Reading time: 4 minutes

Have you recently launched a new online business, or are looking to expand your current business presence online? Starting out online can be difficult if you’re not online savvy. Protect your online business by following these steps:

Business Plan

As with most businesses, a business plan can help structure the stages you wish to reach in terms of business development and growth. What will you need to achieve these goals and ambitions? A website domain? A website? Marketplace functionalities? Merchant facilities? Make a plan so that you can explain your needs to your developer, as well as your online lawyer when you need to have your Business Terms and Conditions drafted.

Once you have mapped the technical side of things, you can start to look at which business structure will be most suitable for your online business. Speak with an online lawyer who can explain the various benefits and drawbacks of each structure, for example that sole traders have the risk of being personally liable but companies are more expensive to run.

Contractors Contract

It is also very important to have a contractors contract in place with your website developer. This agreement is also known as a development agreement, and will flesh out the terms and conditions of the commercial relationship between you and your website developer.

If you do not have connections with developers to help you launch your online business, ask your contacts for recommended developers. Otherwise, you could simply do some research into the websites that you believe reflect what you desire for your own online business and make the necessary enquiries. Keep in mind that the designer of the online business may be different to the developer.

Ask to have a chat with some of their clients to see whether or not the service provided was of a high quality. Have your online lawyer draw up a development agreement that details the particulars of the working relationship, such as pricing, timeframes and stages. If the developer presents you with a development agreement, have your online lawyer review it to ensure that the site itself (including any lines of code) and all intellectual property remain the property of your online business. This should be clearly set out in the Development Agreement to avoid any confusion regarding the expectations of each party.

Legal Documents

Your online business requires a clear and easily identifiable Privacy Policy, a solid set of Business Terms and Conditions, and a well-defined Website Terms of Use. An online lawyer with experience in contract drafting usually drafts these documents. They will not only limit the liability of your online business, but should give your visitors/customers protection as well. There are also legal requirements that you need to be aware of that relate to the Australian Privacy Law and the Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”). For example, certain businesses will need to comply with the new Australian Privacy Principles. Without proper legal compliance with these areas of law, your online business may incur hefty fines from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”), as well as the Privacy Commissioner.

Intellectual Property

Some online businesses operate without any regard to the many intellectual property risks that arise when users of your website upload content which they may not have permission to upload. Failure to monitor the actions of your users may result in your business being involved in a lengthy and complex intellectual property dispute.

Promotional Activities

When running an online business, an important part of the long-term strategy comes back to the marketing of the online business and the SEO that builds up the online presence. In doing so, online business should be aware of the rules relating to spam, such as an opt-out/unsubscribe option for SMS or email marketing.


As you have invested a lot of time and effort into setting up your business, a solid legal foundation with detailed agreements in place will ensure you are protected. If you have any questions relating to online or general business law, contact LegalVision 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