Sydun & Co Solicitors

Planning on Hiring a Company Lawyer? Know the Legal Essentials First


Are you running a small business down under? Knowing a thing or two about company law is super important in order to keep things ticking along smoothly.

Australia’s got a bunch of rules and regulations for businesses, and getting your head around them is key. This guide is going to help you understand all the must-knows about company law, especially if you’re a small business owner. 

It is a lot to take in, so keep in mind you can always hire a company lawyer who has the expertise to help you understand the legal nuances unique to your business.

Important Facts to Know About Business and Company Law in Australia

The Types of Business Structures in Australia

First up, there are different ways you can set up your business in Australia. You’ve got options like being a sole trader, setting up a partnership, or creating a company. Let’s take a closer look:

Sole Trader

  • What’s That? It’s just you running your own show. Simple and pretty common.
  • Big Pluses: You’re the boss, and you keep all the profits. But, if things go pear-shaped, you’re on the hook for any debts or legal dramas.
  • Watch Out: Mixing personal and business money can be risky.


  • What’s That? You and one or more mates running a business together.
  • Big Pluses: You share the decisions, profits, and the responsibilities. But, like sole traders, if there are debts, you’re all responsible.
  • Watch Out: You need a solid agreement that spells out who does what, how you split the cash, and how you sort out disagreements.


  • What’s That? A proper legal entity that’s separate from the people who own it (shareholders). It can own assets, enter contracts, and sue or be sued.
  • Big Pluses: The risk to your personal life is less because a company is its own thing. But there’s more paperwork and rules to follow.
  • Watch Out: It is good for growing and protecting your personal assets, but it needs more effort to manage.

Choosing the Right Setup for Your Business

  • Think About: What do you need? Protection from debt? Easy setup? Plans for the future?
  • Pro Tip: Chat with a company lawyer or a corporate law firm to tap into their expertise to help you figure out the best choice for your business. They know their stuff.

Getting Your Business Registered in Australia

Registering a company here means picking a name, getting an Australian Company Number (ACN), and following the rules. 

Picking a Name

  • Unique and Different: Make sure no one else has it, and it’s not stepping on any trademarks or toes.
  • Check It: Use the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website to see if the name is free.

Getting Your ACN

  • What’s That? It’s a special number for your company.
  • How to Get It: Apply through ASIC when you register your company.

Setting Up Your Company

  • Choose the Type: Proprietary (Pty Ltd) or public.
  • The Rule Book: Write up a constitution with all the rules for running your company.

A legal expert from a reputed corporate law firm can guide you to register your company and look after the legal framework of your business. 

Staying on the Right Side of the Law

Company law is all about doing the right thing and keeping proper records. This includes:

Keeping Track of Money

  • What to Do: Keep good records of all your money-related stuff.
  • Why: It’s the law, and it shows how your business is doing.

Meetings and Reports

  • AGMs: Have a yearly catch-up with the shareholders.
  • Reports: Show everyone the financial health of your business.

Paying Your Taxes Right

The Law: Follow tax rules like GST and corporate tax.

Smart Tax Moves: Plan your taxes wisely but legally.

Directors Doing Their Bit

  • What’s Expected: Directors have to look after the company’s best interests and be careful with decisions.
  • Legal Bits: Know and follow the rules in the Corporations Act 2001.

Following the Big Rules

  • Corporations Act: Stick to the rules about how to run your company.
  • ASIC Rules: Follow what ASIC says about registering and reporting.

Good Company Rules

  • Make Policies: Have clear rules and standards for your company.
  • Pick a Solid Team: A good mix of people on your board, including a company lawyer, helps make better decisions.

Money Matters: Keeping it Clear

In Australia, businesses have to be upfront about their finances. This means making your financial reports available each year.

What You Need to Report?

  • Annual Reports: To show how your business is doing money-wise.

Follow the Rules: Stick to the standards set by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB).

  • Inside Decisions: Helps you make smart choices for your business.

Follow Accounting Standards

  • AASB Know-How: They tell you how to report your financial stuff.
  • Why: It makes sure everyone’s playing fair, and the numbers are reliable.

Director’s Duty

  • What They Need to Do: Make sure the financial reports are honest and right.
  • Check It: Sometimes, you need an auditor to make sure everything’s spot on.

Building Trust

  • Why it’s Good: Clear money reports build trust and make your business look solid.
  • Attracting Investors: Good reporting can bring in more people interested in your business.

Stick to Deadlines

  • When to Report: Make sure you get your reports in on time to avoid trouble.
  • Keep it Real: Make sure everything’s correct and complete.

Keep Everyone in the Loop

  • Tell it Like it is: Share important info straight away, especially if it can affect your share prices or what investors think.
  • Good Chats: Keep clear communication with everyone interested in your business.

How to Choose a Company Lawyer for Your Small Business?

  1. Identify Your Needs

Determine the specific legal needs of your business, whether it’s contracts, compliance, intellectual property, or litigation support.

  1. Seek Recommendations and Research

Ask for recommendations from fellow business owners, mentors, or professional networks.

  1. Evaluate Experience and Expertise

Assess the lawyer’s experience with small businesses, their success stories, and case outcomes. Consider if they have experience in your specific industry or niche.

  1. Communication and Compatibility

Choose a lawyer who explains legal matters in simple terms and is responsive to your queries. A lawyer who understands your business goals and values can be a valuable long-term partner.

  1. Cost Considerations

Understand their billing methods—hourly rates, fixed fees, or retainer agreements—and how they align with your budget.

  1. Availability and Accessibility

Ensure the lawyer can promptly address urgent matters and is available for consultations when needed.

  1. Reviews and Testimonials

Look for reviews or testimonials from previous clients to gauge their satisfaction and experiences with the lawyer.

Wrapping Up

Understanding company law is super important for running your Aussie business. As one of the best corporate law firms in Australia, Sydun & Co. can help you stay on track and keep your business out of legal trouble. 

Connect with us today and reinforce the legal framework of your business. 

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