One area many startup owners don’t factor in when starting a company in Australia is hiring a business lawyer. If you’re thinking getting legal advice for your Melbourne startup sounds a bit extreme, think again! Running your own business comes with a range of legal matters, before and after setting up your entity. Hire a Business Lawyer-
The last thing you want to worry about is whether you’re on the right side of the law or not! Let’s talk about why hiring business lawyers Melbourne startups are using is a step you should also consider when setting up your own company. With the best legal expertise on your side, you can start trading knowing you’re operating legally and within the laws of your state.
5 Top Reasons Why Startups Need to Hire a Business Lawyer
1. Defining Your Business Structure- Hire a Business Lawyer
Defining the business structure for your entity is dependent on a number of factors, such as:
- The objectives of your enterprise
- Your role as the business owner
- How much financial responsibility you want to take on as an individual
Sole traders and partnerships are legally responsible for their business functions and debts. A company is a complex structure with both legal and debt matters being separate from a person. Another legal entity is a trust and all operations are for the benefit of beneficiaries.
When defining and setting up a structure for your startup, a business lawyer will advise on which model to use for your own entity.
2. Being Compliant With Industry and State Regulations
Starting a company in most countries requires being compliant with both industry and state regulations. A business lawyer is well-versed in the laws of setting up a company and can advise you, from the beginning, what to look out for and have in place so you’re operating as a legal entity.
The legal requirements of a new company can be complicated and daunting. A business lawyer will ensure the foundations of your new organisation falls within the legal parameters, keeping you above the law from the start.
3. Drawing up Contracts
Numerous contracts will need to be drawn up when you start a new business. These could involve any of the following:
- Taking out a lease contract on a business property
- Employee contracts
- Contracts between yourself and business partners
- Shareholder contracts
- Contracts with investors and other entities
Drawing up a contract protects your interests and that of your business. They also clearly state your obligations as a business owner. By hiring a lawyer to ensure your contracts are correctly drawn up, you’re protected from facing any nasty surprises should you land up in court.
3. Understanding Tax Implications
Startups are required, by law, to fulfill certain tax obligations depending on their business structure. Once you’ve decided on the type of legal entity you want your startup to operate under, you need to understand the tax implications of such a structure.
A business lawyer will be able to advise you on your tax obligations and what is required to ensure you meet your responsibilities as a startup owner. With the right legal expertise, you can start your own company knowing your revenue is being fairly taxed while benefitting from tax deductions.
4. Protecting Intellectual Property
One of the biggest fears most startup owners face is having their intellectual property (IP) hijacked! To prevent this from happening, hiring a lawyer means you can protect your brand legally. This can be done by putting a trademark on your logo, business name and any other intellectual property that belongs to your startup.
It’s recommended to keep your innovative business ideas a secret until you’ve taken the steps to protecting your IP such as registering your patent or trade mark. Business lawyers are equipped to get you on the right path, ensuring you’re prepared should you need to take legal action against someone infringing on your IP.
5. Managing Industrail Relations
If your startup entails having a team of workers on board, you need to be fully informed of your legal obligations towards hiring employees. Some of the legal responsibilities as a business owner towards workers includes:
- Setting up health and safety policies according to the industry and state regulations
- Drafting employee contracts that clearly stipulate the terms and conditions of the worker’s role in the entity
- Taking out workers compensation which is a form of insurance
Hiring a business lawyer before taking on employees will ensure you follow the right legal procedures that protect both you and your workers.
Getting the right business law advice as a startup is vital is you want to operate as a legal entity. From setup to protecting your IP and managing industrial relations with your staff, you can rest assured you’re operating within the legal requirements of your industry and state.
Hiring a business lawyer is one of the best ways to create a solid foundation for your startup from the beginning. This can also give you peace of mind, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of ‘making it’ in your industry!