Do You Own a Business – Ask Your Lawyer These Questions!

Ensuring Corporate Documents' Enforceability - What to Know

17/02/2022

There’s a lot that goes into running a business. Aside from the willpower and determination to get things started, passion is key. Moreover, there’s a lot to go into when it comes to finances and other matters. Sure, you’re likely familiar with the need to apply for permits and register the business as a whole. However, there’s a high chance you’re going to end up running into legal issues.

If you didn’t think to call for legal advice for certain things, don’t worry. Majority of Australian businesses (well over 80%) generally don’t ask for legal advice, even when needed. To ensure that your start-up is successful and that you don’t get into any legal trouble, it’s important to understand the basics of contract law and business law.

Here are some of the questions you should ask your lawyer as a business owner:

THE QUESTION: “What are my obligations in the legal sense?”

WHY YOU SHOULD ASK: There’s a high chance you might think you know everything. However, there’s a higher chance that things will go well beyond the usual permits, registrations and whatnot. Sole traders, for example, are solely legally responsible for the legal and financial operations of their business.

Companies are legal entities in themselves, which means owners usually aren’t liable for the activities of a company.

THE QUESTION: “How can my ideas be protected?”

WHY YOU SHOULD ASK: The last thing you want or need are copycats of your business, from the concept to things like your logo. Start by ensuring that you have ownership of all aspects of the business: its name, logo, domain name and any other distinctive aspects of your brand that you might have developed. Registering trademarks, copyrighting your creations or even applying for a patent can all be ways to protect your brand.

THE QUESTION: “What tax scheme am I under?”

WHY YOU SHOULD ASK: This is not just something your accountant will handle. Especially since taxes are also legal matters and should you falter, there will be corresponding repercussions. Tax can be personal and professional, both of which have to be addressed properly.

Your lawyer can tell you what tax rate you fall under and share advise on business organisation to avoid tax debt.

THE QUESTION: “Is my website compliant legally?”

WHY YOU SHOULD ASK: Web development can be quick, and there are a host of free resources available for the taking, but legal requirements require you to push the right buttons if you hope to build a successful and legitimate website. There is always room to improve your website and add value to it, as well as get ahead of some of the technical requirements that may arise as technology changes. 

Consult a lawyer about your website especially for its terms of use and privacy policy.

Conclusion

If you own your own business, it’s important to be legally compliant. Many Australians tend to avoid asking for legal help even when they need it. In truth, you should reach out to your lawyer often. Ask questions such as whether your website is legally compliant, what your legal obligations are and what tax scheme you fall under.

Are you in need of advice on commercial law in Brisbane? Reach out to GLG Legal today! We’re an innovative, ambitious commercial and property law practice based in Brisbane.

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