The three business structures I will be discussing are sole proprietorships/traders, partnerships and corporations. Starting of with sole proprietorships which is an individual that owns an unincorporated business run and managed by themselves. A partnership is the personal relations between two or more who run or handle a business. Every person gives investments and labor and also share the profits of the company. Lastly, corporations being the biggest of them all is a large company/ group of companies that acts as a single entity. A corporation usually has the same deductions as a sole proprietorship as a method to find out it’s taxable income. Like everything, there are advantages and disadvantages for all of these business structures. The advantages of sole proprietorships are first of all that you make decisions for your business because you are your own boss, you also at the end of the day hold onto the profits you make and launching and setting up your business is much simpler when you are a sole trader. The disadvantages however, are you will have unlimited liability for debts because there is not a huge legal difference between personal and business assets and it is also a task to establish when you can take a holiday because you work for yourself essentially. The advantages of partnerships are there would be more of a prominent borrowing capacity than a sole proprietorship/trader, more capital would also be accessible and decision making is shared among each business partner essentially more partners means fresh ideas and less pressure on one person. The disadvantages are of course the most obvious being conflict or disagreement between two partners this cause a rift in the business and overall cause a bad atmosphere which could affect the running of the business. Another one is the fact that partners share the profit of the business equally, this can bring on some problems such as one partner not achieving as much as others and still earning as much as the others. The advantages of a corporation are the owner’s personal assets are protected from debt and corporations have tax free benefits eg travel and insurance. The disadvantages are obviously more legal formality as corporations are companies on a larger scale and legal rules and regulations to adhere to. I personally think from reviewing this case that the structure most suited to these group of friends is a partnership and I will explain my reasons for believing that. A sole proprietorship would not work mainly for the simple fact that this is a group of friends and not one person. A partnership does not have as many rules and regulations to adhere to which is why I believe a partnership would fit the group’s plan.
Social Media is an essential part of most people’s days. An extremely negative post or comment about a company or a person can have specific ramifications involving the law and you could possibly have to deal with the legal consequences of it. An untrue statement can cause a lot of harm to a company or person and their reputation so it may be considered defamatory under the Defamation Act 2009. Even something as simple as retweeting or sharing another persons negative remarks can be considered as an endorsement which is important enough to create legal action. It states in the Oireachtas that a “defamation statement” includes broadcast on the radio or television or published on the internet which is including in what this friend group is planning on doing. It also states that “There shall be no publication for the purposes of the tort of defamation if the defamatory statement is published to person to whom it relates and to a person other than the person to whom it relates where circumstances where –
(a)it was not intended to that the statement would be published to the second mentioned person and
(b)it was not reasonably foreseeable that publication of the statement to the first mentioned person would result in its being published to the second mentioned person.
The friends plan on going against this law and post most likely false and negative reviews and claim for the reasons of sabotage and destruction of reputation which is illegal.
The Oireachtas also states that ” A person that is guilty under this offence shall be liable on”-
On summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both, or
On conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €50,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or to both.
I would not advise these friends to go along with their plan because as you can see there are serious implications to doing what they have planned. They could end up in debt after having to pay for damages or even imprisoned for a period of time. I will further try to prove my point by referencing a defamation case on Facebook that I have studied. In June 2016, judge John O’ Hara presented €75,000 in damages against a man who posted a defamatory remark on Facebook. This is something can happen more often than you think. I also reviewed a serious case in which an employee of British Waterway Boards some nasty and reputation destroying reparks and comments about the company such as ” I hate my work” and ” It’s not the work it’s the people who ruin it nasty horrible human beings” as much worse comments. The UK’s employment Appeal Tribunal had overturned the original employment tribunals decision and stated that the dismissal was reasonable regardless of the delay. However, British Waterway Boards did get the opportunity to out this employee over their misconduct and negative remarks towards them. This case is an excellent indication into what can happen if you say a negative or false accusation about a company and it is truly a tale of caution for this group of friends.