What are the legal considerations when starting a business?
Lets say a budding entrepreneur has an idea
for a start up. It doesn't have to be revolutionary. In fact, there are other
companies running the exact service he/she wants to provide. Its certainly
legal, but does it require a specific license, have to comply with certain
standards, require a certification or qualification?
Where does one find out the answers to such questions?
For example: I can't just stick a sign on top of my car saying taxi and start offering people a lift around town.
Dj, I think you've answered your own question!
It depends entirely in what business area the idea is based. Financial planners need a license to practice, graphic designers don't. Online retailers need to comply with rules imposed by merchants, banks and PayPal etc., Facebook doesn't.
Some basic research into the idea will quickly reveal the level of compliance needed.
Thanks Steve for your input. I was on that suggested link and as well as a search engine to help you find the answers to your questions (which as I mentioned before can be a little difficult) they also have a phone number for the Fair Trading centre on 13 32 20. Just to keep you updated they referred me to another service, The BAS (BUSINESS ADVISORY SERVICE) and I will be contacting them on 1300 134 359. I shall keep you posted : ) Thanks again. (P.S. Going to have another crack at the search tool on your suggested link, cheers)
Dj, as Steve said, each industry requires different licences and permits. For example, if you are starting a catering business, according to law, you can't just start cooking from your own kitchen. You'll need permits for that. It's important to research what laws and regulations exist on a national as well as on a state level.
Here is a link which may help narrow down what a business may need:
The Australian Business Licence and Information Service
ABLIS helps you find the government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know about to meet your compliance responsibilities.
Also, don't forget to register for an A.B.N as without this you will not be able to invoice, as well as to set up the appropriate business structure.
An A.B.N. is enough if you want to trade under your own name, but if you would like to name your business you will need to register that business name.
Update #2. After calling the BAS, they were at a loss as to why the contact centre for ABLIS in NSW which is NSW Fair Trading (cause that makes sense) couldn't give me an answer about licenses and permits when that is specifically what they handle. However BAS was extreamely helpful and put me onto a few different options to contact, as well as referring me back to ABLIS. Will try ABLIS again and see if a different operator can help but I also found an industry association for best practise in the correct industry through looking at an existing companies website. So I am definitely on the right track : )