One of the first things to be aware of when setting up a new business is the host of legal issues that will affect you. Business names, Australian Business Numbers, licenses, business structures, contracts, copyright and the privacy act are all pertinent legal issues when starting a new business. The range of legal issues when starting a new business and their terms of compliance can be daunting for a new business owner, and it is advisable to seek legal advice to make sure your business is on the right path. However, with or without a lawyer, it’s a good idea for business owners to have a basic understanding of some of the legal issues to be considered when starting a business.
Understanding your Business’ Legal Issues
Although the legal issues when starting a new business will vary, one regulation that applies to all businesses is registration. All business owners have to register before they can begin trading. This means registering a business name, but it also means registering for certain taxes that may affect you. This often includes registering for an Australian Business Number, the Goods and Services Tax, pay as you go withholding, or a trademark for your business name and logo. Depending on what your business offers you may also need to apply for a licence before you can start trading. It seems like a lot to consider, but much of the information you need to figure out which registrations apply to your business can be found online.
Once you’ve gotten through the basics of registering a business, the legal issues start to become more complicated. For example, contracts are an inevitable part of running a business. These can range from simple leases or sales contracts with customers and suppliers to more complex arrangement, like joint ventures or franchising agreements. You will need to deal with key issues in your contracts to ensure, for example, that you get paid by your customers and are protected as much as possible from claims against your business. Before signing any contract be sure that you’ve read the fine print and are comfortable with all the terms and conditions. If possible, it is advisable to have a lawyer look over your contracts before you sign them.
There are also legal issues to consider when employing people to work within your business. To start with you’ll have to draw up fair and appropriate employment contracts that suit both you and your employee. Once you have a number of employees you’ll need to be aware of anti-bullying laws, in case one of your workers feel they’ve been bullied in the workplace, as well as the unfair dismissal laws.
Being aware of the legal issues when starting a business puts you in a good position to deal with any concerns that may arise. If you need legal advice to ensure your business is in compliance with all the rules and regulations that apply to you, the team of lawyers at The Quinn Group can help. Call us on 02 9223 9166, or fill out an online enquiry.