5 tips to help you stop startup overwhelm for your online business

Updated: 2 December 2019

Here’s a concise guide to help you navigate your startup tasks and stop overwhelm when setting up your online business. 

Here's the key thing to know upfront, you can stop any overwhelm about your legals in general because you can usually phase out your legals; you don't have to pay for them in one go or spend time with your lawyer customising all of them all at once in those busy early days. 

Focussing on your key tasks will help you stop overwhelm. So, here’s what you need to prioritise: 

1. Structure and business name setup 

Structure - You need a business structure - you have the choice of company, sole trader, partnership and trust; and 

Business name - You’ll need to register your business name if you are going to use a trading name other than your legal entity’s name

2. Your website legals

Terms and conditions and a privacy policy are important to protect your online business.

Terms and conditions

Your terms and conditions will cover items like: 

  • Disclaimers to limit your business’s liability 
  • Hacks 
  • Intellectual property - copyright, trademarks
  • Payment processes
  • Returns
  • Disputes 
  • Refusing service.
Privacy policy

Your privacy policy should be tailored to cover all the personal information that you are collecting on your website.

The information you are collecting might be different to another business, so keep this in mind when assessing the value of customised legals.

And, if you are collecting information from customers or even prospective customers or subscribers that are living in the European Union - in this case, you’ll need a GDPR compliant policy. 

3. Financials

Good reporting systems will allow you to store data about your sales and feed into a good financial reporting system.

For example, if you are using shopify, you may want to have some way to track your sales revenue through a linked accounting system like xero or one of the others shopify allows you to link up to.

Also, ideally, you'll want to see your financials on the go, cloud based providers allow you to do this. 

4. Workers

If you have workers completing work for you, you’ll need to get an employee or contractor agreement. 

Being 100% clear on the employment relationship upfront is essential. You don’t want a contractor thinking they are an employee or vice versa because you want to avoid being liable for worker entitlements or a fair work claim for sham contracting. 

5. Advice

The above list is a simple guide for most startup online businesses. As always, get advice if you are in doubt.

Accountants and lawyers are especially important for helping you get setup correctly and focus your attention on the important tasks.

I wish you every success in your business ventures! 


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Vivian Michael
 

Vivian Michael is a lawyer and founder of Michael Law Group. Vivian's mission is to deliver the best quality business legal services to entrepreneurs launching an Australian business, wherever they are in the globe.

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