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Protecting Your Business

Business Security

Business Watch
Crime is a concern to all businesses so it is important to ensure that you have appropriate security at your premises. The East Midlands Chamber of Commerce (Derbyshire Nottinghamshire & Leicestershire) Business Watch team can help identify problems and provide solutions.

A range of factsheets advising on business security are available

Action Fraud provides a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.


Cyber Crime

At the moment, the majority of businesses are very much behind the curve when it comes to cyber security, meaning that there is a lot of “low hanging fruit” for criminals to target.Whilst ever this is the case, businesses which take even the simplest measures to prevent a cyber breach, can move themselves higher up the tree. It is widely acknowledged that more than 80% of cyber breaches can be completely avoided through employing basic good practice.

The government has launched various initiatives to help businesses and individuals take those basic steps:

Employing the basics, as set out in the above, will massively reduce your vulnerability to cyber attack, so please do seriously consider them.


Buying and Selling Goods and Services

Having formal written information in place ensures the roles and responsibilities of both parties are clear and can be particularly helpful where one party feels obligations are not being fulfilled. If a business relationship goes wrong a contract can be vital when seeking professional advice.

Having formal written information in place ensures the roles and responsibilities of both parties are clear and can be particularly helpful where one party feels obligations are not being fulfilled. If a business relationship goes wrong a contract can be vital when seeking professional advice.

Find out more about invoices and terms and conditions.


Credit Checks

Are you about to start trading with a new client? Check the potential risks for your business first. A credit check gives you an up to date insight into any company you might be thinking about trading with.


Dealing with Debt

Chasing up late payments can be a burden for businesses. There are different options to claim money owed, including:


Health & Safety

There is a legal responsibility on all businesses to ensure that the health and safety of everyone affected by a business is considered. This includes employees, subcontractors, visitors, customers and even members of the public affected by the products or services. There is also a responsibility for the environmental impact of a business. Carrying out regular risk assessments is a key part of identifying and controlling health and safety and environmental hazards. The organisations below can provide support in regards to Health and Safety:

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Fire Safety

Businesses are required to appoint a responsible person and to carry out regular fire risk assessments. The local fire and rescue authority provides advice for businesses on the level and appropriateness of fire protection measures as well as taking enforcement action to make sure firms meet their statutory and legal responsibilities. More details are available at Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service or Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.


How to Protect Your Intellectual Property

GOV.UK
Intellectual property includes copyright, patents and trademarks, click here to find out how to protect intellectual property, and what to do if someone infringes it. The Copyright Hub provides a gateway to information about copyright in the UK including how to get permission to use copyright material and how to get protection for your work. The Copyright Notice Service provides guidance on copyright issues to SMEs.

Trade mark, patent, design, copyright or trade secret - the value can far outweigh the value of your physical assets. A set of tools provided by the Intellectual Property Officehelps businesses and advisors identify and value IP as well as access online training.

If your business idea or product is not protected, consider making use of a non-disclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement before you share your ideas or discuss a new concept with a potential partner. The linked document above contains a sample agreement.


Data Protection

If you hold and process information about your clients, employees or suppliers, you are legally obliged to protect that information. Under the Data Protection Act, you must:

  • only collect information that you need for a specific purpose;
  • keep it secure;
  • ensure it is relevant and up to date;
  • only hold as much as you need, and only for as long as you need it; and
  • allow the subject of the information to see it on request.

More information is available from the Information Commissioner's Office. including:


Better Business Regulation

Better Business Regulation

The Better Business Regulation project aims to support businesses by making business regulations easier to access and
understand.

A guide to the regulatory areas that apply to all businesses at launch has been produced by
BBR.


Business Continuity

A Business Continuity Plan is an essential part of any organisation’s response planning setting out how the business will operate following an incident and how it expects to return to ‘business as usual’ in the quickest possible time.

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure summarises here.


Other Legal Compliance

Legal compliance is the process or procedure to ensure that an organisation follows relevant laws, regulations and business rules. The definition of legal compliance has recently been expanded to include understanding and adhering to ethical codes within entire professions. There are two requirements for an enterprise to be compliant with the law, first its policies need to be consistent with the law. Second, its policies need to be complete with respect to the law.

The links below provide further information and guidance in regards to legal compliance:


Trading Standards

Business Companion

Business Companion is a free online resource that allows business owners and individual consumers to quickly and effectively find and understand the trading standards laws and consumer protection regulations. Business owners can query laws specific to their industry by answering questions regarding how they sell, what they sell and where they sell.

Individual Trading Standards services aim to improve life for local people by supporting business, helping consumers and tackling unfair and unsafe trading practices.

Find details of local provision by clicking on the relevant geographical area:

Some but not all Councils in our area can be accessed through the 'Talk to Reg' website.