A drive to support small businesses in the Bay has prompted a Tauranga law firm to offer free seminars to existing and prospective business owners.

Lyon O'Neale Arnold, which is itself a small business, will launch its new Library Law Series at Tauranga City Library next week.

Topics to be covered include Business Structure, Succession Planning, POAs, Director Duties, Buying or Selling a Business and Leasing Premises.

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The initiative follows the launch of Small Business Tauranga by the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce last month to target the small business community, which makes up an estimated 70 to 80 per cent of businesses in the region.

"Small businesses are the cornerstone of the Tauranga economy. However, a quarter of all small businesses in New Zealand fail within the first three years," said Lyon O'Neale Arnold co-director Denise Arnold.

"Having the right structure and legal framework in place is crucial in ensuring that a business functions efficiently and effectively, while also protecting the individuals behind it."

A small business is defined as having up to 20 employees. With a staff of 16, Lyon O'Neale Arnold is in the perfect position to offer advice, said Mrs Arnold.

"Not only do we have the legal knowledge, we also understand the needs of small businesses from the inside out. Offering these free seminars is our way of giving back to the community that has supported our business and helped to make it the success that it is today."

With small businesses contributing to 30 per cent of the country's GDP, when small businesses thrive, we all benefit, she adds.

The free seminar series, beginning on April 13, will also include seminars on Buying and Selling Real Estate, Family Trusts, Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Estate Planning and Estate Administration.

"When you own a business it is equally important to have your personal affairs in order, to make sure one doesn't impact on the other," said Mrs Arnold.

"However, these seminars are not just for small business owners - they are for anyone who is interested in finding out more about any of the topics on offer."

Tauranga City Libraries manager Jill Best said she was "delighted to provide a venue for an educational series for such a wide range of people".

For more information about the Lyon O'Neale Arnold free seminar series visit: http://www.loalaw.nz/news/free-library-law-series-2016