Business to-do list – Laws and regulations to be aware of and check

There is so much you need to be aware of in terms of the laws and regulations that apply to businesses. Ryan & Ryan Lawyers on the Central Coast provides legal help for businesses are here to help ensure all your ‘t’s are crossed and all your ‘i’s are dotted.

This is not something you need to be burdened with. But it just happens to be something we are well-versed in.

To make managing your legal obligations as easy as possible, make a time to visit our offices in Erina and Toukley. We’ll talk to you without the legalese and help you to untangling complex matters in straightforward language.

Cast your eyes down this to-do list, a great deal of which will likely apply to your business.

Business registration

Any or all of these could concern you in business:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Goods & Services Tax (GST)
  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Pay As You Go withholding (PAYG)

Other optional registrations include:

  • Business name – to protect your use of a trading name
  • Trademark – to own exclusive rights to a business name, logo or other facet of your business
  • Domain name – for the website address you want 

Fair Trading

So that your business meets its obligations, you need to consider:

  • Fair Trading laws
  • Competition & Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) including the Australian Consumer Law
  • Australian Standards
  • Codes of Conduct

When you sell products or services, you need to understand:

  • Australia’s trade measurement laws
  • Displaying prices
  • Product labelling
  • Warranties and refunds

Employment laws

If you employ people, your legal obligations include:

  • Payment of correct wages
  • Complying with work health and safety (WHS) regulations and codes of practice
  • Ensuring workers’ compensation insurance is paid for each eligible employee
  • Being aware of the potential liabilities of harassment and bullying in the workplace
  • Guarding against damage to an employee’s reputation, or causing mental distress or humiliation
  • Complying with working with children requirements for child-related work
  • Knowing about dismissal rights – these are detailed in the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code for businesses with fewer than 15 employees
  • Contractor’s rights – hiring a contractor is not the same as hiring an employee in terms of the legal obligations. You need to understand the difference.


Make sure you understand commercial contracts before signing. You enter into a contract when you agree to a job in exchange for money or other benefit. Contracts are legally enforceable regardless of whether it is a written agreement or a ‘handshake deal.

Marketing compliance

To ensure customers are not mislead, regulations apply to the marketing of products and services. These include laws for advertising, spamming, signage, pricing, and licensing of music in your advertising, even playing music in your business.


You need to learn about protecting your customers’ information and complying with privacy laws if you intend to collect and store customer details.

Intellectual property

Legal professionals can help you protect your business’s intellectual property (IP). You can also register IP yourself. 

Importing and exporting

Laws and permits apply to the import and export of products. Knowing the legal requirements is required for importing or exporting.

Environmental protections

Australia has strong environmental protection laws. You’ll need to ensure your business does not breach these laws. 

Franchising Code of Conduct

The mandatory Franchising Code of Conduct governs franchise businesses.

Take action

As you can see, the obligations for businesses are no trivial matter. This was just a summary.

Give us a call at Ryan & Ryan Lawyers. We’ll lift the burden off your shoulders.

You might also enjoy our previous article:

The above is not intended as legal advice. You should obtain legal advice in relation to your own specific circumstances.

Article by Tony Ryan

Tony Ryan Solicitor Director

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