One of the most frequent queries we have is from start-up businesses who are unfamiliar with the myriad laws surrounding their industry.
Thanks to media headlines, most of us are probably aware of the work that Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards does to prosecute businesses that have broken the law.
But fewer people probably know about the work they do to help firms in the county navigate the minefield of legislation which surrounds running a business.
Trading Standards offers free advice for some businesses such as start-ups and very small, local firms to make sure they comply with regulations.
For other businesses there is a charge for advice but this can prove to be a saving in the long-run if it means they avoid making costly mistakes.
Additionally, Trading Standards also offer something called Business Companion. Run by the Trading Standards Institute, this offers free, impartial legal guidance for firms that sell goods or supply services to consumers.
Trading Standards has also introduced Primary Authority Partnerships, which is a contract between the service and a business to provide ongoing advice and support on specific areas of regulation. Under the Primary Authority scheme, other regulators are unable to take enforcement action where firms have followed specific advice.
Corby-based manufacturer, Creative Tops, recently became the 50th business to go into partnership with Northamptonshire Trading Standards.
Other companies receiving support through the scheme include:
- Travis Perkins
- Avon Cosmetics
For businesses, both new and old, establishing a relationship with Trading Standards can be key to ensuring they comply with legislation, which, further down the track, can be the difference between not surviving or thriving, and avoiding their own negative newspaper headlines.