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Corporate | Business Law

Business law, sometimes referred to as corporate law or company law, relates in general terms to dealing with your business’s lifecycle and governance. In other words, this relates to setting up business structures such as company, partnership, or sole ownership businesses.

For many small to medium businesses, engaging a business lawyer is often made when there is already a problem. A lawyer can provide smart business planning, allowing you to avoid potential legal problems in the future. Talking to lawyers for your business should be done as a preventative measure rather than a reactionary one.

Corporate governance is the cornerstone of a successful business, whether a small or larger business, and sound legal representation is necessary to navigate the many levels of corporate law. Getting the right structures in place is imperative to a sustainable business model.

You can expect your business to go through numerous changes throughout its life. Each change will come with its own set of legal requirements. These legal requirements must be effectively managed to achieve a result that complies with Jersey and England and Wales company law, partnership law, or any other applicable laws and regulations and secures a strong legal foothold for the future for your business.

What ways are there available for setting up a Jersey business?

If you are planning on being the sole owner of your business, you can set up as a sole trader. You can be a sole trader event if you have employees. To reduce the risk to you personally or if you plan to set up a business with more than one person you can form a limited company or a limited liability partnership.

How long do I have to live in Jersey before I can set up my own business?

Generally you are required to be a Jersey resident for five years before you can set up a Jersey business.

I am setting up a company with a colleague. Can I rely on the Articles of Association to govern how the Company works?

Typically, the relationships between individual shareholders, and between shareholders and the company itself, are governed by the Articles of Association. However, disputes are regrettably all too common among business partners. Failure to have an agreed mechanism in place in this regard can easily be fatal to a business. Agreements allow the parties to set out exactly how, and by whom, any disputes are to be settled. Deadlock provisions are also highly useful in this regard. If shareholders become locked into an intractable dispute, having a method to allow one party to buy out the shareholding of another can be the only possible way to sustain a business as a going concern.

My business partner has asked that we sign a shareholders agreement. Is this a good idea?

Whether or not your company would benefit from a shareholders agreement will depend upon the circumstances of your business. In general, it is advisable to ensure, from the word go, that all parties know where they stand, and crucially that there are clear procedures in place for the resolution of disputes. Consequently, it would be advisable in the majority of situations to put a shareholders agreement in place.

I have decided to go into a business partnership with one of my friends, Do I need a formal partnership agreement?

If you have decided to form a business partnership, you should always have a written agreement drawn up. The law governing partnerships of this type is pretty basic, and as such, you could be vulnerable should there be a dispute or disagreement with your partner if you don’t have your agreement written down and signed.

I have been asked to enter into a joint venture with another firm but I am not sure what this means?

A joint venture is when two or more business entities or individuals combine to access or grow a particular market or set up a new undertaking or project. It is an agreement between businesses who agree to co-operate to achieve a particular objective such as expanding, or developing new products or markets, or growing from existing ones. In such circumstances, it is important to have a formal agreement.

Do I need a licence to operate a Jersey business?

Before you can operate as a new business in Jersey, you need to obtain a Jersey business licence from the Population Office.

Under Jersey law you have to have a Jersey business licence for any trade, business or activity involving work or services performed for, or offered to members of the public, including a section of the public, carried on in Jersey by any person whether or not carried on for profit.

This will entitle you to trade and also employ certain categories of Jersey workers.

There are four categories of Residential Status:

  • Entitled
  • Entitled to Work
  • Licensed
  • Registered

Under your Jersey business licence you can employ an unlimited number of employees if they are Entitled or Entitled to Work.

In relation to individuals who are ‘Licensed’ or ‘Registered’, you are only permitted to employ these if you have express permission under your business licence from the Population Office.

If you employ someone who is not Entitled or Entitled to Work, you will be committing an offence under Jersey law in relation to your business licence. Please note that the Population office does check employee status.

From due diligence to strategic planning, whether you are a smaller or medium Jersey business Parslows help simplify the process, allowing you to understand the opportunities, the risks, the pitfalls, and the potential.

At Parslows, we are here to help and support our clients. We pride ourselves on our long-standing client relationships and offer the same high-calibre, expert business legal advice to all our clients regardless of business or case size.

We closely collaborate with business owners, entrepreneurs, and key stakeholders to ensure successful deal outcomes that perfectly fit your needs. We always take a pragmatic and proactive approach to every transaction we work on. We provide clear business legal advice and we are transparent with our fees, in most cases providing a fixed fee.

