Essential Legal Basics For Your New Startup

The scenario plays out like a plot from a Aaron Sorkin film: You and your co-founder have just come up with your startup idea and you’ve thrown together a basic mock-up of your platform. Congratulations, you just might be the next Zuckerberg. But even the biggest players in the startup scene could have prevented huge mistakes by covering a few simple legal basics. These may include the following:

Corporate Structure

This may include the establishment of a Trust, Partnership, Joint Venture or Company.

Read here to learn more about how to choose a corporate structure that’s right for your business.


Applying for a trademark helps you to protect your brand, that of which may include your design, logo, name or colour.

For more information please read our blog on ‘The importance of Trademark’ and ‘How to Register a Trademark’


Some contracts which should be considered include: terms and conditions for the website; privacy policy; services agreement; employment contract; independent contractors’ agreement.


Some insurance coverage which should be considered (and sometimes mandatory) include: WorkCover; professional indemnity; public liability; product liability; key person; content; and mortgage protection.

Company Policies

Some policies which should be considered include: Bully and Harassment; Anti-Discrimination; Drugs and Alcohol; Grievance; IT and Confidential Information; Social Media; Work Health and Safety Induction; or Code of Ethics Policy.

Read here to learn more about essential workplace policies for your business.

What are the key things I should put in my employment agreement?

Employment Contracts can vary between industry, however, I would say the most important clauses include the following:

  • termination clause with notice
  • termination clause without notice due to misconduct
  • non-solicitation of clients and employees
  • restraint to operating a competitive business within a particular area, for a particular period of time
  • confidentiality clause
  • intellectual property right clause to ensure the employee will sign all documents necessary to assign the intellectual property rights created during employment to the employer

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

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