Business Law for Australian Entrepreneurs – Part 2 of 4

Introduction to Business Law for Australian Entrepreneurs

– Part 2 of 4 Instalments

This is the second instalment of our guide to the essential aspects of business law that Australian business owners should know.

Follow these links to read other instalments of our Introduction to Business Law for Australian Entrepreneurs:

Part 1 – includes Business Structuring

Part 3 – includes Employment Law & Tax Obligations

Part 4 – includes Disputes, Legal Challenges & Business Law Resources

Industry Licensing

Make sure you have the licences and permits to legally operate your business. This will depend on the nature of your business and the industry it operates in.

For example, to run a restaurant, you would need a food licence. To operate a construction business, you’d need a building licence.

Consumer protection

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is a federal law that helps protect consumers from unfair practices. It aims to ensure that businesses provide accurate information about their products and services.

It’s important to ensure that your business practices comply with ACL requirements.

Contracts & Agreements

Contracts and agreements provide a legal framework for conducting business transactions and establishing the rights and obligations of the parties involved.

Following are several key contracts and agreements that are important for many businesses.

Contracts for the sale of goods or services

This contract outlines the terms and conditions under which a business’s goods or services are provided to its customers. It should include details such as price, payment terms, delivery or performance obligations, and any warranties or guarantees.

Employment contract

This contract sets out the terms and conditions of employment for employees at your business. It should cover the employee’s role and responsibilities, working hours, leave entitlements, compensation, and termination provisions.

Leases, licensing, & franchise agreements

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to enter into leases, licensing, or franchise agreements.

Leases are agreements that allow your business to use someone else’s property.

Licences grant you the right to use intellectual property that is owned by someone else.

Franchise agreements are specific contracts that allow you to operate a business under an established brand and business model.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) refers to the intangible assets of a business — trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Protecting your IP is essential to maintaining your competitive edge. Without it you’ll be unable to prevent others from using your ideas or creations without permission.

To assess your IP assets and determine the most appropriate forms of protection for your business, it’s best to consult with a qualified intellectual property lawyer.

Following are several ways to protect your IP.


Registering a trademark is one of the best ways to protect intellectual property.

A trademark is a sign that identifies your products or services, distinguishes them from those of other businesses,  and gives you exclusive rights to use them. It also provides a means to take legal action should anyone infringe on your usage rights.


Patents are a form of IP protection that apply to inventions and new technologies.

By obtaining a patent, you have the exclusive right, for a specified time, to commercially exploit your invention.


Copyright protects original works of authorship, such as literary, artistic, and musical works.

Trade secrets

This refers to confidential information that gives a business its competitive advantage.

There is no legislative protection for trade secrets in Australia (unlike in the USA).

In Australia, we protect trade secrets using confidentiality agreements, such as non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and clauses within employment contracts.

In the next instalment

In the next chapter of our Introduction to Business Law for Australian Entrepreneurs, we will take a look at the laws surrounding employment and taxation. Read the 3rd instalment now.

Feel free to contact us today at Ballantyne Law when you need plain-talking advice on all aspects of business law.

Addressing your legal concerns, our commercial, estate and property lawyers will take the burden off your shoulders. 

Contact our reliable lawyers on the Gold Coast now.


Sidnee Jennings


Kathy Rundle

Special Counsel