Nurture your new venture with the right business legal services, at the right time. Protect your intellectual property and investment with our tailored services so you can focus on growing
Is your start-up ready to launch its products or services to the market?
With our company incorporation services, you’ll achieve a tax-efficient corporate structure while protecting both company and personal assets. We also have the methods to ensure your corporate structure provides flexibility to avoid costly restructures required to prepare for potential exit or growth opportunities, such as business sales, entry / exit of investors or public listings.
We can get your start-up ready for the future through:
You should incorporate your start-up as early as possible if:
- you are going to launch your product or service to the market (this is to protect your personal assets)
- there is more than one founder (this is to define your shareholding percentages to avoid disputes later)
- you want flexibility to issue shares to new investors or run an employee share scheme
PROTECTION FOR SHAREHOLDERS
Protect the value of your shareholding in your start-up by defining the direction of your newly incorporated start-up, as well as each co-founders’ shareholding percentages and contributions to your venture.
Our shareholders' agreements for start-ups include:
A company constitution is (most of the time) a standard document that comes with a newly incorporated company covering topics such as procedures for directors’ meetings, members’ meetings, issuing new shares and transferring existing shares.
A shareholders’ agreement is a more detailed document, usually aimed providing majority shareholders’ additional powers they would not otherwise have under law, or conversely, to provide minority shareholders’ with additional protections they would not otherwise have.
While a custom-made constitution can cover similar topics to a shareholders’ agreement, it is important to remember that a company constitution can be replaced on a 75% vote, where a shareholders’ agreement can only be replaced on agreement of all parties to the shareholders’ agreement. A shareholders’ agreement is therefore more vital to protect minority shareholders.
Shareholders’ agreements usually cover:
- which shareholders will have the right to appoint a representative director
- weight of votes (whether each representative director will have one equal vote or whether their vote will be based on the percentage of the shares held by their appointing shareholder)
- drag along rights (the right of a majority shareholder to force minority shareholders to join in selling their shares to a third party)
- tag along rights (the right of minority shareholders to elect to join a sale where a majority shareholder is selling its shares to a third party)
- buy-out mechanisms (such as “Texas shoot-out clauses” or “Russian roulette clauses”)
- protection of confidential information and intellectual property
- non-compete and non-solicitation clauses
A buy–sell deed deals with the buyout of a shareholder that suffers a “triggering event” (usually death, total and permanent disability or trauma).
Usually a buy–sell deed will be backed by an insurance policy, whereby the affected shareholder receives a payout in exchange for transferring its shares to the remaining shareholders or the company.
GET READY FOR LAUNCH
Enhance your start-up’s customer experience and limit your legal liability at the same time with our user friendly customer-facing suite of legal documents.
We can get your start-up ready for launch through:
Australian & International
Obtaining a registered trade mark for your brand is the single biggest bang for buck investment you can make for your start-up.
Having a registered trade mark will significantly strengthen your right to use your brand and will significantly reduce the risk and cost of stopping a copycat. A registered trade mark will also increase the attractiveness of your business to potential buyers and external investors if you wish to sell your business.
Protect your brand with our trade mark services, including:
Trade Mark Questions
A trade mark is a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish a trader’s goods or services from other traders’ goods or services. A trade mark may be a letter, word, name, signature, number, logo, picture, brand, aspect of packaging, shape, colour, sound or scent, or any combination of those.
Trade marks are registered in relation to certain classes of goods and/or services. Other traders are therefore free to use or register the same trade mark for unrelated goods and/or services.
You should register your trade mark as soon as possible, as the priority date for a trade mark is the date it is filed. Having the earliest priority date possible is important in case someone else files a similar trade mark.
The owner of a registered trade mark has the exclusive rights to use the trade mark and authorise other persons to use the trade mark in relation to the goods and/or services in respect of which the trade mark is registered. This means you can stop someone else using a trade mark in relation to goods or services that are the same or similar to the goods or services covered by your registered trade mark.
Registered trade marks can also be sold, transferred or licensed to another person, and even encumbered.
A registered trade mark lasts 10 years, and can be continually renewed for successive 10 year periods by paying a renewal fee.
A person infringes a registered trade mark if the person uses, as a trade mark, a sign that is substantially identical with, or deceptively similar to, the trade mark in relation to goods or services in respect of which the trade mark is registered.
Most trade mark disputes can usually be resolved quickly and commercially. Sometimes all it takes is to point out to the infringer that you are the registered owner of a particular trade mark. When the stakes are high, however, it may be necessary to commence court proceedings.
You should get legal advice as soon as possible. The accusation will either be legitimate, baseless or arguable, but in any case, you should have a lawyer respond to protect your position.
Corporate structuring is often used to isolate trade marks from risks your trading entity is exposed to.
If such corporate structuring is not utilised properly, it can actually invalidate your trade mark.
We have the methods to bring the nuances of corporate structuring and trade mark law together to provide your trade mark portfolio with the ultimate protection.
Grow with confidence when leasing space for your start-up. We actively lead lease negotiations by cutting through distractions and focusing on the key commercial issues.
Our leasing services for start-ups include:
Employment law can be a minefield for start-ups. From preparing employment contracts, through to terminating the employment relationship and managing post-employment restraints, we have you covered.
Our employment law services for start-ups include:
Generally speaking, your start-up will own intellectual property created by employees in the course of their employment. Given disputes often arise about the meaning of the phrase “in the course of employment”, it is best practice to cover ownership of intellectual property in detail in an employment contract.
On the other hand, intellectual property created by contractors will not automatically vest in your start-up. It is therefore important to ensure there is a written agreement in place dealing with the ownership of intellectual property.
Head over to our Online Legal Solutions page to find out more.