Whether it’s for a holiday, personal use or just something temporary – people are going to lease cars. So, if you’re thinking of starting your own car leasing company, then you might be onto a pretty good idea. However, as you probably already know, there’s a lot more to leasing a car than just handing someone the keys for a few days. 

To start a car leasing company, it’s important to make sure you have all the right legal safeguards in place. Leasing cars to other drivers comes with its own set of risks. The more care you take in managing those risks, the better off your business will be (even if something does go wrong). Keep reading to find out more.  

How Does A Car Lease Company Make Money?

Generally, a car lease company is able to generate profits from the fees it charges for leasing cars. If someone wants to lease a car, then you’ll likely apply a rate that takes into account the type of car and the length of the lease. The amount you charge will need to cover the cost of the car, plus your company profits. 

It can be tricky to determine just how much you’ll need to charge to turnover a profit when starting a car leasing company. It takes some research and calculations to finally land on a number – even then, you might need to make adjustments somewhere down the line. 

To avoid unnecessary confusion, it’s always a good idea to put everything down in a business plan. Having all your research, ideas and goals in one place can aid in gaining clarity and help keep you on track. 

What’s The First Step In Starting A Car Leasing Company? 

Registration. The first step in starting a car leasing company is getting your company registered. You can’t actually conduct any official business operations until your car leasing company is properly registered, so this task is at the top of your priority list. 

To register your car leasing company, you’ll need to be familiar with the rules and regulations set out by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC is the main regulatory body for all companies in Australia and they’ll play a significant role in not only your car leasing company’s conception but also when it comes time to run it. 

ASIC is the authority you’ll need to report to when your company has any changes. For example, a new director coming in or if you’ve switched to a different address. ASIC also has some ongoing requirements that you will need to keep up with, such as audits, annual reporting and fees. Therefore, it’s important to be familiar with ASIC and its requirements prior to starting your car leasing company. 

How Do I Fill Out A Company Application Form With ASIC?

An application form to start your company can be filled out online. The application form itself shouldn’t take very long, however it does demand a lot of information that you’ll need to be prepared with (such as company governance, shareholders, directors and other details). Moreover, the application form can be a bit confusing for anyone who isn’t familiar with the process of setting up a company. 

A legal expert can help in making sure your company is set up the right way. Plus, they can explain your current and future obligations with ASIC as a car leasing company. That way you don’t accidentally break any rules – which can lead to trouble. It’s best to avoid that and chat with one of our legal experts today.  

Do I Need Any Legal Documents To Start A Car Leasing Company? 

After registering your car leasing company, one of your next key considerations is getting the right legal agreements in place. Legal agreements are one of the most important instruments you can utilise to keep your car leasing company protected. We’ve listed a few key legal agreements for you to consider below. 

Car Rental Agreement: When you agree to lend a car to a customer, then it’s important to ask them to sign a car rental agreement first. These contracts will help protect both parties and cover matters such as what happens if there’s damages, late returns, payment and much more. Get your car rental agreement drafted by a legal expert to make sure you have a strong legal agreement working for you. 

Website Terms and Conditions: A lot of car rental companies choose to have a business website. This is great, it makes it easier for customers to find your company and make a booking with you. However, it’s essential to have legal agreements for your online presence. A website terms and conditions lets visitors to your website know the rules for navigating your site, effectively protecting your liabilities and giving you control where necessary. 

Privacy Policy: If your car leasing company is going to have a website, then a privacy policy is also required. According to Australian privacy regulations, all companies that collect any kind of personal information from its users need to have a privacy policy on their site. As you will likely be needing access to personal information in order to facilitate bookings, it is important to have a privacy policy drafted that meets all the regulatory requirements. 

Another Other Legal Considerations For My Car Leasing Company? 

Aside from getting your company properly registered and ensuring you’ve got the right legal agreements drafted, you still need to be aware of the laws that impact your business. Adequately following regulatory compliance measures is essential in keeping your company out of trouble and ensuring it maintains a good reputation. 

That means, making sure you’re up to date with all Australian Consumer Law (ACL) requirements. The ACL protects consumers and small businesses when they make purchases and sign contracts. As a car leasing company, it’s important to ensure all your company policies are in line with consumer interests. Moreover, as a small business, you also have rights that are promoted by the ACL. Understanding what these are can make a huge difference for your business. Talk to one of our legal experts today to understand more about the ACL and how it will impact your car leasing company.

Another legal consideration you’ll need to take into account is Employment Law. If you plan on hiring staff to help run your car leasing company, then it’s crucial to stay on top of employment regulations. As an employer, you are required to provide your employees with a safe working environment and make sure they receive everything they’re entitled to. Safe Work Australia and Fair Work can help provide you with the right guidelines however, it’s always a good idea to talk to a legal expert for professional guidance. 

Keep in mind, the exact regulatory compliance measures you’ll need to keep an eye out for will be impacted by your unique business activities, along with additional factors such as where you’re located. Talking to an expert in Regulatory Compliance can help you gain a better understanding of what compliance measures your car leasing company needs to undertake.

Next Steps

A car leasing company can be a great business venture however, it’s important to protect your company right from the start by properly taking care of all the legal factors. To summarise what we’ve discussed:  

  • Starting a car leasing company requires careful consideration of legal safeguards to manage associated risks effectively
  • Profit generation for a car lease company primarily comes from fees charged for leasing cars, which should cover the car cost and ensure business profits – it’s a good idea to sort out finances and other business ideas in a business plan prior to taking any action 
  • The initial step in starting a car leasing company involves registration with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), adhering to regulations and ongoing requirements
  • After registration, obtaining key legal agreements, including a car rental agreement, website terms and conditions and a privacy policy, is crucial to protect the car leasing company
  • Compliance with Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and employment law is essential to maintain a good reputation and ensure adherence to regulations, especially when hiring staff
  • To embark on a successful car leasing venture, it is vital to prioritise legal considerations, from registration and agreements to compliance with relevant laws. Seek expert guidance for a solid foundation

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

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