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05 March 2018 Posted by 


3 essential online health checks
LINE business is constantly evolving and as your own business develops, you should ensure that your business is compliant with the law and protected from liability.

There are three essential health checks that you should undertake for your business on a yearly basis. These are renewal/update of business name, business structure and terms and conditions.

1. Renew your business name
You can register a business name with ASIC for either one or three years at a time. This means that everyone or three years, you will need to renew it.  ASIC will send you a business name renewal notice 30 days before your name expires.

This will be sent to the address for service of documents or the principal place of business for your business name. If ASIC has your email address, this notice will also be emailed to you.

As well as routinely renewing your business name, you should also keep your other details up to date with ASIC. You can check your current business name details by conducting a search on the business names register.

This search will not reveal all details that are held by ASIC. Details such as your residential address, email address and any other details you have chosen to hide will not be publicly viewable.

Certain details will need to be updated within 28 days of the change occurring. For example, you will need to update your business name addresses, business name holder details, representative details, business name partner details and ABN within 28 days.

2. Business structure

As time passes and your business grows, you will need to consider your business structure. There are 4 main business structures used in Australia. These are sole trader, partnership, company and trust.

Each of these structures has different characteristics in licensing, taxation, whether you want to be considered an employee or a shareholder, personal liability, ongoing costs and how much control you have of the business.

Most start-ups begin with a sole trader structure. This is the cheapest structure with the easiest set up so it makes sense to start off this way. The business operates under your individual tax file number and you only need to register for GST if your annual GST turnover is above $75000. You are also personally liable for your business.

As your business begins to grow, the tax and liability ramifications can become a worry. To limit legal liability and tax burden, you may consider changing your structure to a company.

You can find more information about business structures on https://www.business.gov.au.

3. Your terms and conditions

Terms and conditions are extremely important for an online business. Not only do they stipulate the terms and conditions of use for visitors, but they also provide the business owner with some protection from liability.

Terms and conditions should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to keep up with any changes that occur in your business. Some clauses which you should consider for your terms and conditions are:

• Privacy policy,
• Cookie policy,
• Website ownership,
• Visitors agreement,
• Intellectual property,
• Consequences of use of the website
• Amending terms and conditions
• Copyright information
• Refund policy.

Katherine Hawes is principal at




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