My Blog’s mic drop 2019

I’ve spent my afternoon planning next year.

Looking at who is important, what is important and where we are going in the next 12 months.

Its been exciting to see the progress of the last year – SGOL’s new and improved template offer is, in no short measure, responsible for some of that! And the fabulous Chrissie of Black Hare Marketing – without whom, none of this is possible.


Its also exciting to see what’s already in the pipeline for next year…

We have training lined up with wedding suppliers, commercial network groups, GCSE students and creatives in Nottingham – it’s a diverse bunch! And there’s new products and collaborations coming soon too, to help with your risk management, a review of GDPR and a membership offer I think will be too good to miss.

If, like me , you are yearning for Friday 20th December (What? part timer…….editor) and the rest and recuperation that Christmas brings – gird your loins and lets do this for another working week, people. If you need some inspiration… here.

Then let’s rest and add ‘the undone’ to the ‘to do’ pile and raise a glass to the next 12 months.

Thank you for joining us on the SGOL blog, and a very Merry Christmas to you all

With love

Heather xx


Facebook LIVES next week as we launch our group : join us?

We have a sparkly new FB group for you to join, and our LAUNCHING EVENTS are next week. These are going to be about Contact Basics – the Why? the When? and the How?

Monday 23rd September at 6.30pm we are looking at WHY it is essential to have T and C’s – a client contract. The key reasons you can’t afford not to….

Wednesday 25th September at 6.30pm we are looking at WHEN you might use one? When does a wedding business start to need one? When do you produce your Terms to your clients?

Thursday 26th September at 6.30pm we will tell you about some solutions, giving you an honest appraisal of the price points for them, where to look and where you can access a variety of options – not just ours.

Join the group here and come and join us for these LIVES.

We are Your Legal Fairy Godmother, after all….

Advice on partnerships : avoiding the pitfalls

In our last blog we talked about the difference between a limited company and a sole trader – and that provoked quite a response! If you missed it – catch it here. Today we look at problematic advice on partnerships and some of the pitfalls to avoid.

Partnerships are a very old concept and defined very loosely as ‘persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit’ and only excludes those in an incorporated body (a limited company set up) or a group created by statute or Royal Charter (no, not you guys!) so covers everyone who is working jointly with someone else – and this is important – even if they didn’t intend to actually create a partnership.

So, you can create a partnership by accident (how weird is that…) without intention and indeed even if you have tried to avoid such a thing, and once created, partnerships can only be regulated in one of two ways:

  • By a contract in writing – you have a Partnership Agreement that sets out how the partnership works and such matters as termination, dissolution, adding new partners, how you run the accounting processes etc. It can include restrictions on what partners can do as part of or as well as their work for the partnership, and after departure.  They often run to many pages and can have complex structures dealing with departure of existing partners and additions of new partners in particular.
  • In the absence of a contract in writing, or if your Partnership Agreement is silent on any aspect, then there’s some really bad news – you are subject to the Partnership Act 1890 – a comprehensive piece of legislation that imposes all sorts of rights and obligations on partners whether you like it or not. Given this Act was passed in the 19th Century you can imagine how clunky and very ‘not fit for purpose’ this is in the modern age. Pitfall to be avoided!!!!!

You will see often in contracts with freelancers or associates a clause that states specifically that no partnership is being created between the parties who would otherwise satisfy the very wide definition of a partnership – that’s why its there. You do not want to be in partnership with your freelancer assistants usually – and neither do they wish to be in that arrangement with you. Its important this clause features large in your freelancer contracts.

If you do need to go into business with other people, usually the simpler and cleaner way to do this is by shares in a limited company – far more flexibility and much easier to create and regulate what you do.

Here’s useful link about the minimum requirements for a partnership and how to run it, name it and adhere to your obligations.

Take advice. To get your FREE fact sheet on the difference between Limited Companies Partnerships and Sole Traders – just get in touch at with email header FACT SHEET and we will send that to you pronto. And we promise to be good to our GDPR word and not surreptitiously add you to a data base for future marketing…. cos that’s how we roll.

Top legal tips for wedding cake makers – allergies

Cake makers and bakers – does your contract limit your liability for allergies and intolerances? Should it? Can it? How does it do this? You don’t have a contract….? Read on (but take a peek at this solution…..)

Cake makers and baker can’t simply deny that you hold any liability to customers who may have allergies – a blanket ‘I’m not responsible for anything. Anywhere. Anyhow.…’  just doesn’t cut the mustard – if you excuse my food analogy.

Let’s get back to basics – you have a contractual obligation to provide what you agree to bake with your client, and duty of care to the people who buy your products to ensure they are safe and to be clear about what they contain. This is particularly true if you offer services that claim freedom from certain types of ingredient – or you are specifically instructed about an allergen that needs to be avoided, and you agree to take the customer’s order on.

