Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Aly Young and my business is Legal Angel. We are a law firm that specialises in helping small business owners. I have a background of working with big business and was an in-house lawyer. Eight years ago, I decided I wanted to work under my own terms and I started to develop my practice by looking for people who were in the same position as me.
Even with all my experience as a solicitor, I found some of the legal processes and requirements of setting up a new business quite daunting.
What has your experience of FSB been like?
I connected with FSB because it felt inclusive to people like me. Over the years I have become more aware of the many services FSB offers. I dip in and out of the networking when I have time and I keep on top of the news through the email bulletins. These have been particularly helpful this year with changing so rapidly. Even though I don’t use the whole suite of things that are available through FSB, I still feel it is incredible value for money.
As a lawyer yourself, what makes FSB’s Legal Hub such a great tool for small business owners?
I work with people who are just starting out. At the beginning of their business journey people are very focused on getting things off the ground. They perhaps don’t realise the raft of rules that apply to them. Also, they often can’t afford bespoke legal services at that point. The Legal Hub is an essential tool at that stage in their business life, especially as a small business when you’re just getting started. It’s great value for that to be available just by virtue of being a member.
The documentation is updated regularly and is very specific. There are terms and conditions for different types of sectors, some of which I haven’t been able to find in other legal precedent databases that cost a lot more. They are easy to complete and are a great starting point towards legal compliance! I have often pointed my clients towards FSB and signposted the resources are available. It is a very cost-effective solution.
What’s one piece of advice you have for small business owners right now?
There’re so many things I’d like to say to a small business owner! Hope for the best, but expect the worst. Be optimistic but prepare for the fact that things might go wrong. Make a record of anything that you agree with someone. Even if you don’t have time to prepare a full contract, if you at least have an email setting out the terms of any deal you strike, it is better than nothing. One thing that has come up a lot in the last few months are the difficulties of getting out of a business deal if it does go wrong. Particularly people who have set up a business together and then decide to split up. It’s much harder agreeing what the terms of that separation should be when the relationship has broken down.
Most of all though, have fun. We small business owners are the backbone of this country and we should support each other in trying to make the world a nicer place to be in!