Hewitts > Services > Company and Business Law

Company and Business Law

When you run a business, finding the time and budget to deal with legal problems can be challenging.

The Hewitts commercial team prides itself on understanding your business and providing you with cost effective legal solutions across a broad range of commercial law areas. Our team can be your partners in business from start up through growth and on succession.

Hewitts are experienced in advising companies, individuals, partnerships, shareholders and investors. A summary of some of the areas we cover is set out below.

What areas do we cover?
– Setting up a new business
– Buying and selling businesses
– Supply of goods/services agreements
– Customer terms and conditions
– Business premises
– Employment related issues
– Resolving disputes
– Shareholder and Partnership agreements
– Putting in place Wills to take into account cross-life insurance policies

Sale and Purchases of Businesses

Whether you are looking to expand and diversify, or wind down your business operations, Hewitt’s team of commercial solicitors can offer invaluable assistance across a variety of legal disciplines:

– Advice on whether to buy the company, or just its assets;
– Setting up a franchise model for you to expand your business, or advising you on becoming a franchisee;
– Working with you accountants to ensure contracts deal with tax and other financial implications;
– Advising you on employment law if you take over or dispose of a business as a going concern;
– Dealing with any associated property transactions relating to the premises of the business you are buying or selling, such as taking on a lease or selling an industrial unit.
– Advising you on security documents if funding is required.

Hewitt has acted for franchisees and franchisors, and on substantial share sale and business purchase transactions in a variety of business sectors, from estate agencies and house builders, to retail, leisure and food businesses.

Commercial Contracts

Our commercial team can offer expert and tailored advice to a range of commercial clients who are looking to enter into a formal commercial contract with a third party.

When entering into a commercial contract it is important that you are aware of your rights and obligations under the terms of that contract, and in the worst case scenario what rights you may have should that commercial relationship breakdown.

Our corporate and commercial solicitors can advise on all aspects to consider when entering into a commercial contract such as:

– Your obligations under the terms of the contract;
– Any requirements of third party funders;
– Remedies available to you in the event of a breach of contract by the other party.

Partnership, LLP and Shareholder Agreements

Whether you currently or intend to trade as a partnership, an LLP or a company it is important to have an agreement in place between the owners to stipulate the rights and responsibilities of each party and what would happen in certain events. Not only does this help to clarify the roles of those involved it also provides a framework as to what should happen in certain scenarios which can help minimise disputes later down the line.

Whilst partnerships, LLPs and companies are all separate entities the agreement that can be put in place between the co-owners all share the same themes including:

– ownership and how this may change in the future, for example, earn-in or earn-out mechanisms;
– pre-emption rights or restrictions on disposing of a person’s share in the business;
– restrictive covenants regarding the non-solicitation of key staff, customers and suppliers;
– matters requiring unanimous or majority approval of the co-owners; and
– what is to happen in the event a co-owner dies or suffers a long term illness or decides to leave the business.

We at Hewitts can advise on drafting and varying these agreements as well as attending to the addition of or the exit of a co-owner.

It is vital that as a business owner that you should have in place a will and that your will reflects what you have agreed to do in respect of your stake in the business. Our wills and probate team can advise on this aspect as well as putting in place a lasting power of attorney. Please click here for more information on the wills and probate services that we provide.

Setting Up a Business

If you are starting out on your own or setting up a spin-off business it is important to ensure that you have the right advice from day one.

There are different ways in which you can operate a business including:

– sole trader;
– partnership;
– LLP; or
– as a company.

We at Hewitts can work with you and your accountant to identify which model would be best suited for you and also advise you on the legal steps needed to set up your business including:

– partnership, LLP and shareholder agreements;
– occupation or purchase of business premises;
– employment contracts and director service contracts;
– customer agreements;
– supplier or other business to business agreements;
– terms and conditions of website use;
– intellectual property (for instance registering a trade mark for a brand); and
– acquiring assets or another business.


Julie Finley is the Managing Director of Finley Structures Ltd based in Newton Aycliffe.

Julie Finley has responsibility for three businesses, including a commercial property company and a firm providing structural steelwork for the construction industry.

She said: “We have used Hewitts for well over a decade and they have advised us on several commercial purchases – always completing transactions on our behalf competently and seamlessly.”

Equally importantly, Julie has been able to rely on Hewitts for straightforward advice about the legal relationship between landlord and tenant.

“Hewitts have ensured that as a landlord we are made aware of our responsibilities and are ultimately protected,” she said. “Their efficiency and knowledge has proved invaluable to us and we would not hesitate in recommending them.”