Business Structure

There a four main types of business structure:

  • Sole Trader
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Trust arrangement with either a Unit Trust or a Discretionary Trust

The type of business structure you choose depends upon your circumstances and how you wish to run your business, what liability you are prepare to accept, and your long term goals for the business.

Read more about the types of Business Structures in our blog.

Business/Company Name

The name you give your company is an important decision and you need to ensure that you take steps to register and protect your business name.  The way in which a business name is registered can have long-reaching consequences for your business.

Registrations and compliance

Legal compliance can be complex and it can be difficult to keep abreast of the many requirements for your business, while also running the business and trying to grow the business.  Setting up the correct registrations will make compliance easier in the long run.

Leasing

If you plan on leasing a property for your business, ensure that the lease terms are not overly arduous and can allow you to grow, if required, by incorporating options to renew, and do not put unnecessary and unexpected strain on your business when you do decide to leave the premises.  Payouts at the end of a lease can hurt cash flow and need to be addressed early on.

Trademark Applications and Intellectual Property protection

Protect your intellectual property and trademarks at the commencement of your business.

Partnership/Shareholders/Trust Agreements

If there are several of you in the business, it is important to get the terms right.  While it is hard to think about what could go wrong down the line, having your lawyer go through some of the “what ifs” can make things run more smoothly if you do need to part ways down the track.

Succession Planning

It is important to think about what happens if you want to move on from the business, whether it be by way of an exit through a sale or an unfortunate circumstance such as death or a dispute with a business partner.  While it can be difficult to think about these things in the excitement of setting up a new venture, having the right agreements in place can mean a huge cost saving in time and money, later down the track.

Read more about how succession planning can help you on our blog.

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