Legal help guides

We partnered with DLA Piper in 2015 to provide social entrepreneurs with important legal support and guidance through a series of downloadable legal help sheets.

Whether you’re a social entrepreneur just starting out on a new venture or you need to protect areas of your existing social enterprise, these fourteen help sheets are a great way to ensure your social enterprise stays on the right side of the law.

Each help sheet has been put together to provide well needed practical guidance and key legal terms to protect your social venture while growing it to the next level. You can access each PDF by selecting from one of the four categories below so be sure to download and save them for future reference.

Legal structure, intellectual property, services

Structures for social ventures

This detailed guide highlights identifying the best legal structure for your social venture using a flowchart, a comprehensive glossary and comparison table. This guide will also allow you to best define your organisation with a full glossary of essential terms.

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Supply of service agreement guidance note and template

This guide explains the improtance of a contract that sets out the terms of supplying services to customers. There is a glossary of terms as well as a template agreement to help you draft an agreement tailored to your business needs.

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Overview of service level agreement

As a business if you decide to supply services to your customers you need a Service Level Agreement which sets out the level of service you provide. This guide includes the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ that should be considered when setting the service levels and answers all questions and queries you may face.

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Intellectual property protection help sheet

Running a business is an adventure, but every social entrepreneur should protect their intellectual property to gain exclusivity. This guide breaks down the importance of protecting your valuable business assets such as your logos, inventions, products and designs, with information on copyright, patents and trademarks.

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Employees

Contract of employment

When you employ a member of staff it is important to draw up a contract of employment. This guide outlines typical terms used in an employment contract, what a contract should cover and a template you can adapt for your social venture.

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Electronic communications and internet policy

This guide helps you set out standards and requirements for staff on using the internet and electronic communications, including an internet policy template.

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Offer of employment

Thinking of expanding your team? This guide provides important notes on offering employment and also includes a useful letter of employment template and recruitment procedures.

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Consultants

Non-compete deed guidance and template

A deed helps protect your business' interests. This guide and template will help you understand how best you can protect your enterprise in the event of an employee or consultant using information or company knowledge they have gained to compete with your business.

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Confidentiality agreement guidance and template

Confidential information about your business is accessible by anyone who works for you so its vital to protect this information with a confidentiality agreement. This guide shows the typical provisions that go into the agreement and include a template you can adapt to your social venture.

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Contractor agreement

You may want to consider hiring contractors to provide services for your social enterprise rather than employing them as staff members. In this case you will need to define an agreement for a contractor and understand the typical terms used. This help sheet is an in depth guide which includes a glossary of terms and contractor agreement template.

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Property lease

Negotiating a commercial property lease (England and Wales)

This guide uses a glossary of terms to outline the typical terms used in negotiating a commercial property lease in England and Wales, along with key clauses and negotiation advice to benefit tenants.

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Negotiating a commercial property lease (Scotland)

This guide uses a glossary of terms to outline the typical terms in commercial property leases in Scotland, along with key clauses and negotiation advice to benefit tenants.

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Privacy and confidentiality

Template privacy policy

The information a social enterprise collects about people is equally as important as any business. This template standard privacy policy can be used on your website, forms or brochures to ensure you have complied with the legal requirements when handling data.

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Data protection checklist

In this guide you will discover a checklist of how to handle people’s information in a key of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ to ensure you comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

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