Your business and the law

Your business and the law

Posted 08 November 2013

‘It is best to keep well-informed and know your legal responsibilities when you go into business. If you are aware of the legal risks of running a business and understand your responsibilities, this is likely to save you a lot of time, money and stress later on. It is better to prevent legal problems in the first place, than deal with them when they come up’. – Terri Janke, Law Way: Indigenous Business and the Law

Running your own business can provide many personally rewarding experiences, and an opportunity to create a source of financial security for yourself and your family. However, business ownership also brings financial and legal responsibilities.

The Law Way booklet. Image courtesy of Terri Janke and Company.

Image courtesy of Terri Janke and Company.

It is vital that you understand and keep up to date with the business laws and regulations governing your chosen industry when you start, expand or exit a business venture.

How much do you know about registering for an Australian Business Number, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other licences? Do you know which structure best suits your business? Do you understand your taxation obligations, and your responsibilities regarding superannuation, work cover and occupational health and safety (OH&S)?

What about intellectual property? Do you know how to protect your product or invention, and how to avoid mistakenly infringing someone else’s intellectual property?

Terri Janke has created Law Way: Indigenous Business and the Law to assist Indigenous business owners to understand the basic responsibilities, risks and obligations of operating a business in Australia.

Terri is the Solicitor Director of her own respected law firm in Sydney. Her company specialises in Indigenous intellectual property, trademarks and copyright, artist rights and licensing rights, and other business law.

Born in North Queensland, and with family connections to Cairns, the Torres Strait Islands and Cape York Peninsula, Terri established her business in Sydney in April 2000. She has experienced first-hand the challenges new business owners face when navigating the complexities of business law, administration and management.

Understanding legal jargon can be daunting and confusing. Law Way: Indigenous Business and the Law presents information in a visually engaging, practical and accessible way. As well as basic general legal advice, the booklet includes tips, case studies of existing Indigenous business owners, hypothetical scenarios addressing a variety of situations, and links to recommended resources.

‘Everybody has a story and a question on business law’, said Terri. ‘This booklet provides answers to the most common questions, gives tips on how to avoid typical mistakes and makes use of case studies to illustrate how other Indigenous people set up their businesses’.

The booklet covers topics such as structuring your business; selling goods and services; understanding the lending process and applying for a loan; leasing premises; employing staff; and safeguarding intellectual property.

IBA actively supports initiatives and resources that enhance the knowledge, confidence and capabilities of the Indigenous business sector. We are proud to have funded the development, design and artwork, and printing of this booklet, which was designed and printed by Indigenous-owned and -operated companies Gilimbaa in QLD, and Print Junction in SA respectively.

Whether you are seeking entry-level business and legal knowledge, or just looking to update your existing knowledge, Law Way: Indigenous Business and the Law could make all the difference to your business.

Disclaimer: IBA does not warrant the accuracy of the content of Law Way: Indigenous Business and the Law. IBA advises that the information contained in Law Way: Indigenous Business and the Law has been prepared as a general guide, without knowledge of your specific situation. You should consider how appropriate the information is to your own situation and needs, and seek your own legal advice before making legal and financial decisions.

Find out more about IBA's Business Development and Assistance Program.