Running a Business FAQ

A firm or business partnership, unlike a company, is not a legal entity separate from its members. An individual business partner will therefore be personally liable:

  1. for his own wrongful acts; and
  2. for the wrongful acts of his co-partners committed in the normal course of the firm's business; and
  3. for the wrongful acts of the employees of the partnership committed while acting in the course of their employment.

Where the partners are defendants under (1) or (2) above they are sued in the name of the firm (i.e. the claimants are expressed to be ''Thompson, Thompson and Smythe', a firm'). Only those business partners who were business partners at the time of the act complained of will be held liable.

  • Find out more about Limited Company Formation.
  • Download our Business Partnership Agreement.

Employer's liability insurance isn't required to cover employees who are based abroad. However, do check the law in the country where they are based and find out if it requires you to take out insurance or carry out any other measures to protect your employees. If any employee is normally based abroad but spends more than 14 days continuously in Great Britain or more than seven days on an offshore installation, then employer's liability insurance will be required under English law.

You must undertake a risk assessment of your business premises and identify any significant health and safety risks which may arise. These may include, for example, the potential for a major escalating fire, explosion, building collapse, pollution incident and/or bomb threat. Once these major risks which may result in serious and or imminent danger have been identified, a formal emergency procedure must be produced.

The emergency procedure should set out the role, identity and responsibilities of the competent persons nominated to implement the action. The emergency procedure should normally be written down, clearly setting out the limits of action to be taken by all employees. In particular, work shouldn't be resumed after an emergency if serious danger remains.

In order to comply with the law, you should provide the following:

  1. The Health and Safety Law poster/leaflet
  2. The location of first aiders and the first aid box
  3. The location of the accident book
  4. The health and safety policy document

No, but you still need to apply the principles of the Data Protection Act. See the Information Commissioner's website for more information.

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