Currently, there’s over 2 million businesses in Australia. These businesses range in size and industry. Despite the differences, there’s one crucial aspect almost every business will have in common- the need for an effective marketing strategy. 

Marketing requires a particular level of skill and expertise, which is why some businesses opt to hire an agency to help out with this. So, if you’ve got a mind for marketing and want to start your own venture, you might be on the right path. Before you begin setting up an office though, it’s important to consider the legal side of starting your own marketing business so things don’t go off track anytime soon. 

Starting A Marketing Business In Australia 

To start any business in Australia, you will need to register it. In order to do this, it’s important  to have a clear idea on where you stand regarding business operations, management, liabilities and much more. Then, you’ll need to decide on the business structure that best suits your needs. 

The most common type of business structures are a sole trader business or a company. They are vastly different from one another, so choose wisely. If you decide to register as a sole trader, it’s a very simple process that can be completed online and you’ll be all set to go within a number of days. However, you’ll be entirely responsible for the business (this can be a good or bad thing, depending on where you sit). 

A Company Structure is a little more complex and requires more time and resources to get off the ground. Once it’s done though, your company will be its own legal entity which can help when it comes to things like liability, finances and legal concerns. 

The kind of legal structure your marketing business is registered as will lay the foundations for your business. It’s vital to have a good think about this and seek expert legal advice if you have any questions. 

What Legal Documents Do I Need For A Marketing Business?

The legal documents you have prepared for your marketing business will be one of the most important factors in your business’s survival. Strong, well drafted agreements can protect your business whereas having weak (or no agreements) can launch your business into turmoil. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key legal agreements you might consider getting for your marketing business. 

Marketing Service Agreement

A Marketing Service Agreement is a service agreement, specifically tailored to marketing firms. This will be the agreement you give to your clients, prior to taking them onboard. Marketing service agreements cover a range of important matters such as: 

  • Scope of work
  • Terms and conditions
  • Liabilities 
  • Dispute resolution 
  • Payment 
  • Contract termination 

These are essential elements that need to be hashed out prior to starting a professional relationship as if there’s ever a misunderstanding or a dispute with your client, your agreement will have you covered. It’s worth getting a legal expert to tailor one to your business’s specific needs. 

Contractor Agreement

At some point in your business’s journey, you might decide to hire outside help. Usually, these people are contractors who work for your business during a fixed period of time in order to complete a specific task. When you’re hiring a contractor, it’s important to have a Contractor Agreement in place and ensure both parties are on the same page regarding the employment details (the last thing you want is to be accused of sham contracting). 

Alternatively, you might consider hiring staff internally. If this is the case, then you’ll need an Employment Agreement that covers everything from pay, leave and workplace responsibilities. 

Business T&C’s

It’s also wise to have Business Terms and Conditions in place. A business terms and conditions will help clarify what the role and responsibilities of you and your customer are, limit potential liability and reduce the chance that a dispute will occur. It’s an important document to have in place to make sure things run smoothly within your marketing business. 

How To Start A Marketing Business From Home

Where you’re going to run your marketing business from is another factor that requires consideration. With the popularity of work from home rising in a pre-covid 19 world, you might be thinking of running your marketing business from home. 

This can be a convenient and resourceful way to conduct business. One of the first things you need to do when thinking about starting a marketing business from home, is to check any zoning regulations that might impact your plans, as well as any other local council regulations. This way, you won’t be surprised with anything later down the line. 

When you’re running a business from home, it’s important to remember that ordinary employment rules and regulations still apply. That means, you’ll want to make sure you’re treating your employees in accordance with the standards set out by Safe Work Australia. Every employee is entitled to a safe working environment- whether they work from home or within the office. 

Having a strong, custom Workplace Policy is the first step in facilitating a positive work environment. It’s important that your workplace policy is not only consistent and practical but it also reflects your unique business. Having the help of a legal professional in drafting one can help you achieve the right workplace policy for your marketing business. 

How Do I Start Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a specific niche in the marketing industry. Generally, an affiliate features an advertisement for another business on their website or social media in return for a fee. You’ve likely seen links or products to a different business while browsing online- this is likely to be an affiliate marketing arrangement. 

Affiliate marketing can be a great way to help your clients market their business but it’s important that both parties are clear on all expectations and responsibilities. Before you start affiliate marketing, we recommend having a chat with a legal expert to see what your best options are, so you can protect your business while engaging in affiliate marketing arrangements.

Next Steps 

When you’re starting a marketing business, it’s essential to take care of all the legal considerations in order to set your business up for a successful and profitable trajectory with as little bumps in the road as possible. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • To start a marketing business, you will need to the right legal structure for your business and then register it accordingly 
  • Get all your legal documents sorted, like T&C’s and employment agreements 
  • If your thinking of running your business from home, check your area’s zoning and local council regulations
  • It’s also important to have a strong, workplace policy drafted 
  • If affiliate marketing is something you’re interested in, then speak to a legal expert about the best way to protect your business when doing so 

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

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