Boats are used for a multitude of purposes. From laidback fishing expeditions to genuine modes of transportation, boating is something that’s been around for a while. The good news is, people aren’t getting tired of boats anytime soon – interest in boating remains strong. 

If you’ve been considering entering the boating industry as a boat building company, now could be an excellent time to start. Taking the leap and starting your boat building company is an exciting time however, it’s important to remember the legal aspects of starting a boat building company. 

The question of whether your boat building company will sink or swim will be greatly impacted by how well you have taken care of the legal considerations. So, keep reading to learn more about the legal side of starting a boat building company. 

What Is A Boat Building Company? 

Bold building companies are involved in the manufacturing of boats. This can be the construction of a boat, design process and even the reparations of damaged boats. A boat building company might specialise in one or multiple aspects of the boat building process. 

Needless to say, there’s also different kinds of boats. Fishing boats, yachts, commercial ships and sailboats. When launching a  company in the boat building industry, it’s imperative to determine exactly what services or products your boat building company will offer. 

Knowing exactly what kind of company your boat building company will be is important when it comes to setting business goals. It’s always a good idea to take the time to figure things out and create a business plan. That way, you’ll have all your ideas and research organised into one place, making it much easier to stay on track. 

How Do I Start A Boat Building Company In Australia? 

When you’re happy with the ideas you’ve got, it’s time to bring them to life. To start your boat building company, you will need to register it. In Australia, every company is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

If you’ve never heard of ASIC before, then it’s important to familiarise yourself with them. ASIC is the main regulatory body for companies in Australia. Meaning, not only will you need to register your boat building company with them, there’s a number of ongoing obligations you will need to ensure you’re tending to when running your company. For instance, audits, annual fees and updating ASIC with any changes to your company details. 

A legal expert can help you understand your relationship with ASIC as a company owner, so you don’t forget to do anything important. It’s also better to have a legal expert aid you through the registration process when setting up your boat building company. 

Often, keen entrepreneurs make the mistake of attempting to set their company up without any legal help. This is a huge risk, as they could end up making ill-informed choices for their company. Once this mistake comes to light, it’s almost always too late or a massive hassle to correct it. 

Setting up a company involves making a lot of important decisions. This includes, determining the legal structure for your company, figuring out how your company will be governed and deciding who the company officeholders will be. A legal expert can help make this process much simpler and more efficient, plus they can provide advice each step of the way to ensure you’re making choices that are right for your boat building company. 

Do I Need Any Legal Agreements To Start A Boat Building Company? 

Yes, legal agreements are one of the most important aspects of running any kind of company. Well drafted legal agreements can help safeguard the interests of your boat building company. Not having legal agreements on the other hand, can unnecessarily expose your boat building company to risks. 

A few of the benefits of legal agreements include: 

  • Legal protection 
  • Compliance with regulations 
  • Clear communication
  • Determining rights and responsibilities
  • Securing revenue streams
  • Limiting liabilities 

It’s important to discuss with a legal expert the exact legal agreements your boat building company will require, as every company’s needs are different. We’ve listed a few different legal  agreements for you to think about below. 

Customer Contract: When providing a boat building service to clients, then it’s necessary to have a contract that will set out the expectations of each party. A customer contract covers matters such as scope of work, payment, liabilities, termination conditions and dispute resolution. 

Supply Agreement: As a boat building company, you will likely need to source your materials from somewhere. A supplier will play a critical role in your business operations, so having a legal agreement can ensure both parties are on the same page. 

Privacy Policy: If you decide to have a website for your boat building company, then you might need a privacy policy. Australian privacy laws require every company website that collects information to have a visible privacy policy. Even if you don’t collect user information from your website, a privacy policy is a great way to be transparent. 

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): The boat building industry is more secretive than you may realise! After all, you don’t want your designs, ideas and plans landing into the wrong hands. An NDA is a great way to project information that is exclusive to your company. 

Employment Agreement: Hiring employees and expanding your boat building company’s team is always an exciting step. It’s important to have a formal agreement in place with your employees that addresses matters such as role description, duties, pay, breaks and termination so the relationship can start off with clear communication. 

Are There Any Other Legal Considerations For Starting A Boat Building Company? 

Another important legal consideration to keep in mind when starting a boat building company is compliance with the regulations that affect your company. There’s going to be a number of laws your boat building company will need to follow. 

However, the exact laws will depend on your specific operations. It’s a good idea to talk to a legal expert about the laws your boat building company will need to follow and the best way to be in compliance with them.

A few regulations to keep in mind include: 

  • Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
  • Data and Privacy Regulations
  • Employment Laws 
  • Intellectual Property Law 
  • Local council regulation 
  • Industry specific codes 

Remember, non compliance with laws could lead to your boat building company facing legal consequences, fines and even suffering a bad reputation in the community. All of those things can be major setbacks for any company – it’s best to avoid this situation and get on top of all your legal compliance matters. 

Next Steps 

A boat building company is a great way to combine your passion for boating with your entrepreneurial spirit, however it’s essential to take care of the legal factors when starting your company. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • Determine your specific niche in the boat building industry and create a detailed business plan before starting
  • Register your company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and understand your ongoing obligations, such as audits and annual fees
  • Seek legal assistance to navigate the setup process, including determining your company’s legal structure and governance
  • Draft essential legal agreements like customer contracts, supply agreements, privacy policies, non-disclosure agreements, and employment agreements to protect your business
  • Ensure compliance with relevant regulations, including Australian Consumer Law, data privacy laws, employment laws, intellectual property laws, local council regulations, and industry-specific codes
  • Consulting with a legal expert can help you avoid non-compliance issues and ensure your boat building company starts off on the right foot

If you would like a consultation on starting a boat building company, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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