Starting a new business is an exciting endeavour, but it comes with unique challenges, especially in the legal realm. As a startup in Perth, Western Australia, you must navigate various legal complexities to ensure your business’s success and growth. So, what are the top legal challenges faced by startups, and how does engaging Strand Legal and Conveyancing help you overcome them?
1. Choosing the right business structure
As a startup, choosing the appropriate business structure is one of the earliest and most critical decisions facing you. After all, the legal structure you select for your business affects your tax liabilities, personal liability, and administrative requirements. For instance, many startups struggle to determine whether to register as a sole trader, partnership, company, or trust.
“With our strengths in business and commercial law, we guide our clients with startups through the pros and cons of each business structure,” says Kerry Cable, Strand Legal and Conveyancing’s Business Manager.
Kerry further explains: “We go the extra mile to analyse our client’s unique business circumstances and help them choose the most suitable option for their startup’s long-term success.”
When choosing the right business structure, consulting a law firm like Strand Legal and Conveyancing offers distinct advantages beyond using online resources like Australia Startups and Business.gov.au. While online resources can provide valuable general information, they may not fully address your unique business situation’s specific complexities and nuances.
Strand Legal’s expertise in business and commercial law ensures that you receive a comprehensive analysis of each business structure’s pros and cons, considering factors such as your industry, future growth plans, and risk tolerance. By collaborating with Strand Legal, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your long-term goals, manages tax liabilities, protects personal assets, and ensures your startup’s compliance with administrative requirements.
2. Navigating regulations and compliance
Compliance with local, state, and federal regulations is essential for any business. Startups often find it challenging to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing legal landscape.
Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Even unintentional violations can lead to fines and penalties.
“As our experienced commercial lawyer, Paul Kordic ensures startup clients adhere to all relevant regulations and compliance requirements,” says Kerry.
But adherence to local, state and federal laws is not only crucial for legal reasons but also essential for building trust with customers and stakeholders.
3. Protecting Intellectual Property (IP) rights
Intellectual property, such as trademarks and copyrights, are valuable assets for startups. Failing to protect your IP rights can lead to unauthorised use or theft of your innovations, harming your competitive advantage.
“The process of registering trademarks and advice regarding copyright, to safeguard your creations from potential infringement is complex,” says Kerry.
While Business.gov.au offers a valuable overview of intellectual property, consulting a lawyer benefits you by providing time-saving in-depth expertise.
4. Drafting and negotiating contracts
Drafting and negotiating contracts is a critical aspect of running a startup. As you venture into business, you’ll inevitably enter various agreements, including lease contracts, vendor partnerships, or employment arrangements. However, it’s important to beware of pitfalls, as poorly crafted contracts and ineffective negotiations could leave you vulnerable to legal disputes down the road.
According to Kerry, from Strand Legal and Conveyancing, new business owners often face challenges with contract issues that could have been avoided with professional guidance. That’s where experience in contract law pays off and proves a worthwhile investment.
5. Managing employment law matters
Hiring employees is a significant milestone for startups. However, employment law can be complex, with regulations governing everything from hiring practices to termination procedures.
“We assist our startup clients in understanding their responsibilities as an employer and provide guidance on employment contracts, workplace policies, and compliance with Fair Work Australia,” says Kerry.
6. Raising capital and investor relations
Raising capital and establishing strong investor relations is often crucial to a startup’s growth journey. As a startup, you may be striving to fuel expansion, and securing external funding becomes a necessity. However, the process of engaging with investors and managing investor relationships is not without its challenges.
Kerry emphasises that even seasoned business operators find navigating the fundraising process complex.
“Ensuring investor agreements are fair and legally binding requires meticulous attention to detail and legal advice to achieve this is part of what we do.”
7. Resolving disputes and litigation
Dealing with disputes and potential litigation is an inevitable aspect of running a business. As your startup navigates the business landscape, conflicts may arise with customers, vendors, or partners, posing challenges to your operations. Resolving these disputes is essential, but the process can be time-consuming and costly, diverting your focus from core business activities.
Kerry emphasises the importance of effective dispute resolution.
“At Strand Legal and Conveyancing, we prioritise finding practical solutions to conflicts. Our team works closely with our business clients to explore alternative dispute-resolution methods. We understand the significance of preserving business relationships and will do our utmost to find a resolution without resorting to costly court proceedings.
As a startup in Perth, it’s crucial to recognise the legal challenges that lie ahead and seek expert guidance to overcome them. As trusted property settlement agents and commercial lawyers, Strand Legal and Conveyancing are well-equipped to provide tailored legal solutions for startups. From business structure selection to conveyancing and settlements, the Strand team will support your startup journey, ensuring a solid legal foundation for future growth and success.