What is a Legal Health Check?

A Legal Health Check is a step by step assessment of your business’ legal needs. It should be conducted by a lawyer or someone who is legally trained in commercial law.

A Legal Health Check is designed to determine:

  1. what steps you have taken to protect your business from a legal point of view; and
  2. what you need to do to ensure your business operates under best practices.

A Legal Health Check is important to minimise the risks to your business when it operates. It also identifies any steps that you should take immediately as well as outlining any steps that should be taken when your business reaches a particular milestone, such as hiring its first employee.

 

Legal Health Check

LegalVision’s Legal Health Check can be conducted online, via phone or in a meeting. It is often better that it is conducted by phone or in person so that any steps that you should take can be explained in full before you commit to them.

 After a Legal Health Check is conducted you should have enough information to know what your next steps are and what those steps involve.

Why is a Legal Health Check useful?

Not every business can afford the time and money to operate with legal best practices when they start out. A Legal Health Check is a great way to figure exactly where you are at from a legal perspective and what needs to be done moving forward.

For example, you may have registered your business name but you may not have registered it as a trademark yet. A Legal Health Check will identify that you do not have the exclusive right to your business name yet, will investigate whether you can register it as a trademark, and when you should register your business name as trademark.

Legal Health Checks are also a great way to identify what steps you may need to take moving forward, particularly if your business grows.

For example, a Legal Health Check can pinpoint when you might need to look at obtaining a distribution agreement compared to just using your customer terms and conditions. Having a road map of what your business might need in the future can help you fit your future legal needs into your business plan. This can be a bit more useful than responding to your legal needs on the fly or missing them completely.

Key Issues Addressed in Legal Health Checks

A Legal Health Check can cover a range of different areas for different types of businesses such as regulations but the most important areas include business structures, intellectual property protection, your business contracts, Australian Consumer Law, and hiring employees.

Business structures covers the different types of business structures available, which structure minimises your personal liability, the basic tax differences between different structures, and what you need to consider if you are going to restructure your business. A Legal Health Check may identify changing your business structure as a priority or identify a point in your business life cycle where you should change your business structure.

Intellectual property (IP) protection covers what parts of your business you should protect and how you can protect them. This includes protecting your brand name and logo, the intellectual property in your website, and your business ideas and products you have created as part of establishing your business. A Legal Health Check may identify intellectual property that you should take, steps to protect your IP immediately, or steps that you can take to protect future intellectual property.

Commercial contracts: A Legal Health Check will also cover the contracts your business needs to minimise its legal risk. The type of contracts covered by a Legal Health Check will vary depending on what goods or services your business provides and how it operates. For example, for an eCommerce business that sells products through a website, the contracts focused on in a Legal Health Check will be your online sales terms and conditions, website privacy policy and website terms of use. A Legal Health Check can identify changes that need to be made to your current contracts to fit legal best practice, any contracts that you need immediately as part of your business operations, and contracts that you might need if your business grows.

Australian Consumer Law: Every business needs to comply with Australian Consumer Law if you are selling goods or services to consumers. A Legal Health Check should identify if your business needs to comply with consumer laws in Australia and check what steps you need to take to ensure that you do comply with them moving forward. This can involve a lot, including advertising requirements, warranties for the goods you sell, and replacements and refunds for your products.

Employment: Hiring employees should be covered as part of a Legal Health Check because it is an area of risk for any business. If you currently hire employees a Legal Health Check can identify if your method of hiring and the contracts you use fit within Australian employment law standards. If you do not currently hire employees a Legal Health Check can identify what you need to do when you are looking at hiring someone and the documents you will need for your employees.

Next Steps After a Legal Health Check

A Legal Health Check should outline what your business needs to do to meet legal best practice across a range of legal areas. After a Legal Health Check you should also be able to identify what information you need to complete the steps and the cost for your business. This is important because not all businesses have the revenue to address everything at once. 

You should be able to identify which legal steps you should prioritise and what you should leave until later.

For example, your Legal Health Check may identify that you need to register a trademark for your business logo, put a privacy policy on your website, and create employment contracts for your first employees. You may be able to prioritise the trademark registration and privacy policy over the employment contracts if you know that you will not be hiring employees for another couple of months. Your next step would then be to find out if you will do the trademark registration yourself or pay a trademark lawyer to register it on your behalf. You should also obtain quotes for having a privacy policy drafted for your website.

Book Your Legal Health Check

A Legal Health Check can be very useful for businesses that have not had a chance to assess what they need to meet legal best practice. It can also be useful to identify what your business needs in the future when it grows or hits other key milestones.

A Legal Health Check should provide you with an assessment of where your business is at and what you need to do to meet legal practice. It should also cover basic areas for businesses including business structuring, protecting your intellectual property, business contracts, and hiring staff.

If you would like to request a Legal Health Check, call us on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

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