It is important to have a clear idea about the business that you want to carry on, and about its structure, which will largely be determined by the owners’ motivations in terms of type of business, size, risk, and taxation.

If there is more than one owner of the business (for example, a partnership or shareholders in a company) it is advisable that an agreement between the owners is put in place, and that this is in place at the outset, when the owners are all pulling in the same direction.   Hopefully, the owners may never need to refer to the agreement – but without it, there is a greater risk for future dispute.

Owners must also think about agreements between the business and third parties, such as customers, suppliers and staff.   These will form the bedrock of the external trading relationships, the rights and liabilities of the business, and will also be important if the owners want to sell the business at any point in the future.