Starting a business

Register a company
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Register your company name with ASIC and obtain an Australian Company Name (ACN) with a registered office.

Register an ABN
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Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) online with the guidance of a qualified laywer.

Terms of use or supply agreement
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Review and write terms and conditions and supply agreements for your business.

Partnership or shareholders agreement
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Write an agreement to govern relationship between you and other partners in your business.

Joint venture agreement
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Write agreement to outline roles of contributors, decision making processes, profit sharing terms for all parties.

Protecting your intellectual property
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Apply for a trademark, or apply for a patent and protect against infringements of your intellectual property.

Legal agreements and health check

Contract drafting or review
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Draft a contract or review a contract by business lawyers who specialise in your industry.

Setting up trusts and estates
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Advise and handle all aspects of trust and estate planning and administration by experienced probate lawyer.

Legal Health Check
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Periodic comprehensive legal health check to identify risk areas to address by qualified business lawyers.

Small business lawyer

No matter the size of your business or what industry you are in, it is essential that you understand and abide by the law. Legal services are offered by experts who are well-versed in the complex regulations that apply to your industry. While it is advisable to do independent research and understand the law yourself, we strongly recommend meeting with a lawyer to receive credible legal advice in order to protect you and your business.

What are some different types of legal services?

  • Setting up your business
  • Drafting contracts
  • Dispute resolution and mediation
  • Trademark registration
  • Litigation
  • Setting up trusts and estates
  • General counsel
  • Document review (such as agreements, leases, wills, and incorporation documents)
  • Negotiation
  • In court representation
  • Civil and criminal defence
  • Writing terms and conditions
  • Meeting tax and reporting obligations

What legal services do I require?

In your initial consultation your lawyer will work with you to determine which services are important to you. Some businesses are easy to set up and require only an ABN to operate, but a legal professional will be able to advise you if your industry requires any special certifications, licenses or insurances to operate legally. No matter what your industry, a lawyer can help you draft your terms of service and contracts so that you don't run into conflicts down the line, so even the smallest businesses can benefit massively from meeting with a lawyer early on. It is also vital that you are meeting your tax and reporting obligations to avoid penalties from the ATO, and a lawyer can assist you in taking advantage of any government incentives or schemes that could help your business.

There are lawyers who specialise in every different field, from registering trademarks and protecting intellectual property, to structuring your business to minimise your tax exposure, to defending you against civil and criminal liability when things go wrong. If you are unsure about which legal service you need, lawyers can offer you general counsel and direct you to a more specialised lawyer if required.

How do I find the right kind of legal service?

SavvySME can connect you with legal professionals who specialise in your industry or in providing a particular legal service. If your business is based on providing a new and innovative product you may need an intellectual property lawyer, whereas if you are setting up a real estate business you may require a lawyer well-versed in trusts and contracts. At some point, almost every business should consult with a legal professional to ensure they are meeting their obligations and staying on the right side of the law. While legal services may seem costly, they are nothing compared to the cost of drawn out litigation caused by a poorly worded contract or a missing certification.

What if I feel confident in fulfilling my legal requirements?

In most cases, receiving certified legal advice offers protection to you and your business simply by receiving it. While lawyers and other legal professional are highly trained to provide accurate advice, if they do make a mistake, you are protected because you were relying on the advice of counsel. This means that even when you feel confident in how to fulfil your legal requirements, you can still benefit from receiving signed, written advice from a credible legal expert, as it offers an extra layer of protection if something goes wrong.

No matter how confident you are, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice prior to commencing business operations as well as whenever a legal dispute arises.