Start-Small-BusinessStarting a small business takes careful preparation and planning. When you do this, you give your new business the best chance for success. You need to make sure that you file all the right legal forms, that you select the company directors and staff with care, and also that you have sufficient financing in place to survive the start-up phase. Finding ways to reduce start-up costs can get your business off to a stronger start in an increasingly competitive global e-commerce business environment. One way that today’s entrepreneurs are saving on start-up costs is to use online legal forms instead of hiring an attorney to create and execute the legal documents needed to form a small business. Here, learn how to start a small business using online legal forms, and find out how quick and easy the process can be.

Understanding Online Legal Forms

A decade ago, it was standard business practice to consult an attorney before starting a new business, whether the company was structured as a for-profit or a not-for-profit entity. Today, entrepreneurs can get all the expertise of an attorney without having to pay the high fees by using online legal forms instead. With online legal forms, registering a new business is as simple as downloading attorney-vetted, standardized company registration Australia legal form templates. You can then customise each template to the specifics of your company’s directors and operations. All you need to do is choose an online forms provider, search through the forms database to find the forms you need, review each form, pay a small fee and then download the forms. Each form will come with instructions for completion. If you get stuck while filling out a form, you can always email or call the forms provider for assistance.

Steps to Starting a Small Business

When you start a small business, there are six steps you must take before you are ready to select, download, complete and file the appropriate legal forms.

  • Select a business structure. First you must decide whether to operate as a for-profit or not-for-profit entity. Then, you need to select the specific structure for your company.
  • Select a company name. You must make sure that the name you select indicates the company’s legal status and is available. You must also be sure that your chosen name doesn’t include any words disallowed for use in Australia.
  • Choose your company governance structure. Here you choose between having a company operation based on replaceable rules or a constitution. However, if you are a sole proprietorship, you may not need to complete this step.
  • Understand the legal obligations of being an officeholder. Before selecting the key personnel, you must ensure that you and the other legally responsible persons understand the obligations you take on to run the company.
  • Select and obtain consent from the company’s key personnel. Once key personnel are selected and have agreed, you must arrange to obtain consent in writing from each of them.
  • Register the company. Only when each of these steps is complete will you have all the information you need to register your new company legally.

Legal Forms to Start a Small Business

When you arrive at the sixth step, registering your company, you will then need to execute certain legal forms to register your business. The first form you need to complete is the company’s official Certificate of Registration. This document, once processed, gives you an Australian Company Number (ACN) and approves the company name. If you have chosen a constitution form of governance, you then need to customise a template form to reflect how your company will operate. Then you need to execute the consent forms for all of the key personnel. If your company will offer shares, you need a legal form to apply to offer shares and a template to use to issue your new shares. Finally, you need to issue a notice naming the Public Officer for your company.

Using online legal forms can take the headache, expense and hard work out of laying a firm foundation for your new company to succeed and grow. You can simply select, download, complete and file each required form in turn by filling in the templates with your specific company information.

About the Author: Ken Howard recently turned to legal forms online when it came time to restructure and rebrand the family business.