What our clients say

“Thank you …”

Catia is fantastic at her job! I don’t know what I would have done in the early days of setting up my business if it wasn’t for her! Thank you for being so supportive!

Jersey Business Law June 16, 2022

“Your guidance and humour eased the process …”

I would like to thank you David [Hill], not only for the professional manner in which you acted on the sale for us, but for your guidance, handholding and humour during the process. It was indeed an intense experience made all the easier for us by this.

Jersey Business Law May 12, 2022

“Work was impeccable …”

Where do I start? I used Parslows for all of the legalities for my new business. I often had meetings, phone calls and emails with Catia Barros & Carl Parslow. The advice, patience, and kindness I received from them and everyone at Parslows was fantastic. The work they did for me was impeccable, and they talked me through everything in stages. When I was unsure, they simplified it and made me feel like I had complete control of what was happening to better my business and its legal aspects.

I thank you all sincerely for the compassion and empathy you had for me while receiving your services. I will be sure to be back again should I request your expertise.
I highly recommend Parslows to anyone. Thank you again, Michael Kirkwood and the staff from Lifeline Training Ltd.

Jersey Business Law March 30, 2022

“Expertise in commercial contracts was a major benefit …”

We worked with David Hill and his expertise in commercial contracts was a major benefit. He was also cost sensitive and kept us advised of our run rate. Legal 500 – 2022 client testimonial 

Jersey Business Law October 4, 2021

“Reliable and trustworthy …”

A reliable and trustworthy service that other competitors could only hope to achieve. Legal 500 – 2022 client testimonial

Jersey Business Law October 4, 2021

“Service levels are excelled …”

A firm where service levels are excelled and where a client is an individual and not just a number. Legal 500 – 2022 client testimonial

Jersey Business Law October 4, 2021

“Parslows present a cohesive approach to the needs of the client …”

The team at Parslows present a cohesive approach to the needs of the client that remained consistently high even during a global pandemic. Legal 500 – 2022 client testimonial 

Jersey Business Law October 4, 2021

“Practical and pragmatic …”

In the context of advising on a complex joint venture framework agreement, a very practical and pragmatic approach was taken, with many potential pitfalls identified. Legal 500 – 2022 client testimonial

Jersey Business Law October 1, 2021

“Highly recommend Parslows to other entrepreneurs for legal guidance and support …”

It has been a pleasure working with Parslows on the setup of my business. David and the team have been great and the entire process, from onboarding to completion, was professional and highly efficient. They really took the time to listen to what I wanted and, in the end, provided me with everything I needed to start an ecommerce site on the right footing. I would highly recommend Parslows to any other entrepreneurs looking for legal guidance and support. Michael Landor, Heirloom Watch

Jersey Business Law May 27, 2021

“Excellent communication and service …”

Excellent communication and service from David Hill. Assisting Sunworks (C.I.) Ltd with commercial contracts for rolling out renewable energy in Jersey. Mark Brandon, Sunworks

Jersey Business Law December 8, 2020

“Very grateful for thoroughness and advice on the deal …”

"Our involvement in local commercial solar generation is a big step and we were very grateful to David Hill of Parslows for his thoroughness and advice on the deal”.

Jersey Business Law December 1, 2020

“I would not hesitate to recommend Parslows …”

I am very pleased with how everything went. It is very unlikely I would ever be asked for my opinion, but if I was I would not hesitate to recommend Parslows Jersey. Give my thanks to the other members involved.

Jersey Business Law July 2, 2019

“Well beyond the call of duty …”

Thank you for spending time well beyond the call of duty over last few weeks. I appreciate your professionalism and thoroughness during what has been an incredibly stressful time for me.

Jersey Business Law January 29, 2019

“In-depth expertise and knowledge …”

David [Hill] has provided sound and pragmatic legal advice. He has in-depth expertise and knowledge and highly recommended.

Jersey Business Law December 1, 2018

“Fully informed at all times and able to make decisions with confidence …”

David [Hill] expertly guided me through a recent acquisition.  He explained the various contracts and clauses in a clear and concise manner, ensuring that I was fully informed at all times and able to make decisions with confidence.

Jersey Business Law August 9, 2018

“Measured and professional approach …”

Your measured and professional approach proved the correct strategy to adopt and I am so grateful for the way you steered me through the many obstacles and mine fields the other party threw up.  Your work was always presented on the moral high ground and was always accurate.

Jersey Business Law June 19, 2018

“Prompt and professional …”

Thanks very much for your prompt and professional attention to this matter.

Jersey Business Law December 3, 2014