General Legal Legal

Health & Safety Regulations Every Small Business Owner Must Know

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Keeping your small business afloat is a lot of responsibility. But one of the most important aspects of owning a small business is ensuring you are aware and compliant of health and safety regulations. They ensure your employees and clientele are kept safe. Failure to comply can lead to injury or damage which can be expensive to deal with and detrimental to your small business. While it shouldn’t be an issue for the vast majority of small businesses, it’s probably worth noting that your employees have the right to refuse to do any task they deem as unsafe. So, if you’re wanting to make sure your business is on top of its health and safety, pay attention to this advice and be sure to do your own research – or else your business could be on the line.

Furniture

In order to prevent injury and potential lawsuits, it’s probably worth checking the furniture you have around your workspace. Check your desks and chairs are sturdy and unlikely to break. If you’re unsure it may be worth investing in some new furniture that passes health and safety regulations. For example, the best office chairs to invest in if you’re wanting to ensure you’re meeting health and safety regulations are like the office chairs reviewed here. Don’t take any chances, your employees and clients should always be your number one priority.

Cleanliness

It should be a given, but it is very important you keep your workspace as clean as possible. It could be worth investing in a cleaner, but if it isn’t in your budget, you should ensure your workspace is given a deep clean at least every two weeks. It may also be worth establishing a basic cleanliness standard that all your employees are aware of. Make sure your soap dispensers are consistently topped up and add a sign beside your sinks to remind people to wash their hands. It could also be worth in investing in some hand sanitizer pumps around the workspace.

Fire Safety

Also, an extremely important aspect of keeping your workspace safe is ensuring you’re on top of your fire safety. Make sure you test your fire alarms regularly and have a fire escape plan in place that your employees are confident with. Ensuring you have fire extinguishers around your workspace could be the difference between a burnt-up microwave and losing the entirety of your workspace.

Space to People Ratio

Many people may not know this but there is a regulation in place to ensure your employees have an adequate amount of space to work in. To stay within regulation, you should ensure per employee, there is at least 41 square feet of office space.

Obstructions

To help reduce the risk of injury, it’s important to limit the clutter in your workspace. Any doors, especially fire exits, should never be blocked and walkways should be clear. Should the worst happen, and you and your employees need to exit the workspace quickly, it shouldn’t be made any more difficult by obstructions. Don’t put your business at risk and keep your workspace tidy.

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Breaking Into the World of Law: Starting Your Own Firm

Starting your own law firm can lead you to be part of a very strong and profitable industry. Lawyers and law firms are required for a variety of tasks and it is the opinion of many that it is a crucial service. Setting up your own law firm is something that is going to take time and precision as it is such a professional industry. Here are some key steps to help you break into the world of law and become a successful and trusted firm.

 

Legal Qualifications

First things first, you are joking to have to ensure that you are qualified to start up a law firm. You will need official approval and a license to practice before thinking about a single case. In order to be a working solicitor you will need the following qualifications.

 

-Three-year undergraduate degree

-One year Legal Practice Course

-Two years of Law Skills Course

-Two-year law training contract in an established law firm

 

Once you have gone through the motions of your law training you will be able to look at setting up your own firm, I would recommend remaining as a working solicitor for some time to give you some further experience in the industry.

 

Premises

After your training in order to set up your own law firm, you will have to go about sourcing some form of premises to operate from. That could start off as a home office situation and develops into actual offices depending on your budget. You may be able to find somewhere a lot easier if you are backed by external funding or investments, I would recommend using this money to establish your firm in a stable location.

 

Hiring

 It will come as no surprise that you will be unable to set up a law firm alone, you are going to need a team of talented and effective solicitors as well as extra staff 5o help around the firm. When it comes to hiring the greatest team of employees you should advertise the positions you need and put potential applicants through a fairly rigorous interview. Working in law is a demanding profession and you will have to be sure the people you hire are up to the task, and are worthy enough to represent your firm.

 

Training

In the initial stages of setting up your law firm it would be a good idea to set up some kind of training initiative. With training you will be able to ensure that all bases of your staff’s ability is checked over, this not only allows you to test the strength of your team but also tells your staff exactly what you are looking for from them. Just because someone is qualified for a position doesn’t mean they are the right person for the job, the law industry can be a cruel place and people who represent your firm must be able to deal with this in a professional way.

 

Student Placement

A great way of getting the word out about your law firm as well as getting first dibs on budding lawyers would be to set up placement schemes for students. This would build your reputation in a positive way in your local community and get people talking about your firm. As well as publicity you would be doing something good for the public which in turn boosts your image and makes people more likely to choose your firm to represent them, when they see you doing good for the community.

 

Advertising

How you advertise your services can be crucial in bringing your firm more clients, whether you choose to market online or in a physical way you should target a wide range of people. You must ensure you have a strong online presence giving potential customers all of the information they need to decide they want you, getting a new website design is a good idea as a professional-looking page is crucial for you to be taken seriously. Like any business your image must be maintained to show that you are serious about helping your clients with their needs.

 

Expanding the firm

If you have taken all of my advice you will be sure to have made progress in terms of your firm’s growth. How you deal with the expansion of your law firm is totally dependent on the direction you wish to go in. Some choose to remain relatively local and deal with the lower scale cases but, if you have aspirations of spreading countrywide I would begin by looking at investing in another premises, location is key as you must be able to simultaneously provide legal advice in two different areas, expansion like this will require more money, more staff, and more resources but the benefits are more than worth it.

