What documentation do I need to start my own business?

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One of the most common questions I get asked by clients when starting a business is what documentation do I need?

There is no one answer that fits all the circumstances.

There are numerous checklists and articles on this, but the best advice is to get proper legal and accounting assistance so that your suite of documents can match your business.

The circumstances will vary depending on the legal structure of your business. 

For example, is it a company, a partnership or sole trader? 

Each of these entities have different legal and regulatory requirements which have to be complied with.

The first thing is to consider your business structure.

Once you have done that you will need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and register for Goods and Services Tax (GST).

You may need to register your business name and consider how do you protect your intellectual property such as you trademarks, copyright etc.

I also strongly recommend client’s to seek out and obtain information from any relevant professional or industry groups. 

These professional or industry groups are often a great source of information and assistance to understand the environment that you will be operating in.

Your bank or financial institution also has some great products and information that can assist.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has a great checklist which I would urge any prospective business owner to read before they consider what they need and it can be found here.

In our modern world technology plays an important and invaluable role so you need to get it right.

Again, get the right people in your corner as you want them with you on your business journey.

From a documentation perspective, I strongly recommend the following but in no means is this an exhaustive list:

  • Business plan
  • Business structure documentation
  • Tax and business registration
  • Shareholder or partnership agreements as required
  • Registration of trademarks and intellectual property
  • Terms and conditions of sales and service for clients and suppliers
  • Website and IT policies
  • Privacy policies
  • Employment and contractor agreements
  • Compliance and regulatory policies and procedures
  • Lease and other various finance agreements
  • Insurance and workers compensation coverage

How can FC Lawyers help start your business?

At FC Lawyers we have assisted literally thousands of businesses whether large or small to set up, merge or acquire in our 30 years of experience.

Our strongest source of work is our own client base, and we are very proud to have clients who have been with us now for three generations.

Contact our team today to discuss your legal needs.

The information provided in this article is for general information and educative purposes in summary form on legal topics which is current at the time it is published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this article, FC Lawyers cannot accept responsibility for any errors, including those caused by negligence, in the material. We make no representations, statements or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information and you should not rely on it. You are advised to make your own independent inquiries regarding the accuracy of any information provided on this website. FC Lawyers does not guarantee, and accepts no legal responsibility whatsoever arising from or in connection to the accuracy, reliability, currency, correctness or completeness of any material contained in this article. Links to third party websites or articles does not constitute any endorsement or approval of those sites or the owners of those sites. Nothing in this article should be construed as granting any licence or right for you to use that content. You should consult the third party’s terms and conditions of use in relation to any third-party content. FC Lawyers disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including liability for negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way. Appropriate legal advice should always be obtained in actual situations.


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