For any company to run smoothly, grow and flourish, the basic legal aspects must be right at foundation stage; but creative companies today have a whole lot more to think about besides.

The digital age has heralded such exponential change and innovation that no one really knows what’s next. It’s an exciting and inspiring time, but also means a hundred shades of legal grey when it comes to content distribution, collaborations, industry consolidation, protecting and legalising your IP, working with influencers, digital monetisation and company valuation when looking for seed investment or growing your company.

In my book Running a Creative Company in the Digital Age I look at the nuts and bolts of setting up your company with Companies House, registering with HMRC, deciding on your business partners, the formation of your board, shareholders and voting, paying yourself, staff and premises – and how to avoid a messy divorce with partners.

I talk to legal expert Clive Halperin, partner at GSC Solicitors LLP, who gives valuable advice on what creative companies need to do from start up to exit or wind up, how IP exploitation works, staying ahead of the creative tech curve and the importance of “Pre-nups” for your company.

Clive says: “Often people in creative companies want to be treated equally, for example, 50/50 or a third each with three founders. However, like a pre-nuptial agreement with a marriage, in business it makes a lot of sense to give some thought to how you should deal with a break up”

I also explore employment law, talk about the possible effects of Brexit on the creative community and give you a heads up on all the lovely little legal surprises that might come your way as a Founder/MD/CEO.

Bobby Lane, Head of Outsourcing and Business Development Shelley Stock Hutter LLP Chartered Accountants, has a sunny take on post Brexit Britain to contrast with my decidedly gloomy one.

Bobby says: “I believe there are more opportunities for creative businesses than there were before Brexit. There is a huge pool of talent in UK creative industries and international businesses will still want to tap into these resources”.

Steve Leith, Audit Partner Media Technology Group with media veterans Grant Thornton Accountants gives us the benefit of his considerable expertise on Government tax schemes, company valuation for content creators and pioneering tech, Initial Public Offerings and what’s hot for investors in digital content right now.

The Growth section of the book goes into detail about selling your business, buying one of your competitors and whether it’s worth going public by floating on the AIMmarket, and the last section looks at the ins and outs of company wind up or insolvency.

Whatever stage you’re at with your creative venture, it always pays to keep on top of the legal stuff!