The right documentation is essential for any company. From the conception of your company, to running it and maybe even eventually selling it – you’re going to need to have all the necessary documentation in every phase of your company’s existence. 

However, it can be difficult to know what documents are needed and where. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of paperwork that comes with running a company. Although, that doesn’t mean sorting out your documentation needs to be some painstaking task. With the right guidance, you can be on top of all your legal documentation, so you’re ready for whatever comes your way. 

What Documents Are Required To Start A Company? 

Let’s start from the beginning. To start a company, you’ll need some initial documentation that will help secure the foundations for your business. A few documents to consider when starting a company include: 

It’s a good idea to have these documents sorted as early on as possible. When you go to register your company with ASIC, you’ll need to have most of the details shared in the documents we listed above confirmed. Matters such as who the shareholders are, how the company will be governed and the directors of the company are all part of the company registration form, so it’s a wise idea to be prepared for it. 

What Is The List Of Legal Documents I Need To Run A Company?  

Once your company is past the registration stage, you’ll need to think about getting the right legal documents to run your company. Professional, well drafted legal documents can help secure your company and map out legal solutions if they’re ever needed. This helps manage your liabilities and the risks associated with running your own company, so legal documents are always a smart investment. 

We’ve listed some key legal documents you may need when running your own company. 

Customer Documents 

Whether you’re selling a product or offering a service in the market, you’ll need to be on good terms with your customers. However, sometimes misunderstandings can cause conflict between the two parties, which is never good for business. If you want to keep things professional and smooth sailing with your clients or customers, we suggest starting the relationship off by clearly stating what can and cannot be expected. Legal agreements like a Service Agreement or a Business Terms and Conditions can help manage expectations so there’s less chance of miscommunication turning the relationship sour. 

Third Party Documents 

When you run a company, there’s a good chance you’ll be associating with third parties to help achieve your business objectives. For instance, you may have a supplier that delivers important goods to your workplace or perhaps, you’ve opted to hire an influencer as a part of your marketing strategy. Whatever the scenario is, it’s of utmost importance to have a good contract in place with any third parties your company is engaged with. If something goes wrong, you want to ensure your company is protected, so signing a Supply Agreement or even an Influencer Agreement is a smart way to protect your company.   

Employment Documents

When you hire employees to work in your company, you have a responsibility towards them. As an employer, you’ll be tasked with making sure all your employees’ rights are being met, which is pretty standard if you want to foster a harmonious and productive workplace. 

Much of your duties will be aimed at ensuring your employees are receiving the correct entitlements, along with giving them a safe space to work in.

Making sure these rights are down on paper not only gives your employees more security but it can also protect your liabilities as a company. Getting clear and concise Employment Agreements are necessary to achieve this. You may also want to look into having Workplace Policies and Staff Handbooks drafted, that way there’s a clear line of communication between your employees and you about the rules, responsibilities and expectations. When everyone’s on the same page, it makes it a lot easier to run a thriving team. 

Privacy Documents 

Next up, you will also need to think about privacy. When you have your own company, you tend to have access to private information about customers, employees and other third parties you may be associated with. Protecting this information is usually not only your legal duty but it’s also important when it comes to building a trusting relationship with your company’s community. 

As a company owner, it’s important to understand whether or not you’ll be needing a Privacy Policy, along with the critical role strong privacy documents like a Data Breach Response Plan or a Non-Disclosure Agreement can play. Talking to a Privacy Expert can help you better determine the best steps to uphold your company’s privacy obligations. 

Intellectual Property Documents

Intellectual Property (IP) is another key consideration when you start your own company. IP is pretty broadly defined as a lot of different things come under it – you can always chat with one of our IP experts for further clarification. 

Basically, IP is something that isn’t tangible however, it may still hold a lot of value for your business. Things like company resources, a logo, designs can all be considered intellectual property. 

At times, you can use legal methods to secure your intellectual property, such as getting a logo Trade Marked or a design patented. However, for other types of IP, there’s no registration process. This just means that you’ll need to have the right kind of legal documents drafted to secure your IP. 

There’s a number of options available depending on your exact needs such as Copyright Disclaimers, IP licences and Domain Name Licences. Our legal experts can help you determine which is best for your company’s IP and go from there. 

Don’t make the mistake of not protecting your IP until it’s too late. Too often, company owners forgo this step and find themselves in trouble when their IP is being used without their permission. Without the proper legal protections in place, it’s very difficult (and not always guaranteed) to retain exclusive rights over your IP. 

Next Steps 

Starting and running a company requires staying on top of all the necessary documentation. With the right legal help, you’ll be able to determine the legal documents you need to best protect your company. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • Proper documentation helps manage relationships with customers, partners, and employees, protecting the company’s interests
  • You’ll need to have the right documentation from the moment you decide to register your company and also while you’re running it 
  • Legal documents needed for running a company include customer documents which help manage expectations and prevent misunderstandings with clients
  • Partner documents ensure contracts are in place with third parties to protect the company in case of issues
  • Employment documents, such as employment agreements and workplace policies, help establish clear communication and protect both employees and the company
  • Privacy documents, including a privacy policy, data breach response plan, and non-disclosure agreement, are important for safeguarding private information and building trust
  • Intellectual property documents, like copyright disclaimers and IP licenses, are crucial for protecting intangible assets such as logos 

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

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