What is a shareholders’ agreement?

Put simply, a shareholders agreement is a written agreement between the shareholders or partners of a business. Once in place, its purpose is to establish a fair relationship between shareholders and govern how the business is run. A properly drafted shareholder agreement will:

  • Define the management structure of the company
  • Formally agree the rights, responsibilities and obligations of each shareholder
  • Regulate the sale of shares in the business
  • Outline how important decisions will be made
  • Agree the management and direction of the company

We always recommend that you put in place a shareholders agreement as soon as you form the company – when you’re all in agreement about the running of the business and certainly long before potential issues might arise.

Why do I need a shareholders agreement?

If you’re going into business with someone you trust, you might think that a legal agreement is unnecessary – but trust us when we say that these business relationships frequently turn sour.

A carefully considered shareholder agreement will deal with a number of scenarios – such as what would happen to shares if a business owner died or resigned. It’s there for your protection; safeguarding your interests and providing a route map for dealing with potential issues.

Putting in place a legally binding shareholder agreement, prepared by our commercial lawyers, can help avoid future disputes over the running of your business. It can minimise – or even avoid – possible conflict situations or acrimonious legal disputes. It can also help with tax-efficient business structuring and succession planning.

How do I make a shareholders agreement?

For advice on shareholder agreements, or to make a shareholders agreement, speak to our company commercial lawyers In Bristol and Somerset. Every shareholder agreement is different, but we can help you draft a legally binding document that is bespoke to your business and protects your interests – as well as those of your fellow shareholders.

If you’ve been given a shareholders agreement, we recommend that you get legal advice before signing it. We’ll review it for onerous or restrictive clauses, answer any questions you might have and make sure you understand the full implications of entering into it.

How much is a shareholders agreement?

We’re transparent about our fees – that’s a guarantee. We aim to provide a fixed price upfront, so you’re clear about the true extent of your legal costs from the outset. If that isn’t possible, we’ll give you a clear indication of the likely fee based on an agreed scope of work.

We offer practical and cost-effective help and advice on putting in place shareholder agreements that protect both your investment and your business. To speak to a company commercial solicitor in Bristol or Somerset, call our Bristol office on 0117 972 1261 or our Shepton Mallet commercial lawyers on 01749 345 756.

We offer practical, cost-effective company commercial law advice to a range of clients in South Bristol and Somerset, covering Shepton Mallet, Wells, Glastonbury, Street, Frome and Chew Magna.

Lyons Bowe provided excellent support in our commercial property transactions.  They made sure we understood the risks, the potential issues and guided us through the options and potential solutions.  The service was always professional, courteous, with clear timelines, which kept the process moving without us ever feeling rushed or pressured.

Clear communication, and helpful context to allow us to plan the navigate our legal option, whilst feeling supported and under control. Overall a high quality professional service that provided real value to our company.

Philip Strong , Reflex Marine