Reading time: 5 minutes

With the end of the financial year fast approaching, there’s no better time to take stock of your business’ growth, tie up any loose ends and revisit your broader commercial strategy. With that in mind, this article sets out three new financial year’s resolutions that will set your business up for success.

1. Get on Top of Your Tax Return

Firstly, complete your tax return. While it can be tedious, you’re best to get it done well and get it done early (especially if you’re expecting a refund).

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has noted that the most common mistakes for small businesses include a failure to:

  • record cash income and expenditure;
  • account for personal drawings;
  • record goods for your own use;
  • separate private expenses from business expenses; and
  • keep adequate stock records.

Seeking the advice of an experienced accountant or tax lawyer will ensure you’re claiming deductions where appropriate while upholding your record keeping obligations.

Tax time is also the perfect opportunity to reassess your business’ tax needs more broadly. In particular, the way you have structured your business will have tax implications. For example, the following table sets out the tax differences for a sole trader versus company structure.

Sole Trader Company
Tax Rates Sole traders pay tax at the individual income rate. The tax free threshold applies. The company tax rate is currently 30% (or 27.5% for certain smaller businesses). There is no tax free threshold for companies.
Small Business Concessions There are a number of small business tax concessions available, including:

  • a discount on capital gains tax (CGT);
  • income tax concessions;
  • GST concessions;
  • pay as you go (PAYG) instalment concession; and
  • fringe benefits tax concessions.
There is no CGT discount. However, companies have access to:

  • income tax concessions;
  • GST concessions;
  • pay as you go (PAYG) instalment concession; and
  • fringe benefits tax concessions.
Type of Tax Return Sole traders simply lodge their individual tax returns. Business income and expenses are noted on a separate business schedule. You must lodge a separate company tax return, as well as your personal tax return.

2. Reassess Your Branding and Intellectual Property Strategy

The new financial year is also a prime opportunity to ensure your intellectual property (IP) is well-organised and your brand well protected. Your IP suite commonly includes all copyright, trade mark, design and patent rights.

Register Your Rights

Registering a trade mark for your business name or logo if you haven’t done so already is an especially critical step in protecting your brand against competitors. It gives you the exclusive right to use your marks for your goods and services, in your industry.

If you’re looking to expand your business next financial year, it’s even more important to ensure you have registered rights in the locations you have, or plan to have, a presence.

Similarly, if you have an invention or design that’s new and innovative, explore whether you could achieve patent or design protection. These registrations give you protection for enough time to develop and sell your product and exploit market share.

Get Your Registrations in Order

You should also confirm that your IP belongs to your entity. For example, your registered trade marks should be in your business’ name (rather than your personal name) and any copyright that contractors or employees create should be assigned to your business.

If the ownership of your IP is uncertain or scattered, you risk facing disputes down the track.

Commercialise Your Valuable Assets

Finally, you should consider whether licensing or assigning your IP makes sense for your business.

By licensing your IP, you maintain ownership, but can make money by allowing other parties to use it for a set period of time. If you’re no longer using an asset, you may wish to assign it. This means you sell it and cannot get ownership back.

A robust and commercially savvy brand protection strategy ensures that your IP remains one of your most valuable commercial assets. Make sure you renew your protection before it lapses and you can be confident that your IP will continue to be recognised in your market and grow in value.

3. Review Your Employment Agreements and Policies

From 1 July 2018, the Fair Work Commission is increasing the minimum wage by 3.5%. Accordingly, it’s best to review what you pay your employees.

In addition, you should revisit your employment agreements to ensure they contain key terms. The new financial year often means bringing on new staff and you need to be sure the agreement new team members sign is one that protects your business. Similarly, you may like to make changes to your employment policies, such as your social media policy or bullying and harassment policy.

Having such policies in place, and updating them regularly, means that your employees are clear on what’s expected of them and you have a clear process to follow in the case of any breach or complaint.

Key Takeaways

Tax time is a great opportunity to reflect on your commercial progress and set yourself up for continued success. To do so, you should set (and follow through with) three new financial year’s resolutions:

  1. complete your tax return and reviewing your business structure;
  2. update your brand protection and IP strategy; and
  3. prepare for the increase in the minimum wage and revisit your employment agreements and policies.

These three steps will ensure you start the new financial year on the right foot and give yourself the best chance at continued growth. If you need assistance this tax time, get in touch with LegalVision’s taxation lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.


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

Brittney Rigby
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