Starting a new business is a big step in anyone’s life. For most people, it involves significant financial outlay, huge time commitments and, when it’s not done right, a lot of stress. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to streamline the process and make things easier on yourself.
For one, you can speak to a commercial lawyer to make sure that you’re taking into account your legal obligations. These vary according to the type of business you’re building and how you’re planning on running it. But, I’ve outlined a few important things that you should keep in mind in this article. They include:
- Your business structure
It’s very important to think carefully about what sort of business you want to run and how you want to structure it. Different business structures come with different tax structures, liability levels, and ongoing control. Common business structures in Australia include:
- Sole trader, where you’re personally liable for your business and its income is reported as part of your tax return.
- Partnership, which is similar to a sole trader, but which involves the profits and losses of the business being shared between two or more people.
- Trust, which involves a third party being in control of the business.
- Company, which is a separate legal entity and which declares its own income for taxation purposes.
- Lease agreements
Before you start a new business you’re going to need somewhere to work from. If you’re running a physical business, then the chances are that you’re going to be leasing an office or a building.
It’s important to make sure that you have a detailed lease agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of your lease so that you don’t get stuck with a nasty surprise sometime in the future.
It’s also important to make sure that you’ve got the right legal structures in place to start hiring people. In Australia, you need to make sure that you’re registered for PAYG tax reporting if you’re hiring people as employees. Similarly, you will need to make sure that you’ve got a legally sound Employment Contract or Contractor’s Agreement.
Some business activities require permits to operate in certain areas. It’s important to speak with your commercial lawyer before commencing operations to make sure that you’ve met the relevant licensing and permit requirements, otherwise you could find yourself in all sorts of trouble.
All things considered, starting a new business shouldn’t be too hard. Make sure that you plan things well, and make sure that you speak with a decent commercial lawyer to ensure that you’ve covered all of your legal obligations. Good luck!