Legal Issues

There are a number of legal requirements those involved in the arts need to be aware of. If you’ve recently taken over a performance space, are about to embark on a tour or are developing your company and want to take on new staff, it’s vital that you are aware of the legal implications for your organisation.

Below is a list of websites which offer invaluable information on areas such as health and safety, insurance and employment law. If you click on ‘Legal Firms’ on the right hand side of the page you’ll find a listing of legal firms in the city which specialise in areas such as entertainment/leisure law, setting up as a charity and intellectual property.

Health & Safety Executive

Responsible for the regulation of almost all risks to health and safety arising in the workplace. Find out your legal responsibility as an employer and the costs of managing health and safety adequately.

HM Revenue & Customs

The Business & Corporations section features very helpful information on all areas of VAT, including registering a new business, submitting a tax return and tax relief.

Department of Trade & Industry

The DTI website provides information on all aspects of employment and European employment directives, with sections on individual employment rights, redundancy, and holidays and pay entitlement.

Intellectual Property

This government-backed website helps to answer questions on all areas of UK copyright, patent and trademark law.

Criminal Records Bureau

This website explains how the CRB helps organisations identify candidates who are unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving contact with children and vulnerable members of society.

Equal Opportunities Commission

Find out how to ensure you are an equal opportunities employer (or your rights as an employee) here.

Charity Commission

If you’re thinking of registering as a charity, this website explains the legal ins and outs of the process. Downloadable application forms and legal explanations are featured.

Information Commissioner

This site explains your legal obligations as an employer regards data protection law – look at the Small Business section.

Artsquest

This website features an exhaustive section on legal matters, aimed directly at those working in the arts, with sections on contracts, copyright, royalty and publication rights.

Companies House

A wealth on information on how to register as a company, or, if you’re already established, info on auditors and filing your accounts with Companies House.

ACAS

A one-stop website featuring information about all the aspects of employment law, and your rights as an employee.

The Financial Services Authority

Search the online library for documention on a variety of finance-related policy, including insurance.

British Insurance Brokers’ Assoc.

BIBA is the UK’s leading independent insurance body. You can use the site to search for an approved insurance broker.