Reading time: 3 minutes

If you have a new business idea, it is likely that you have carried out the preliminary business planning steps such as researching the market, assessing the feasibility of the offering and working out how payments will be structured and how your cash flow will work. However, beyond the initial business planning steps, there are legal hurdles you must jump over before your business can trade online. This article will look at a checklist of essential items to consider as a business owner who is opening up an Internet business.

Structuring an Internet Business

You need to think about incorporating a company as a vehicle for the business, if not something a little more sophisticated involving a trust or holding company – if you are thinking of trying to raise equity funding. Things can get very complicated later if assets need to be transferred between persons and entities so often it is better to start off with a proprietary company limited by shares even if you are the only shareholder at the start!

Legal Documents

A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) – You need a form of the confidentiality agreement to use with developers, designers consultants and other that you may need to reveal your business concept. Anyone (except possibly your mother).

Supplier Agreements – You need clear agreements with the relevant supplier stakeholders about what they are going to deliver to you and what you are going to pay them for that. These agreements must include an assignment of the intellectual property they are creating for you, or at the very least a broad and exclusive licence of that property, so it’s obvious it is an asset of your new business.

Website Documents – You need to get the website legal documents set up properly – this includes website terms and conditions, privacy policy and user terms. If your site is a marketplace, the last document covers both you and the sellers and buyers in the marketplace.

Protect Your Brand

This is a three-step process, which is often going in the background during steps 1-4 above. You need to register the company/business name you want, domain name/s and possibly register the trade mark, particularly if there are logos involved. Ideally, these names will all be consistent. In doing this you need to be checking that the names are available to you – that is, not only available to register but that there is not another business in the same or a similar industry that is trading using a similar name that consumers may get confused with your business. Starting up on that basis can cause a world of pain for you later on. We call these searches “freedom to operate” searches. The above steps are a very basic guide to the journey of many of our clients.

Key Takeaways

Setting up an Internet business can be an exciting time. It’s important not to overlook the essential legal documents to get your business off the ground. LegalVision’s online lawyers can assist you every step of the way with your journey as well. Questions? Call us on 1300 544 755.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards