Legal Essentials for Business in Australia - What to Know
When starting a new business venture, many businesspeople often build on an idea and construct the rest by working on creating strategies and developing a team to help in the execution. Beyond the core vision and mission, other things like fit-outs, capital raising, and engaging suppliers are filling up the space of your mind and leaving no room for another fundamental essential when growing your business: legal matters. On that note, legal matters differ in every country and state, but in Australia, businesses must adhere to certain legal requirements before they can commence operations to protect the industry as well as the people in it.
If you want to ensure your business will run smoothly and avoid bumping into legal issues, this article aims to shed some light on the rules and regulations that apply to your industry when starting a business in Australia. In that regard, here is a checklist of common legal requirements you should comply and be aware of:
- Registration and Licensing Requirements
Whether you’re starting as a small business owner or is looking to expand on an existing business, there are several essential government registrations and licenses you will need to take care of before starting on your new venture. The different types you need are the following:
- Australian Business Number (ABN) – Businesses without an ABN will have a withholding tax of 49% to any purchases made from other businesses, and it is also required for registering for goods and services tax (GST).
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) – This applies to businesses who can foresee the company’s revenue exceeding $75,000 in one year.
- Tax File Number (TFN) – All business operations in Australia are required by law to have a TFN.
- Pay As You Go (PAYG) – The purpose of this is to withhold tax paid to employees and contractors.
- Legally Enforceable Contracts
All business operations must have contracts given to have all participating parties consent to the agreed project, including the making of the product as well as the rendered services. Failure to propose or adhere to the terms and conditions of a contract can result in legal actions against your business.
- Privacy Act
The privacy law was established to protect the personal information of customers and all employees working under an organization. This is to ensure that such confidential data does not fall into the hands of others, which can be a breach of privacy for customers or employees and can also result in a sticky situation when it is not taken seriously.
- Intellectual Property
Any product or service made by the company should have patents and copyrights, so all businesses in Australia must register for intellectual property to protect the company’s intangible property like your business name, products, services, or any other creative projects.
- Bullying and Harassment
All employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. In that regard, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure these rights are met, and any damages or harm caused to an employee due to bullying will render your company liable for such matters.
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