Australia is an entrepreneurial nation. The 2017/18 Australian Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report found that over 12% of Australian adults were actively engaged in starting or running a new business. It also noted that Australia outperforms most other developed economies in the quality and economic impact of its business start-ups, including growth aspirations and innovation.
Which is another way of saying that you guys are doing an impressive job. But do you have the right legal protection in place while you do it?
If you’re like most new clients we work with, you’ve probably only got about 40% of your legal ducks in a row.
That’s not because you’re a scheming criminal mastermind determined to flout the law. You’re not deliberately doing the wrong thing – you just don’t necessarily know what the right thing is.
You’re not a trained lawyer, you don’t want to wade through indecipherable contracts but you don’t know where to go for straightforward, affordable help.
That’s where Legaleasy can help.
Legaleasy shows you how to protect your business and turns the legal mountain into a little molehill by providing editable legal templates written in plain English.
Here are a few key areas where you may not be covered. And here’s what to do about it.
Whether you built it yourself or hired a website developer, you probably spent a fair bit of time creating the right look and feel for your website. It’s your company showcase after all.
Terms and Conditions
The link to your T&Cs page will usually be buried in a footer at the bottom of your website since, let’s face it, no-one’s actually interested in reading them!
So, what’s the point? It’s to protect your business if someone takes you to court. It’s also to protect the intellectual property on your website.
Your website’s terms and conditions are essentially a contract between you and your website visitors. Among other things, your T&Cs:
- Demonstrate your credibility
- Make clear which jurisdiction’s laws govern you (e.g. the state of Queensland)
- Limit your liability
- Protect you from copyright infringement.
You’re not even legally required to have terms and conditions but it’s a smart move since they’re easy to produce (just download Legaleasy’s Terms and Conditions template ) and provide the protection you need should anything go wrong.
If your business has an annual turn over of more than $3 million or you collect health information or information for the purpose of resale (lead generation), you will need to comply with the Privacy Act.
That’s because you’re collecting people’s personal data. If you’re running an ecommerce site, you’re collecting credit card details and addresses. But even if your site is fairly simple, you’re probably still collecting email addresses for your newsletter or some customer details through a contact form.
So, you have to let people know how you will protect and use their data and how they can unsubscribe if they choose.
- Comply with the law
- Reassure your customers that their data is safe with you
- Succeed in organic search rankings – it is possible that Google could penalise you for not having one by putting your competitors above you in search results
- Run Google Ads
- Advertise using Facebook lead ads – you have to prove that you protect people’s personal information before you can run lead ads on the world’s most popular social media platform.
If you’re providing services to clients, it’s wise to have a contract in place that clearly defines the scope of the work, deadlines, fees and payment terms (including getting a deposit).
Don’t skip this.
- Makes you look professional
- Ensures all parties have the same understanding of the project
- Protects you against doing extra work for free if the client keeps changing the boundaries
- Helps you manage disputes.
Case study: Reuben’s graphic design company was hired to design a new logo for a childcare centre. Reuben worked out his fee based on designing 3 logo concepts, made sure he was well-briefed and got a 30% deposit before starting work.
But the childcare centre didn’t like any of the 3 logo designs, asked for more ideas then wanted further work done on those. By the time they eventually chose a logo and paid the balance, Reuben had done far more work than his fee covered.
Reuben should have ensured his client signed a contract that stated his quote covered 3 concepts and that if further designs were needed they would attract an hourly fee.
Then, when the client wanted more options, he could have pointed out that this was beyond the scope of his quote and would require an additional payment. If the client refused to pay their balance, Reuben could use the contract to insist on payment.
Bottom line? Don’t work without a contract.
As your business grows, you may hire staff or contractors. And then you incur legal responsibilities towards them.
Legaleasy has a wide range of HR templates that you can use for many different situations like:
- Hiring a new employee on a permanent, fixed term or casual basis
- Hiring a contractor
- Outsourcing to an overseas company
When hiring an employee, you must provide them with several official documents alongside their employment contract. To make life easy for you, Legaleasy’s employment agreements include all these documents.
You can also use our agreements and checklists to educate your employees about their responsibilities towards you. Many workers don’t grasp their obligations relating to confidentiality and intellectual property rights. Educating your staff in these matters is an important way to protect your business.
How Legaleasy Can Help
If you’re starting a business and want to get your legals in order right from the beginning, then our bundled templates or monthly membership are great options to ensure you’re fully covered.
And well done for thinking that way. It’s much easier to prevent problems by having the right legal protections in place than deal with costly mistakes.
If you’re already running a business, then spend some time reviewing your legal situation by browsing through Legaleasy’s templates and making sure you have the relevant ones in place.
Having a robust legal framework in place lets you focus on the more exciting aspects of your business. It protects your ability to make an income by letting you make full use of social media and helping you succeed on Google. It protects your business reputation by reducing the likelihood of disgruntled clients or employees. And it lets you sleep peacefully at night.
Check out Legaleasy’s templates and membership benefits today.