Here are our top tips for cake makers:

  • Set out clearly what you are contracting to provide – if that’s gluten free, or vegetarian then say so. Cake makers and bakers,  please write down what you are told about allergies or intolerances – have a specific question, even if the answer from your customer is ‘no’. You can show you have investigated it.
  • If you are told about a potential problem – ask more. Write down the answers – again, its evidence.
  • If there are limitations on how sure you are about your ingredients, then be clear. If your kitchen uses nut products or you also bake gluten goods for example, it’s probably wise to say so.
  • Have a written contract. If you need a template, you can buy one of ours on line …Have a good clear liability clause in your contract. You cannot by law limit your liability or causing death or serious injury, so your contract should state that fact, and not reference any financial limitation to your liability – such as your Public Liability cover.
  • Make sure, however, you have adequate insurance in place – get a broker to advise if not. We know a really good one, so email us for info.
  • Take advice about labelling and declaring what you use: you can check the food safety regulations with the Food Standards Agency website

With our very special thanks to  for allowing us to show their fabulous work in this blog, and credit to for the photosgraph used with permission.

Wedding stylist – are you protected?

This week we are looking at the wedding stylist – you design buffs, creative folk with all that gorgeous kit that you provide to make the venues and party rooms and marques so fabulously exquisite. You may be a relatively new wedding stylist building up your stock of props and items, or maybe you have a storage space full of vintage, retro, themed gorgeousness, which range from light up flamingos, candle lanterns, fake plants and trees, table decorations and furniture, or every sort of fairy light on the planet. Whatever your style as a wedding stylist, that’s a lot of kit with a lot of value – are you making sure you have protected it? In this respect, your contract is your best friend.

First and foremost – insurance. Have you really valued what you have (and I mean counted it, catalogued it and added it up!)  and secured adequate cover both for its storage and its transportation? This is the very life blood of your business so please make sure you are properly covered. You can email us if you need an introduction to an excellent insurance broker that we work with.

Top quick tips: Make sure your policy is robust, covers you in a business context, and for off-site damage.

Secondly, do your terms and conditions make it clear that once in the possession of your clients, the risk is theirs? Do they take insurance? Do you request a damage deposit and how do you deal with that? Paid to a separate bank account? All thorny issues to ensure that the risk of damage is hopefully covered in all circumstances.

Top quick tips : do they specify when the risk passes to your clients? Do they tell the client the total hire period you have agreed? Do they deal with the legal requirements for cancellation periods? These are strict, and the hire contract could be unenforceable in total if they are not right.

It’s a pretty risky business leaving your business stock in the care of others for use and abuse so make sure you have robust terms that make the obligations and liabilities clear in the event of damage, loss or dispute.

You can get our template terms for stylists which deal with all these issues here.

To Surrey and back again – a wedding planners’ tale….

To Surrey and back again – a wedding planners’ tale….After a fabulous week talking to new Wedding Planners attending the Planning Redefined conference in the beautiful surroundings of Millbridge Court, Surrey, this week’s blog is especially for you chaps – the wedding planners, the party organisers, the events managers, the folk who plan and organise and source and deliver for clients week in, and week out.

There are so many aspects to your role and different wedding planners bring very different skills and preferences to their service delivery models. Some are very style based, and looking for the ideal aesthetic, the beautiful photographs to capture perfect days and memories for their couples, using high levels of design and artistic skills to create perfection. Others are very logistics driven, and all about getting the right things in place at the right location, the right price and the best possible quality. Others are all about ‘the party’ – person centred, and ensuring that it’s a fabulous day with fabulous family and friends that goes with the best bang.

In truth, most wedding planners are something of all of those things – they have to be, to deliver the day they promise.

Whatever your style or skill, it’s important that underpinning what you do, there are some operational and legal boxes that you tick to keep your risks as managed and as low as possible.

This stuff is not sexy, not aesthetic, not fun, not easy …..but important and essential to a good, well run , professional business venture.

I’ll attempt the impossible, and boil it down to a simple check list, so here are my top tips of the most important things ‘to do’ for your planning business – maybe not all at the start, maybe not all at the same time, but soon, and I would suggest as a priority.

  • Contracts with your clients or T and C’s – covered extensively in previous blogs you can read here – and Contracts with your suppliers – these need only come high on your to do list if your model of delivery includes sourcing, instructing and paying these suppliers yourself. More advice to follow in future blogs on this issue.Our template can be purchased here
  • Insurance – boring unless you are an insurance geek… (errr, pot….kettle….from a lawyer….) but essential. Public Liability cover is a must to cover accident and injury, Employers liability cover if you have any workers, Professional Indemnity cover may also be a good idea – to cover the ‘cock ups’… but take advice. We have a great referral link to a specialised small business insurance broker and you can email us to get this introduction if you want more advice on this point.
  • Web site compliance – does it have a privacy policy that is GDPR proofed? Does it have a contact us page that is GDPR compliant – if not you need our Starter Pack
  • Regulatory compliance – don’t forget your Health and Safety obligations, risk assessments and other safety requirements like first aid provision.

Are you ready to go for the new season now? Bring on 2019.