Legal tips for small business

Business Toolbox: Legal

In this Article:
Knowing where you stand from a legal point of view is important
We put your questions to our experts
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Business toolbox: Legal tips for electrical contractors

Knowing where you stand legally is incredibly important for small businesses – so we’ve put your legal questions to our experts!


Our Legal expert:

Sam Woff, Senior Construction Lawyer

Q: What are the implications of using subcontractors for jobs? What do I need to include in agreements with clients and the subbies?

Sam Woff, a senior construction lawyer, says:

Utilising subcontractors allows electricians to handle a wider range of projects, adapt to fluctuating workloads, and access specialised skills. However, this approach requires careful management to ensure quality, reliability, and legal compliance.

Implications for your business

Quality control: The work of subcontractors directly reflects on your reputation. It’s crucial to vet their qualifications, experience, and past work to ensure they meet your standards.

Liability and insurance: Subcontractors should carry their own insurance – including liability and workers compensation – to protect against accidents or damages. Verify their coverage to mitigate potential liabilities.

Regulatory compliance: Ensure subcontractors adhere to all relevant regulations and standards, including electrical codes and safety protocols, to avoid fines and legal issues.

Key agreement inclusions

Scope of work: Clearly define the tasks, deadlines, and quality expectations. Detail the materials to be used, and specify who is responsible for procurement.

Payment terms: Outline payment schedules, rates, and conditions for changes to the scope of work. Clarify responsibilities for any additional costs that may arise.

Insurance and liability: Specify insurance requirements for subcontractors. Include indemnity clauses to shield yourself from liability for subcontractors’ actions.

Dispute resolution: Establish procedures for addressing disputes or unsatisfactory work, including timelines for corrections and recourse for persistent issues.

Termination clauses: Define conditions under which the contract can be terminated by either party, ensuring you have an exit strategy for non-performance.

Including these elements in agreements with clients and subcontractors safeguards your business, ensures compliance, and maintains the high standards your clients expect.




Our Legal expert:

Sha Hotchin, Special Counsel at Longton Legal

Q: What steps should we take to protect our business against potential liability claims or disputes with clients?

Sha Hotchin, Special Counsel at Longton Legal, says:

Protecting your business against potential liability claims or disputes with clients is crucial for long-term success and stability. Implementing a proactive approach to risk management can help safeguard your business and maintain positive client relationships. Here are essential steps to consider:

Clear contracts and agreements

Draft comprehensive contracts that clearly outline the scope of work, deliverables, timelines, and payment terms. Ensure that both parties fully understand and agree to the terms before starting any project.

Regular communication

Maintain open and transparent communication with clients throughout the project. Address concerns promptly, provide progress updates, and manage expectations to minimise misunderstandings.

Document everything

Thorough records of all interactions, communications, and project milestones can serve as crucial evidence in the case of a dispute and help demonstrate your commitment to fulfilling contractual obligations.

Insurance coverage

Invest in appropriate business insurance, such as professional liability insurance, to mitigate financial risks associated with potential claims. Understand the coverage limits and conditions to ensure comprehensive protection.

Compliance with laws and regulations

Stay informed about relevant laws and industry regulations to ensure your business operates within legal boundaries. Compliance reduces the likelihood of facing legal issues.

Alternative dispute resolution

Include clauses in contracts that stipulate the use of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, to resolve conflicts more efficiently and cost-effectively than traditional litigation.

Customer satisfaction

Prioritise customer satisfaction by delivering high-quality products or services. Satisfied clients are less likely to pursue legal action, and positive reviews can enhance your business’s reputation.

Legal consultation

Consult with legal professionals to review contracts, assess potential risks, and obtain guidance on best practices for risk management in your specific industry.

By proactively addressing potential liability issues, maintaining clear communication, and being vigilant about legal compliance, your business can significantly reduce the risk of disputes with clients and protect its long-term success.

* Please remember, this advice does not take into account your personal or business circumstances, is general in nature, and is provided for information purposes only. Please seek professional legal advice that’s tailored to your circumstances if you need it.




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