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Starting your own business? Here is what you need to know [legally]

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Getting the legal foundations of your new business right is important. However, unless you *speak lawyer* it can be difficult knowing where to start, especially when you throw advice from friends, family and Google into the business mix.

To help you get your head around your new business legals, we’ve put together a simple guide.

Start with the why

We all know that we *should* engage expert legal services when setting up a business, but often the cost can be a deterrent. So, why should you prioritise this investment before your business is up-and-running?

The truth is, getting the foundations right in the beginning can help protect your business and your back pocket. From liability to disputes, intellectual property and ensuring your business’ interests are put first, seeking expert legal advice can save you time, money and headaches down the track.

Understand the legal basics

So, your planning on chatting with a lawyer about your new business but what exactly do you need their help with? Business legals typically fall into two categories. The first, regulations, covers everything from registering your business name to trade marks, privacy and general and industry-specific rules your business is required to comply with.

The second, agreements, includes all of your legal documents and contracts pertaining to your suppliers, customers, employees and other business relationships.

Most common legals for new businesses

When it comes to business legals there can be a lot to cover, depending on the scope of your new venture. The following are typically a good place to start.

  • Business name and trade marks | Your business name and branding are one of the most important assets to your business and before you invest in design and registrations, it pays to do your homework. From checking the availability to registering your business name and trade marks, a legal expert can help you protect your business and prevent other businesses from capitalising on your name, logo and/or slogan.

  • Business structure | When deciding on a business structure, it should align with your short and long-term business goals. Whether you plan to operate as a sole trader, partnership or company, make sure your structure offers adequate protection and remember, your choice will determine your legal and financial obligations. Seeking advice from your lawyer and accountant can really help you to make an informed decision.

  • Terms and conditions | From suppliers to customers, having comprehensive and transparent terms and conditions which focus on the best interests of your business is an important business legal to have in place. Not only do terms and conditions reduce the chances of a dispute but they also provide much less room for misinterpretation.

  • Privacy | Making sure your business complies with Australian and international privacy laws is becoming more important than ever. From sending emails to storing data and personal information, failure to comply can result in hefty fines. Privacy is an area that is constantly changing and evolving, and is well worth talking with a legal professional to seek informed advice.

Do you need some new business *legal help*? Contact Jeremy and Noel on (07) 4632 0480.

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