The following checklist sets out some issues and questions you should consider when you are starting a business according to our Commercial Lawyers in Melbourne:
- Do you have a business plan? A business plan is a great place to start and can be a requirement when seeking finance.
- Do you have a marketing plan? New customers are the lifeblood of a business. How will you find them?
- Do you have the right support? A good accountant, marketer, lawyer? Good professionals will fill your skills gaps and let you focus on what you do best.
- Have you chosen your business structure? Company, Trust or Partnership? Are you sure this is the right structure for you?
- Do you have Company Constitution / Trust Deed / Partnership Agreement?
- If you chose a company structure, have you registered your company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)?
- Are registered for GST (if needed)?
- Have you registered a tax file number?
- Do you need any licences to carry on your business?
- Do you have a system set up for keeping your records?
- Are you insured for public liability, business and product liability?
- If you are leasing the premises, do you have a current written lease? How long is it? Does it have further terms available?
- Is your lease be governed by the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic)? This Act will provide a tenant with certain benefits, such as a minimum term and the right to receive disclosure statement.
- Do you have Terms and Conditions for your customers setting out your payment terms?
- Do you have a system set up for invoicing and following up payment from customers?
- If you trade online, do you have website terms?
Protecting your Brand
- Are your trademarks (such as the name or logo of your business) protected with an IP Australia registration?
- Have you registered your domain name (using your business name)?
- Is your business name registered?
- If your business is creating new products, have you protected the intellectual property in your creation?
- Do your employees have employment agreements?
- Do your employment agreements stop your employees from taking your customers or competing with you?
- Do you have workers compensation insurance? Do you have policies in place to minimise the risk of a workplace injury?
- Are you registered for Pay As you Go withholding?
- Are your employees governed by a modern award? If so, are you aware of your obligations under the award?
Although this is not a comprehensive list of everything you need to consider when you are starting a business, it is a good place to start. If you need help setting up your business, please contact a member of the Commercial Lawyers Melbourne team on (03) 9481 2000.