You might have started a website as a bit of a hobby and progressed into something a lot more substantial, or actually sat down and planned what you wanted to achieve and are well progressed. Either way, if you’ve been ‘flying blind’ for a little while and just want to get your legal requirements in order before you risk losing the lot, we can help.
So how do you work out what you’ve got to lose? Have a look at the time and money invested into the content shown on your website and think about what you’d do if you had to start all over again. That’s assuming you were able to turn around and start the same thing again, which isn’t always the case. We’ve come across some people who’ve lost not only their business, but the other assets they own as a result of some preventable problems that could have been solved relatively easily, earlier in the peace.
If you are pursued by regulators for failing to follow the rules, or sued by a trade mark owner because you didn’t think to do anything about protecting your name, you might have to change the whole focus of your business. With a few checks and taking the right steps to protect your business, these fears can be put behind you.
Buying and Selling Online Businesses
You might have spoken with people who’ve bought or sold businesses on a hand shake. Even Warren Buffet was reported to have bought Larson-Juhl on a handshake for $223 million back in 2001, but the deal was then documented by lawyers.
The point is, the deal should be easy. If you know what you are doing, it should be straightforward to document the agreement in a way that all the parties understand without the need for further legal interpretation afterward.
The key is getting someone who understands all the components online and can pick up any of the things you might have missed in making the deal.
Contract Dispute Resolution
Conflict is draining, for everyone. Anyone who has had to go to court to resolve a matter understands that no one wins in that situation. Even Judges have taken the time to criticise big business for failing to find alternatives to court. Talking about the Seven Network case against News Limited around Seven having to shut down its C7 pay TV provider, Justice Sackville said, “It is difficult to understand how the costs incurred by the parties can be said to be proportionate to what is truly at stake, measured in financial terms. In my view, the expenditure of $200 million (and counting) on a single piece of litigation is not only extraordinarily wasteful, but borders on the scandalous.” We’re not suggesting you’re looking at that kind of dispute, but most disputes should be able to be resolved without the need to resort to court action, and we are happy to assist you in that process. A quick and fair resolution is always best. It allows you to move on with growing your business.
Setting Up Agreements
Have you ever read a legal agreement that you can’t make sense of and hoped that it did what you were told it would do? We have! We firmly believe that if you can’t understand a contract or agreement that we prepare for you, we’ve failed to do our job.
Where ever you have repeat transactions in your business, you need fair standard terms of contract to create certainty in your business. Standard contracts also add value to your bottom line when you’re looking to re-value or sell your business.
Australia is a highly regulated country. If you’re online and doing business anywhere in Australia you need to be aware of which laws apply to your type of business to avoid being prosecuted or investigated by regulators.
Simple things, like making sure all of your marketing emails are anti-spam compliant, ensuring you have appropriate privacy policies and procedures in place and covering off all of your consumer obligations can help you avoid looming threats.
Your accountant might have set up your business structure and looked after your returns and reports for years, but do you really understand what you’ve got? Or even what you can do with it? If you’re branching out into new areas, do you know whether or not your existing structure still works?
If you’d like a better understanding of what you’ve got and how it works with where you’re headed, have a chat with us and we’ll map it out for you.
Web design and development is a highly competitive market and it is a challenge to stand out from the crowd. Looking beyond traditional web design services, businesses with an online presence are often challenged with finding other professional services, like accounting, legal and insurance, that understand what it’s like to do business online.
As a business owner you will have a variety of obligations depending upon the size of your business. If you have a workplace, or remote workers, you’ve probably got workplace health and safety to consider. Not to mention withholding tax, superannuation and managing employee benefits.
As a director you’ll have corporate obligations and need to understand where you’re personal responsibility and corporate responsibilities separate.
If you’re looking for consistency, predictability or any level of quality accreditation in your business, you’ll need policies and procedures for your business management and operations. We can help you determine what is most important and avoid getting mired in more detail than is practical for your business.
Making or Defending Claims of Trade Mark Infringement
Registration of a trade mark is one thing, but it’s not everything. Not everyone who receives threatening letters in the mail has to hand over their domain name or anything else relating to their business.
On the other hand, if someone is out their brazenly copying your trade mark, there are actions we can help you with to protect your business.
Making or Defending Claims of Copyright Infringement
Just be copyright isn’t registered doesn’t mean it can’t be protected. There is a lot of confusion out there on the Internet about what you can and can’t do with copyright material.
We can help you clarify where your content may be putting you at risk, how to protect the content you have created and give you some tips on protecting your business assets into the future.
We chose to focus on working with people who are doing business online. We get excited about helping to protect your business online so that you can focus on growing your business with peace of mind.
We can certainly give you a ‘heads up’ if you want to do something that could put your business at greater risk, like using unauthorised images or copying content, and we’ll give you strategies for managing your risk so that you can still achieve what you want to achieve.
If you need some legal help in an area outside our focus, we’re happy to refer to you any of our trusted contacts for further assistance.