With billions of people having access to the internet, the age of digital marketing is here. You’ve probably noticed this as well – have you been online without seeing an ad? Yeah, neither have we.

However, digital marketing is more than just posting a few instagram squares. It takes an understanding of algorithms, search engine optimisation, data & analytics as well as an eye for design. Digital marketing is not up everyone’s alley so it’s pretty common for organisations to hire help from digital marketing companies. 

If you’re a digital marketer and have been thinking about starting your own company, then you could be onto something exciting! Although, it’s important to take care of your company before you start helping others with theirs – that’s where we come in. Keep reading to learn about the legal considerations of starting a digital marketing company.   

What Is A Digital Marketer? 

Marketing is a strong deciding factor in determining how well a business does. A great product with bad marketing may never make it, whereas good marketing can get even a mediocre product noticed. 

Digital marketing is simply marketing online. A digital marketer is someone who is experienced and knowledgeable in the world of digital marketing. Their skills and expertise usually involve email marketing, copywriting, creating content, social media and much more. It’s basically about using the internet to get a business or product noticed. 

What Is A Digital Marketing Company? 

A digital marketing company is an organisation that provides digital marketing services. Digital marketing companies can consist of a team of digital marketers or just one digital marketing boss running the whole show. 

When it comes to deciding what your digital marketing company will look like, it’s important to consider factors such as long term goals, finances, niche services, competition and much more. There’s no substitute for conducting thorough research and planning your ideas out properly, so make sure you complete this step before moving on to the next. We always recommend putting everything into a business plan so everything is organised in one place. 

How To Start A Digital Marketing Company

The next step in getting your digital marketing company off the ground is to register it. Once your company is registered, you will officially be able to start it, as a company needs to be registered before it can legally begin operations. 

To register your company, you simply need to do an application with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The application itself can be completed online however, there’s a number of details you will need to sort out first. 

Before you register your company, you are required to know: 

  • The main contact details of your company 
  • The details of every shareholder
  • Who the directors of the company are
  • Company secretary details 
  • The type of company you want to register 
  • How the company will be governed
  • The legal structure of your company 

Of course, the application to register your company will require more information than what we just listed. It’s necessary to be prepared with the right facts, as getting something wrong could impact your digital marketing company’s future. 

It’s always a good idea to have the help of a legal expert when registering your company. Navigating through the ASIC and the application process can be a bit tricky. Having professional help can ensure your company gets legally set up and registered the right way. 

What Do I Need To Build My Digital Marketing Company?

Once your digital marketing company has been registered, you can move on to securing legal protection for it. Don’t skip or delay this step, often company owners fail to see the necessity in utilising legal documents to protect their company and learn their lesson the hard way. 

Legal documents are one of the most important things you’ll need for your digital marketing company. They help determine key rights and responsibilities, secure your revenue streams, protect your assets, limit your liabilities and even ensure legal compliance. 

We’ve listed few legal documents you may want to consider getting: 

Marketing Service Agreement: A marketing service agreement will determine how clients engage with your company, setting out the key rights and responsibilities of each party. 

Privacy Policy: Naturally, your digital marketing company is going to have an online presence. If your digital marketing company has a website that collects any kind of personal information from its visitors, then according to Australian privacy laws, it’s legally required to have a privacy policy visible on it. 

Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA): Privacy is a huge factor for any company. As a digital marketing company, you’ll want to keep certain matters away from prying eyes and ears. An NDA is a legally binding agreement that protects your company’s confidential information. 

Your company’s specific requirements will determine the exact legal agreements you need. It’s best to get in touch with a legal expert and chat with them about your digital marketing business. They can listen and provide you with advice that’s catered to your compnay. 

Are There Any Other Legal Considerations For My Digital Marketing Company? 

Aside from getting key legal agreements drafted, there are a few other legal considerations you’ll need to account for in order to properly start your digital marketing company. Protecting your company’s intellectual property and ensuring it is legally compliant is essential for its longevity and survival in the business world. 

So, where do you even start? 

Ideally, by talking to a legal expert. Every company is different, so it’s always wise to get advice that is specific to your company. For now though, we’ve listed a few key legal considerations for you below.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Your company’s IP could be anything, from internal documents and designs to your logo. Securing your IP and making sure no one copies or steals it is important, as IP plays a significant role in setting your company apart from its competitors. 

There are different ways to secure your IP, depending on the type of IP it is. For instance, if you designed a logo for your digital marketing company, then it’s a good idea to get it trade marked. For other forms of IP, you may need to protect it through an NDA or IP Licence, depending on how it’s going to be exposed. An expert in IP can help you determine the best way to protect your IP – get in touch with one of ours today

Regulatory Compliance 

For every company, there are specific laws that apply to it. These laws could be industry specific, rules related to your location or general laws that apply to most companies. It can be difficult to keep up with exactly what laws apply to your business, which is why we always recommend talking to a regulatory compliance expert

They can narrow down which laws apply to your business. For instance, if you’re opening up an office when there may be zoning laws or local council regulations you need to look out for. As a digital marketing agency, advertising laws are going to apply. You will also need to abide by consumer laws. Getting an expert’s opinion can save you from accidentally infringing on any laws – something that can have disastrous consequences.  

Data and Privacy Law  

Earlier in the article, we mentioned that a Privacy Policy is necessary if your digital marketing company is going to have a website that collects information from its users (see above). However, this isn’t the only legal requirement you’ll need to adhere to when it comes to data and privacy. 

As a company, you’ll likely have access to some pretty private information regarding your clients or employees. It’s necessary to take the correct precautions to secure this information and make sure you have solid emergency plans in place, such as a Data Breach Response Plan, so your digital marketing company is ready for anything. A data and privacy expert can help you figure out the best way your company can be legally compliant with your data and privacy obligations. 

When you operate online, you open your company up to a different set of risks. Consider minimising these risks with the help of legal agreements such as a Website Terms and Conditions or a Cookie Policy. These documents can help your company be more transparent and clearly communicate important matters to site visitors, which in turn can aid in limiting your liabilities if something does go wrong. 

Next Steps 

Starting your own digital marketing company is a thrilling new business venture, however it’s important to legally protect your company when setting it up. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • Starting a digital marketing company involves thorough planning and understanding the industry, including defining your business structure and legal compliance needs
  • Company registration is a crucial step, requiring details about directors, shareholders, and the company’s governance, usually handled through the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) 
  • Important legal documents for a digital marketing company include a Marketing Service Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Non-Disclosure Agreement to secure rights, responsibilities, and confidentiality 
  • Protecting intellectual property (IP) and ensuring regulatory compliance are critical to safeguard the company’s unique assets and adhere to industry-specific laws 
  • Privacy laws require digital marketing companies to have a clear policy if their website collects personal data, with additional measures like a Data Breach Response Plan to manage data securely 
  • Legal expert consultation is recommended to navigate the complexities of setting up and running a digital marketing company effectively and legally 

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

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