Starting a business?

When you’re starting a business, taking care of your legals can seem like the least important thing. But not setting it up properly could end up being more costly in the long run.

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Here are the packages commonly requested by other businesses:

Business Structuring

There are many ways to structure your business, depending on your budget, risk factors and tax considerations.

3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
  1. Your options: There are 4 common structures used by Australian businesses – sole trader, partnership, company and trust.
  2. Easy set up: Sole trader and partnership structures are easy to set up, but tend to offer minimal protection of your personal assets.
  3. Serious business: Company and trust structures are more suitable for growing businesses, but involve more red tape and admin costs.

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Register a Company

If you decide to set up a company structure for your business, there’s a bit of a process to get all the government registrations sorted.

3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
  1. ASIC: In Australia, every company must register with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
  2. Basic details: Before you register your company, have a think about the features of your company, such as the company’s name, address, directors, shareholders and equity structure.
  3. Register: There are many online registration tools which you can use to DIY. One of our lawyers can do it all for you if you need a hand.

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Partnership Agreement

In a partnership business structure, it is good practice for you and your partners formalise the terms of the partnership in writing.

3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
  1. Financials: It is really important that your Partnership Agreement captures your agreements regarding each partner’s financial contributions and share in the profits and losses.
  2. Other rules: Your Partnership Agreement should also set rules around how partnership decisions are made, how disputes are handled, KPIs, and what happens when a partner leaves.
  3. It’s like a pre-nup: Even if you’re in business with your friends or family, having some ground rules is always healthy for the relationship and the business.

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Shareholders Agreement

Every company is different. You should have rules in place that are tailored to the particular circumstances of your business.

3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
  1. Competing interests: Your interests as a shareholder will vary depending on who you are, e.g. whether you’re a founder, a director, an investor or an employee.
  2. Typical clauses: A Shareholders Agreement will typically contain rules around issuing and transferring shares, operational matters, dividend distributions and how shareholders can exit.
  3. Disputes: A good Shareholders Agreement will address how to resolve disputes if and when they arise. Thinking about potential disputes from the outset can actually help you avoid them altogether.

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