I recently spoke at the AICD regional conference about surviving in business. To assist attendees I created a 20 point legal business health check so that people can conduct a quick review of their business.
How do you score?
- Is your business owned in your own name, or in an entity that owns other assets?
- Have you signed any personal guarantees in relation to your business?
- Are your spouse’s assets protected if your business fails?
- If you are in business with other parties, do you have a properly documented agreement with the other owners of your business?
- Do you have appropriate insurances in place, such as WorkCover, professional indemnity and public liability?
- What happens if one of the owners or key people in your business die? Will the business survive?
- Do you have properly documented terms of trade with all parties that you deal with in your business?
- Do you know the terms of the lease of your business premises?
- What happens on the expiration of the lease in your business? Will your rent increase?
- Do you have properly documented employment agreements and contracts with your employees, and contractors that you deal with?
- Is your business logo and other intellectual property trademarked and protected?
- Do you have systems and procedures in place to comply with your occupational, health and safety obligations?
- Have you accounted for, or paid up to date, all of your superannuation, PAYG, GST and tax obligations?
- Do you have appropriate corporate governance in place, such as minutes of meetings, policies, constitution, and shareholders’ agreements?
- If there are any loans that have been made by you to your business, are they properly documented and secured?
- Do you have terms of trade for your website?
- Have you protected your interests in the event you are not paid by your customers?
- Do you have any risk management strategies to protect your business in the event of unforeseeable events, such as data crashes etc?
- Does your business comply with all consumer protection laws?
If you have any questions in relation to your business, or the matters referred to above, please contact me.