As every business owner knows, a strong advertising strategy is just as important as having a great product or service to sell. After all, people need to know about what you’re selling before they can buy it. 

However, coming up with a decent marketing strategy isn’t always easy. Often, companies need the experience and expertise of well seasoned marketing professionals – leading them to seek out the services of an advertising company or agency. 

So, if starting your own advertising company is something you’re interested in, then you could be on the verge of creating a profitable business venture.  

Before you get started though, it’s extremely important to consider the legal aspects of starting an advertising company. That way, you’ll be able to protect your advertising company and give it the best chance for success.    

Starting An Advertising Company 

When it comes to starting your own advertising company, there’s a lot of things you will need to figure out. As you probably know, starting your own advertising company involves much more than just signing on clients and working with them. We’ve listed some key considerations you’ll need to take into account when starting your own advertising company: 

  • Finances
  • Market research 
  • Target audience
  • Advertising niche
  • Company goals and values
  • Advertising strategy 
  • Legal factors

The research and planning stage of starting any kind of company is crucial. It’s a wise idea to properly research all the elements we listed and more before you take the leap into starting your advertising company.

Creating a business plan with the information you have gathered can help set the blueprint for your company. Having a document like a business plan always proves to be extremely useful when it comes to staying organised and keeping on track with your goals. 

Can I Start My Advertising Company Online? 

Yes, you can start your advertising company online. Running an advertising company doesn’t necessarily mean you always need to be face-to face with your clients (unless that’s something you want). There’s a lot of clients who would prefer to communicate via video chats, as this is much more convenient. Moreover, running your advertising company online can open you up to clients that aren’t limited by geography. So, even if you want to have a traditional office set up, it’s a good idea to consider your online availability as well. 

As wonderful as the perks of operating online can be, there’s a number of additional legal factors you will need to take into consideration if your business functions on the web. For example, it will be your responsibility to look out for the data and privacy interests of your clients, so it’s essential you prepare for these considerations in advance. We’ll discuss data and privacy matters (as well as other legal concerns) in detail later on – keep reading to learn more. 

How Do I Register My Advertising Company?

After planning and research, your first official step to starting your advertising company will be to register it. The process of registering a company can be a little complex and time consuming compared to other business structures, however it is the only structure that provides proper  legal protection. 

Once a company is registered, it becomes a legal entity on its own. That means, your advertising company will be separate from you personally, limiting your liability. The company will have the ability to own property, sell property, earn a profit or be in debt. This kind of legal standing isn’t just beneficial for your liability, it also puts your advertising venture in a better position for future growth and increased opportunities in the future. 

As such, it’s important to get the registration for your advertising company done right as this will form the foundations for your future success. Getting the help of a legal expert can ensure this process goes smoothly. 

To register and legally maintain a company in Australia, you’ll need to be compliant with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The application form to start a company is lodged with ASIC. Once your company is registered, any ongoing obligations you’ll have such as annual audits and fees will also be done through ASIC, therefore it’s essential to be familiar with their requirements. 

To form your company, you’ll need to be clear on details such as shareholders, directors and how your company will be governed. These decisions will hold a huge weight in determining the future of your company, it’s a good idea to have the help of a legal expert while you navigate this process. Once you have everything figured out, you’ll be able fill out the registration form to start your advertising company online. 

You can read more on the process of starting a company in our article Steps To Incorporate Your Small Business In Australia

Are There Any Legal Considerations For Starting An Advertising Company? 

One of the most important aspects of successfully launching an advertising company is making sure you’re well prepared for all the legal factors that will impact your company. It’s always best to chat with a legal expert regarding the specific legal considerations for your business, as every business is different. For now, here’s a general rundown on the legal aspects you may want to prepare for when launching your advertising company. 

Contracts 

A key legal consideration for starting an advertising company is ensuring that you have well drafted contracts and other legal agreements. Contracts are one of the most important instruments you have at your disposal as a company owner to secure your venture – without them you could be exposing your company to unnecessary risks. Think about getting things like a Service Agreement for your clients or even just a Quick Review before you sign any contracts.  

Data and Privacy 

As we mentioned earlier (see above), if your company is going to be operating online then you’ll need to think about your Data and Privacy requirements. Even if your services are strictly in person, you might still use technology to store data – in which case data and privacy obligations still apply to you. 

To comply with your data and privacy obligations, you’ll need to take reasonable steps to ensure all the information your advertising company has stored in its systems are well protected. You can do this by being prepared with a detailed plan. A Data Breach Response Plan assembles a procedure in the event something goes wrong. That way, your response will be much more efficient (as you’ll already know what to do).

Data and Privacy regulations also require your advertising company to have a Privacy Policy on its website if the company is either: 

  • Collecting any kind of personal information off its users
  • Has an annual turnover of more than $3 million dollars

As a privacy policy is legally required by Australian privacy regulations, we suggest getting a legal expert to draft one for you. A professionally drafted privacy policy will protect your business and ensure it’s meeting the legal standards it needs to.  

Australian Consumer Law

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) determines the relationship between a company and their consumers through regulations. In order to understand what your duties and obligations are towards your clients, your advertising company’s policies need to be in line with the ACL. Not complying with the ACL can lead to legal penalties and a bad reputation for your business!

If you’re unsure or confused about your obligations under the ACL, then get in touch with one of our Consumer Law experts today. 

Advertising Standards

As an advertising company, it’s essential to understand the industry regulations that impact the services you will be providing. The advertising industry is regulated by certain rules and it will be your duty to let your clients know of any limitations that need to be enforced. Look into industry specific regulations such as the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics to make sure all your work is meeting the standards set out by the code. 

A Regulatory Compliance expert can help you determine what laws might impact your company, so it’s a good idea to get in touch with one. 

Intellectual Property 

When creating advertising materials for your clients, it’s crucial to be clear on where both parties stand in regard to intellectual property (IP). IP laws determine who owns what. Legal agreements such as an IP Licence or Copyright Disclaimers are essential when deciding the rights each party has over certain materials. 

Remember, if you’re not proactive about protecting your intellectual property right from the start, then it can be pretty complicated and difficult to secure your rights afterwards. It’s best to get ahead and make sure you’ve got the right legal protections in place right from the get go. 

Next Steps

Starting your own advertising company comes with its share of legal considerations. It’s important not to ignore them or cut corners, as your company’s security is largely determined by how strongly you’ve accounted for all the legal factors. 

We know it can be overwhelming and seem like a lot but our legal experts are here to guide you through every step! To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • Starting an advertising company involves legal considerations that must be addressed 
  • Key considerations when starting an advertising company include finances, market research, target audience, advertising niche, company goals and values, advertising strategy and legal factors
  • Proper research and planning are essential before launching an advertising company
  • Operating an advertising company online is possible, offering flexibility in client communication and expanding clientele beyond geographical limitations 
  • Registering the advertising company is a crucial step, providing legal protection and separating personal liability from the business 
  • Legal considerations for starting an advertising company include well-drafted contracts, data and privacy compliance, adherence to Australian Consumer Law, understanding advertising standards and managing intellectual property rights 

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

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