When setting up a business, it’s important to understand the legal environment in which you’re operating. Good business lawyers will advise, represent and advocate for you on the following laws, enabling you to save time and resources and avoid pitfalls.
A legally binding contract contains the following:
- Agreement between the parties
- Capacity of the parties who should be of legal age and sound mind
- Intention by the parties to enter into legal relations
- Certainty of the contract completing specific, clear and binding instructions
Absence of any of these elements means that the contract either isn’t legally binding or it’s not enforceable.
The Privacy Act
The Privacy Act promotes and protects your privacy and regulates how government agencies and organisations handle personal information. It also regulates the privacy component of tax file numbers, the consumer credit reporting system, and health and medical research.
These laws cover bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence, including disability discrimination, human rights and equal opportunity, racial discrimination, racial hatred, and sex discrimination.
For independent contractors, business lawyers can help you enforce your protections and seek redress in the event of sham contracting or payment disputes.
If you’ve been unfairly or unreasonably dismissed, you can seek legal redress via:
- Validity of the dismissal
- Procedural fairness to the employee
- Possible remedies
Import and Export Laws
Business lawyers can navigate legal issues and risks in the following:
- Licensing and permits
- Customs requirements for imports and exports
- Defence export controls covering military items of an incapacitating, destructive or lethal nature
- Exporting goods online
- Protecting your international intellectual property
- Applicable Free Trade Agreements
Intellectual Property Law
Australian intellectual property law is designed to encourage innovation and protect your original patents, trademarks, designs, processes and formulae.
Franchising Laws and Code of Conduct
These laws regulate franchise transactions and businesses, brand protection and intellectual property. Also covered are liability, real estate, online trading, controls and taxation, commercial agency, good faith and fair dealings, franchise renewal and migration, and electronic signatures and document retention.
Employment and Labour Laws
The Fair Work Act covers:
- Employment terms and conditions
- Representation and industrial relations
- Maternity and family leave rights
- Business sales
- Employee termination
- Data protection and employee privacy
- Court procedure and practices
Matters protected by Environment Protection and the Biodiversity Conservation Act include:
- National and world heritage properties
- Important international wetlands
- Protected migratory species
- Listed threatened species and ecological communities
You can engage business lawyers to advise you on what’s protected and what might require approval or a permit.
Australian Consumer Law promotes competition and fair trade to benefit consumers, businesses and the community. It also covers unfair market practices, industry codes, mergers and acquisitions of companies, product safety and labelling, price monitoring, and industry regulation, as well as warranties and guarantees.
Prohibited practices include cartel conduct, price-fixing, market division, restricting outputs and bid-rigging, anti-competitive agreements, misuse of market power, exclusive dealing, resale price maintenance and adverse mergers.
Taxation law regulates the following taxes:
- Personal income taxes
- Capital gains tax
- Corporate taxes
- Trustee liability taxes
- Goods and services taxes
- Property taxes
- Departure tax
- Excise taxes
- Luxury car tax
- Customs duties
- Payroll taxes
- Fringe benefits tax
- Superannuation taxes for private pensions
Australia imposes criminal and civil penalties for breaches that may include fines, damages, court injunctions, community service or imprisonment.