2019 Legal New Year's Resolutions for your Business

 

By Laura Spalding, Lawyer

According to Chinese astrology, 2019 is the year of the pig – a great year to make money and even better, a good year to invest! I’m going to interpret this to mean that 2019 is the year of the entrepreneur and if one of your new year’s resolutions is to start or continue to grow a business, this article will set you on the right path to success.

Whether or not you believe in resolutions, I believe in goals and whilst most of us have already set some 2019 goals for ourselves, it’s a good idea to set some for your business. I’ve set out some critical new year’s resolutions for your business that you can get started on right away.

Resolution #1: Revisit your business plan.

A business plan is an essential tool for your business. It helps you define a vision for your business, set timed goals and KPI’s and track your progress. Most businesses write a business plan and then don’t revisit it. This ‘set and forget’ routine is a missed opportunity to keep yourself and your business accountable and prepare your business for growth. Start 2019 by either revisiting or writing a new business plan and check your progress at least every quarter. Including your employees in this process can also help to drive momentum and keep everyone on the same page.

Resolution #2: Update your company register.

Keeping and maintaining a company register is an important obligation placed on all Australian companies by the Corporations Act and common law. Your company register should be a physical folder of critical documents which must always be kept up to date and held at the company’s registered office.  To comply with all obligations for maintaining the company books, we recommend your company register reflect the following:

2019NewYearResolutionCompanyRegister

Its also worth logging onto your ASIC Connect account or checking with your accountant that ASIC’s corporate register has been updated to reflect any recent changes within your company for example any change to:

·       the company address;

·       officeholders;

·       holding company;

·       share structure; or

·       other members.

You must submit any changes to company details within 28 days of the change occurring (late fees apply).

Resolution #3: Review your legal advisers (or get one).

Go into 2019 knowing that your business is protected and that you have a trusted advisor to call on in sticky situations. If you already have a lawyer or are looking into getting one, check out Shaun’s recent article “Getting the most out of your lawyer (without having to pay extra for it!)” here.

Resolution #4: Review your privacy policy, terms and conditions or service agreements.

When setting up your business, did you copy and paste a competitors Terms & Conditions or download a free template Services Agreement? Have you considered how the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) affect your business and does your Privacy Policy stack up? Now that you’ve got the operational side of your business under control, you should revisit these critical documents and ensure that they have been prepared with your particular business in mind. Check out Cubed’s The MVP bundle for all of your minimum viable product launch essentials (T&Cs, Website Terms of Use, Privacy Policy) from $2,000 plus GST.

Resolution #5: Consolidate your IP.

If your business relies upon or generates income from its IP, it is essential to ensure that the IP is structured in a way that you can put it to work and make it profitable without having to worry about legal ownership of it. Your IP can be everything from your Instagram handle, to your product designs and the source code behind your software. We had a few clients last year face the unfortunate realisation in an initial consultation with us that they might not have rights to their business’ biggest assets (for example the formula behind a face cream). For more information on this, check out my recent article “Intellectual Property – know it, use it or lose it” here.

Resolution #6: Get across recent legislative changes in business.

2018 saw updates to legislation that will affect various areas of business from wages to how you collect and store data. Business.gov.au has provided a wrap up of 2018 changes in business here . Make sure to check in with your lawyer if you are unsure of how any of these changes might affect your business.

A more topical set of changes to keep an eye on are the new Anti-Encryption Laws with the potential to lock out Australian tech from the global market. You can read more about this here.

Call us 

We are excited to help our clients kick their goals this year, big or small because starting the year on the right foot can make a really big difference. If you’d like to get in touch with us about any of the above, please contact me or the team at Law Squared.

For further information about this article, please contact Laura Spalding, Corporate & Commercial Lawyer at Law Squared.