 

Customer Service

A final piece of advice to be applied to any business including law would be to maintain a strong respect for your customers. The legal industry is one that can involve some sensitive issues, it is vital that you do not forget to instill a level of professionalism towards clients and their cases. This can be implemented through inspections and training regarding client interaction, particularly for those who are fresh out of Law school with little experience, customer service can be overlooked. However it is the simple things like being respectful towards clients that will give you and your law firm a professional reputation.

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What Are Companies Legally Allowed to do with Your Data

It seems that in this internet age we are slowly but surely giving away all of our personal and deeply important liberties. It feels like there is a new story every day of a tech giant selling our data or overstepping their boundaries. The confidence these big tech firms have comes from an awareness that the everyday internet user does not fully understand their internet rights. This has led almost every site using cookies to track and consume your internet footprint to distort to their own needs. This passage will aim to break down what a company is actually legally allowed to do with your data, so you know of and are aware of any wrong practices.

 

What Data can They Collect?

Firstly, I feel it is important to understand just what data a website can collect before we obviously go into how they choose to use it. Under current US internet law, any company can access your location information, how long you choose to spend on a website, your internet history, and the activity on any given site. So, please do keep this in mind as I examine what they choose to do with this information.

 

Targeted Advertising

Targeted advertising may not be a practice that many are not even aware of, but companies can and will use your internet search history to give you certain advertisements. So, for a thought exercise let us say you have been searching for tennis rackets on google, you should then expect to see an uptick in tennis based advertisements. It is as simple as that. This most certainly does feel like quite a shady practice, that may be open to corruption. The idea in principle is meant to lead to advertisements that the user may find useful and relevant. As stated in the above text, this is companies using their access to your internet search history. So before consenting or ticking an option keep this in mind.

 

Site User Analytics

This is another practice you may not have been aware of, but companies will access your information to find out which demographics you fit into. Let us say that a company is looking for more users in the 18-25 female demographic, to understand how to reach their quotas they will access your data to see where you fit and what exactly you chose to interact with on the site. This means that companies will legally be able to see your name, age, and gender; to process and analyze as they please.

 

Hardware Analytics

Companies often store the type of hardware that a consumer is using, in order to gain an understanding of your processing power. This will also be used to gain an understanding of when and where you choose to access different sites. If a user uses his computer mainly at home for recreative purposes then sites will store this information. This information is most often sold back to tech companies so they themselves can understand how their hardware processes different sites and software in the field.

 

If you are looking for extra safety then perhaps read the list of companies – fcra compliance site, and remember to always read the small print of any agreement, it truly does not matter how small it may seem. The agreements will usually come in the form of website cookies, and though they may seem innocent they do allow for far wielding access to your internet habits and personal information.

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What are Consumer Protection Laws and Why are they Important?

The world of corporate law is a vast and often confusing world. And it is important for anyone looking to step into the legal world to be able to understand some of the more important aspects of it. To that end, we are going to be looking at consumer protection laws and why they are important. This guide will cover the topics in a basic manner, looking at the different aspects of consumer protection laws and why they are so important to, not only your legal career but the world as a whole.

The Basics

To put it simply, consumer protection laws do what it says on the tin. They are laws designed to protect consumers. But what does this mean? Essentially these laws look at making sure businesses are not price-gouging customers, protecting customer data, being truthful to customers and giving them a fair, proper customer experience. Things such as warranties and return policies are determined by consumer protection laws. Businesses can be hurt or even shut down if they do not adhere to these laws and individuals who run the businesses, can be fined, or even prosecuted for breaching these laws.

KYC

Know Your Customer, or KYC, is a method within the business world that is used to establish information about a customer. This system works two-fold, it benefits the business but also protects the customers. KYC is often a system that collects data from a customer, willingly, while they are using their business. This data is kept and stored and allows a business to tailor their experience to the customer, but also allows them to make sure a client is who they say they are. This is how KYC protects the customer. It is a system that stops fraudsters very early on. If a customer’s information has been stolen, KYC is used to make sure nothing fraudulent happens. Customer protection laws work their way into KYC. Businesses are required, by law, to make sure the customer data is secure and safe and not being misused for malicious, or fraudulent purposes. KYC can be handled on-site by a business or by an outside company. I tried KYC solutions from Fully-Verified.com and it proved to be an insightful look into how KYC works and was beneficial to my own company.

Importance

Why are these laws so important? They are not only designed to protect customers but also to keep businesses in check. Without these laws, companies would be free to do whatever they wish. They would be able to produce an advertisement that lies about products, meaning customers would not be getting the product they expect. This could cause a lot of harm, especially for products that have potentially life-threatening implications. Without these laws, companies would be able to sell faulty, or ineffective products, and not allow customers to claim on warranties or returns the products for a refund. This would essentially let scammers and fraudulent businesses run rampant. Without these laws, businesses would be allowed to use customer data however they want. They could sell it to whoever they like and cause serious harm to their customers.

The Next Step?

If you are interested in working in cooperate law, specifically in the field of customer protection laws, there are a number of ways you can go about it. There are a lot of active firms that are built around making sure businesses are adhering to these laws.  Watchdog organizations and the like are great places to look. It is also a good practice to look at how different countries handle their customer protection laws. For example, the EU has blanket customer protection laws for any company operating within Europe, even if they are based somewhere else.

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