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One of the most daunting aspects of starting a new business is unravelling all the business legal issues that could affect you and your new venture.

From the outset, you will need to consider basic business legal issues such as:

  • The requirement for a registered business name;
  • Whether or not an Australian Business Number (ABN) or any other kind of business registration number is required; and
  • Whether or not you need a licence to conduct the business you propose to establish.

If you need legal advice on a business issue, then the online Small business legal issues guide may help. It covers problems you may encounter such as contracts, employment, fair trading, leases, insurance, credit and debt recovery, finance and tax.

You can also search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service to find government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know about to meet your compliance responsibilities.

You don’t need to be a legal expert to carry on a business or to safeguard your interests. But, as business owners, it genuinely does pay to be able to identify when something is a legal issue.

Identifying a legal issue is not always easy, but you can go some way to doing it by asking simple questions, such as:

  • Do I have a right or an obligation to do, or not to do, something? For example, “Do I have a right to cancel this order?”
  • If I do this, will I be creating a right or obligation to do, or not to do, something? For example, “If I sign this lease agreement, what obligations will I have?”

If you can identify a legal issue, you’ll be well placed to deal with it in the appropriate way. This might involve taking time to think through the issue and how it affects your rights and obligations, doing some research, or perhaps getting some professional legal advice.

For further information and advice contact ETC’s experienced Business Consultants on 1800 007 400.



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