Business law and regulation
Find out more about the law and regulations your business must comply with, using our selection of legal alerts and briefings on best practice.
What's on this page?
- Legal Alert
- Online articles
- Useful links
- Articles and books in the Library
Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.
Employers responding to a whistleblower’s allegations should be careful about what they say in their defence, as their statements could amount to an unlawful detriment against the whistleblower.
Employers considering whether to dismiss an employee should ensure the relevant decision-maker enquires into the background to the proposed dismissal, particularly whether the reason adopted by the decision-maker is (unknown to the employer) an invented reason hiding the real reason for dismissal – for example, because they are a ‘whistleblower’ who made a protected disclosure.
Employers should be aware that issues raised by a worker in relation to their personal situation, such as issues relating to their work performance, can amount to protected disclosures (ie, whistleblowing) if the worker reasonably believes raising them is in the public interest.
Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.
Competing fairly in business: advice for small businesses
Collection of resources from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to help small business understand their obligations under UK competition law. Includes, a checklist, a case study and an explanatory video. Published November 2015.
Competition law: information for chartered accountants
One-page summary for chartered accountants to help their clients comply with competition law. Published by the CMA in September 2015.
This is not an exhaustive list of legislation on business regulation. The ICAEW Library holds numerous print publications on business law and also subscribes to electronic databases with the complete text of UK legislation. For information on accessing these resources, please contact the Library.
Financial Conduct Authority
Regulates financial service activities in the UK. An independent body funded by regulated firms and accountable to the Treasury.
Prudential Regulation Authority
Responsible for the regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. Part of the Bank of England.
Find out whether you need a licence to operate your business, and how to apply for one.
Start Up Donut: Business law
Aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Offers advice and resources for complying with UK business law. Written by Atom Content Marketing.
Free advice for UK businesses supplying goods or services to consumers. Includes links to trading standards and detailed compliance guides for specific types of business.
Atom Content Marketing guides
- Access knowledge and networks
Whether you need help developing your technology, want to improve your skills or are looking for new distribution channels, networking and forging the right alliances can give you the knowhow you need.
- An internet policy for your employees
The internet is essential for doing business. However, it can also be a great way for employees to waste time, cause security issues, or give you legal headaches.
- Being sued
Accidents, mistakes and misunderstandings can happen in any business. Sometimes these grow into full-blown disputes, and before you know it, you are facing a legal claim.
- Develop an export strategy
Exporting offers the prospect of new markets, more sales, better profits and a greater spread of customers. A clear strategy makes it much more likely you will succeed.
- Direct mail and email marketing
Direct mail and email can be very effective ways of marketing your business, allowing you to reach large numbers of customers at low cost. Email offers immediacy and low cost, while well-designed direct mail can really stand out.
- Directors' responsibilities
Company directors are responsible for the management of their companies. They must act in a way most likely to promote the success of the business and benefit its shareholders. They also have responsibilities to the company’s employees, its trading partners, and the state.
- Discipline and grievance issues
Good procedures enable you to deal with disciplinary and grievance issues consistently and fairly, with a view to sorting them out before they become serious. Fair and transparent procedures are also vital to help you avoid potential accusations of unfair dismissal.
- Employment contracts
A contract of employment exists as soon as an applicant accepts your offer of a job.
- Find advisers in finance, law, HR and intellectual property
Using the right advisers helps ensure that you deal with important financial, legal and other issues the right way. Advisers can also act as an excellent sounding board for your ideas, offering general guidance as well as specialist expertise.
- Get key business strategies right
Business owners must remain focused on the key issues that ultimately determine success or failure. With dozens of different tasks competing for your time, you need to identify activities that will make a real difference to long-term success.
In a world of change and competition, innovating is not a luxury, it is essential. All businesses need to innovate, though it may take any number of forms, from the steady refinement of established products to the leap in the dark when an untried idea is launched.
- Insurance against legal claims
The cost of bringing or defending a legal action can put serious financial pressure on your business, whether you eventually win the case or not. You might face legal action from an employee, a customer, a supplier or a member of the public, or need legal help to resolve a dispute with a government agency such as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
- Interest on late payments
Late payments create cash flow problems and can increase the risk that you will not be paid at all. Using your legal right to claim interest from late-paying customers can encourage customers to pay on time.
- Internet and email law
The internet is not an unregulated free-for-all: the law still applies, and you need to understand the implications for your business.
- Legal responsibilities of community organisations
Volunteers at community organisations are often surprised to discover that their legal responsibilities are little different from those of businesses run for profit. For example, a community organisation that fails to comply with health and safety regulations risks harming people in just the same way as a business does.
- Making an insurance claim
Most businesses will make a claim on an insurance policy at some stage, whether for a catastrophic fire or a minor theft. Quick and full settlement of any claim helps minimise the disruption to your business and the strain on your cash flow.
- Managing insurance risks
All businesses face a wide range of risks every day. Careful planning can either reduce these risks to an acceptable level, or eliminate them completely.
- Marketing with your database
Databases make customer information easy to handle, helping to improve service and strengthen relationships.
Part of the skill of running a successful business is creating good relationships with your customers and suppliers, so that agreements are kept and problems can be sorted out in a friendly way.
- SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis looks at your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats your business faces.
- Understand contracts and key trading laws
Whatever your commercial activity, you need to understand contracts and the regulations which cover the sales and purchases of your business. While the full range of business law is vast, the key issues affecting most businesses are relatively straightforward.
- Understand legal issues for exporters
Understanding and dealing with the legal issues involved in exporting leaves your free to get on with building your export sales. Fortunately, there is plenty of help available. The government is keen to help exporters and business support organisations can provide both general and country-specific advice.
- Your firm and data protection
All businesses that keep any information on living and identifiable people must comply with the Data Protection Act. The Act applies to any computerised or manual records containing personal information about people.
Articles and books in the Library collection
To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.
You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.
Can't find what you are looking for?
If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through webchat.
ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.