Business Structures

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Key areas

5 things you need to know about Business Structures

  1. Structuring your business correctly is a crucial first step in ensuring future success. If you choose an appropriate structure then you’ll be in a position to grow your business without having to deal with the distractions of a change in legal structure. The main structures used in Australia include sole trader, partnership, company and trust. Each of these business structures has advantages and disadvantages.
  2. A sole trader structure is simple, cost-effective and easy to set up. If you run a one person service business then setting up as a sole trader makes a lot of sense. Two key issues with a sole trader structure are that the business revenue is personal income, and your personal liability is not limited.
  3. A partnership structure can make sense if you’re going into business with a trusted friend or family member. It’s simple to set up, but generally each partner has unlimited personal liability for any debts or obligations incurred by the partnership.
  4. A company structure is the most popular structure for businesses looking to grow and scale. It’s flexible, cost-effective and easy to set up.  Revenue is earned by the company, rather than the individual, there may be company tax benefits, and personal liability is limited.  Company accounts and tax must be attended to, including quarterly BAS.
  5. Finally, a trust structure can be an option for a business person looking to minimise personal risk and stream income streams. Setting up a discretionary trust is not overly complex and can provide a great solution for the right business.
Our Business Structures Lawyers
Ursula Hogben Key Focus:

Commercial Law, Contract Law, Information Technology And Online Law, Intellectual Property, Capital Raising Law


Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Baker & McKenzie, Hogben Group

James Douglas Key Focus:

Business And Commercial, Contracts, Dispute Resolution And Litigation


Norton Rose, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors, LOGOS Legal Services (London), DibbsBarker

Jill McKnight Key Focus:

Asset Leasing, Business Structuring/Start Ups, Employee Share Options Plans, Loans (Secured, Unsecured And Convertible), Online Law


Clayton Utz (Sydney), Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney), Norton Rose Fulbright (London, Paris, Amsterdam and Hong Kong)

See all of our Business Structures lawyers See our full range of specialist lawyers