Starting a small business is a very exciting endeavor – it involves having a dream and working hard to make that vision into a reality. However, along with the thrilling parts of starting a business, there is also a lot of not-so-thrilling red tape that needs to be dealt with.
When you start a business, you will need to figure out the legal requirements that apply to your business and the laws that you need to adhere to. In Australia, a small business is defined as having fewer than 15 employees (as defined by the Fair Work Act of 2009).
Ignorance of the law is not an excuse – when you are a small business you will be required to follow the regulations and guidelines that are set out for you. If you are not sure of the legal requirements that apply to your small business, you might want to hire a legal professional who can help you with everything from registrations, licences, leases and contracts. There are law firms, such as Prime Lawyers, that specialize in small business law.
So what are some of the main areas of business law that you should be aware of when starting a new business?
Accounting and Records
Becoming a small business means no more scribbling down expenses on the back of a piece of scrap paper at the end of the month – you will need a professional system of accounting and records in order to adhere to the law and keep your finances organised.
Not only will you need to be able to keep track of your finances for the operation of the business, you will also need to be able to show your record when calculating your taxes and claiming any deductions.
Your small business might work with a number of different contractors, sub-contractors, employees and freelancers in order to get the job done. There are a number of legal guidelines when it comes to managing these business relationships, which are put in place to protect both your company and the contractor. Make sure that you understand the details of these agreements before you enter into an agreement, so that you can follow them correctly.
What is a legally acceptable reason to fire an employee and what isn’t? What are your minimum responsibilities when it comes to health and safety in the workplace? How can you ensure that your employees are not discriminated against or harassed in the workplace?
There are a lot of important issues that are related to employment law for small businesses. All business owners are responsible for adhering to these laws and creating a safe and fair working environment for their employees.
Taking out insurance to protect yourself and the assets off the business against liabilities is a very important business practice. There are many different types of insurance that you could get for your business, so take your time and choose the option that best fits your particular needs. Make sure that your premiums are always paid and that your policies are renewed when they expire.
Of course, these are just a few examples of the important aspects of business law you should know about when starting a small business. You will also need to know about import/export issues, contracts, court processes, liability, environmental issues and so much more. With so many facets of the law to cover, this is why many small businesses benefit from the help of a specialist business lawyer who can offer them advice and guidance.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com