There are numerous laws a company director needs to know about. Some are specific to certain industries, but others cover all companies.

It is really hard to find any resources that cover them all. Even this brief article doesn’t cover everything. It is designed to be a pointer for Company Directors who do not know what laws they need to think about before embarking on their journey.

So here goes, a very quick tour of a number of key pieces of legislation and an even quicker summary of each one.

Companies Act 2006

The most common law that company directors know about and covering:

  • Promote the Success of the Company at all times
  • Exercise Independent Judgement
  • Exercise reasonable skill, care and due diligence at all times
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • How to hold valid board and shareholders meetings

Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974

Picking up boxes must be done correctly, as must hundreds of other things.  Do you know what they all are?

Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)

This is entirely separate to GDPR and covers electronic marketing, not many people know if its existence.

General Data Protection Regulations/Data Protection Act 2018

Privacy notices, keep data locked down, etc.

Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015

Are you disclosing the right things online such as full company name (including the word Limited) and registered office address?

Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002

Selling online?  Did you know you must disclose an email address and VAT number?

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

Yes it seems wrong in many respects that a director should be punished for the acts of an employee, but as a director you must take steps to eliminate risks – e.g. insisting on employees not taking calls whilst driving or at least using hands free?

Automatic Enrolment

Do you know when/what you must offer to staff in terms of pension and whether or not you or they can opt out?  You need to budget this cost into your projections.

Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969

Buildings insurance is optional, contents insurance is optional, cyber insurance is optional, but the instant you get an employee you must have employers liability insurance?

Various Tax legislation

Paying the right tax is the difference between it worth you being in business or not and the difference between it all going horribly wrong or not?

Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

What do I have to do when selling online and what rights do my customers have and what must I give them?

Sale of Goods Act 1979

When does title in good pass and what should be in my contract?

Food Safety and Hygiene

Make sure you are not preparing or selling food below the minimum standards the government has decided are acceptable?

Minimum Wage and National Living Wage Legislation

What is the minimum you must pay somebody, does that vary with age?

Licences for specific industries; e.g. premises licences, operator’s licence.

Do you have the legal requirements covered to run your business?  There are checks and registrations you must go through

Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 1971 & 2016

Does somebody have the legal right to work in the UK?

This is not an exhaustive list, but we think it illustrates that going into business and becoming a company director or employer is a very difficult place and there are very few resources out there to make sure you are prepared. It is a shame there is not a course or test for everyone to take to raise knowledge and standards, but sadly there isn’t.

We do salute all business owners and managers, it is a tough job and too often the backbone of our economy – SME’s – don’t get enough credit for the work they do.