The Unnecessary Costs of Fines

Anyone who has been penalised for speeding or being late posting their tax return has suffered the consequences of a fine.

Global software giant Microsoft has just been hit by a staggering pentalty of $1.4 billion (£680.9 million) for defying earlier sanctions imposed on it for anti-competitive behaviour. Last year similar fines were made against UK supermarkets and airlines for alleged price-fixing.

Clearly this is quite unprecedented level of penalty whose sheer scale is at first sight irrelevant to all but a handful of the world’s biggest companies.

As a proportion of Microsoft’s vast turnover and profit, however, it’s hardly more significant than a fine of a few thousand pounds would be imposed on a small business.

In the UK the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) can fine a company up to 10% of its turnover and even apply for company directors to be disqualified.

On this basis, all businesses should look to avoid being fined by keeping on top of their legal responsibilities. This will make life far less stressful by avoiding unnecessary costs through being fined.

Remember that every fine is avoidable, as long as you understand the law. Business law is wide-ranging and complicated, and it affects even the smallest organisations. What’s more, ignorance is no defence. If you are worried about your ability to comply with all the laws that govern your operations, from tax to employment, competition to Health & Safety, it must be worthwhile to undertake a review with a business law expert.

Anyone wishing to discuss their business law concerns should contact your local Gamlins Office to talk about their circumstances.

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