Reading time: 5 minutes

The types of contracts a small business needs vary depending on the nature of the small business. However, there are some very common contracts that most small businesses require and can be easily drafted with the help of a small business lawyer. This article briefly outlines each of these types of small business contracts. 

Client/Customer Contracts

For Businesses That Provide Services

If your business provides services, you will need a template client contract that you can amend for every new client. The client contract will clearly set out important details like:

  • the services that you provide;
  • an expected start and completion date (if necessary),
  • the fees you will charge; and 
  • how and when you expect to be paid.

A detailed client contract that sets out exactly what the client will receive can help avoid disputes between you and your clients and save you plenty of time and money in the long run.

For Businesses That Sell Goods

If your business is involved in selling goods, then you will need a sales contract that can be signed by your customers or a set of online sales terms and conditions which customers can view on your sales website. The sales contract should indicate: 

  • what products are for sale; 
  • the prices for the products; and 
  • your exchange, returns and refunds policy.

You should note that under the Australian Consumer Law, there are certain guarantees you are required to give to consumers, so if a product or service is faulty, damaged or not to the customer’s expectations, depending on the circumstances, you are required to offer a:

  • replacement;
  • refund;
  • repair; or
  • resupply.

If you are unsure of your obligations under the Australian Consumer Law, you may need to seek advice from a small business lawyer.

The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Business

It’s now easier than ever to start a business online. But growing and sustaining an online business requires a great deal of attention and planning.

This How to Start an Online Business Manual covers all the essential topics you need to know about starting your online business.

The publication also includes eight case studies featuring leading Australian businesses and online influencers.

Download Now

Employment Contracts

If you employ any staff, you will need an employment contract. As a small business, you may only have a small number of employees. However, it is still important that your employees understand their obligations. The best way to ensure this is to have an employment contract that clearly sets out your expectations. This may include expecting your employees to:

  • be at a business location during core business hours;
  • understand their obligations concerning the intellectual property of your company; and
  • follow certain policies or dress codes. 

While your employees have obligations to you, you also have obligations to them. You will need to ensure that you pay all your employees according to any applicable awards and that they will receive their statutory entitlements.

Contractors Agreement

Some small businesses do not have employees but choose to have contractors to who they can contract work. This may be more suitable for businesses that may not yet have a steady flow of customers. However, if you have contractors performing services for your business, you and the contractor each must understand your rights and responsibilities in the relationship. Misunderstandings that occur, such as the contractor holding itself out as an employee of your business, could lead to your business incurring liability and possible legal action taken against you.

Lease

If your small business operates from a physical premise that you do not own, your lease is a fundamental contract that you should review in detail. If there are any concerns with your lease or if you feel that you are being bullied by the landlord/lessor, you should seek immediate assistance from your lawyer.

Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

If your small business operates online, you should ensure that your website contains a terms of use and a privacy policy.

Terms of use set out the rules for visitors to your website. They protect your website by including:

  • what users can and cannot do on your website and with its contents; and
  • a disclaimer/limit to your liability when users access your website.

If your small business collects information about users who access your website, then a privacy policy is required under the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). A privacy policy should address:

  • the personal information you collect;
  • how that information is used by you (and others); and
  • how you will store the information.

Misuse of personal information online is a serious offence, so you should speak to a lawyer to ensure your websites terms of use and privacy policy are legally compliant.

Key Takeaways

Having good legal documents can help clarify your arrangements with third parties. These contracts can also help you grow the small business and avoid disputes, which are costly and time-consuming. If you require any legal contracts drafted, LegalVision’s contract lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 1300 544 755 or visit our membership page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are website terms of use?

They provide the rules for visitors to your website. Commonly, terms of use include what users can and cannot do on your website and a disclaimer/limit to your liability when users access your website.

What should I include in my privacy policy?

A privacy policy should cover the personal information you collect, how you (and others) use that information and how you will store the information.

Webinars

Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

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

Online
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

Online
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

Online
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

Online
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

Online
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

Online
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

Online
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

Online
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

Corinne-Whelan
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