Business Checklist: 5 key documents to check

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When was the last time you checked that your business’ key documents were up-to-date? It is vital for a business to make sure that all their documentation and contracts are in compliance with the current laws to ensure that there will not be any surprises should issues arise.

If you do not currently have a system in place, we recommend that your business implement a review schedule that involves conducting a thorough review of your legal documentation at a specified time (e.g. biannually). If you do not know what to look out for, keep reading for the 5 key documents that you should review and what to pay attention to.

Key points to remember for your business’ key documents

  • You should make sure that you are conducting regular review of your key documents
  • Consider if your current documents cover your business as it currently operates or if changes should be made
  • Reach out for advice if you are not certain what your obligations are

1. Employment Agreements

Your business relies on its employees. That is why it is vital that you regularly review any Employment Agreement or Independent Contractor Agreement template that your business has been using. This is to ensure that your employees’ and your business’ rights and obligations as set out in the agreement are still in compliance with the current employment laws. 

Because employment law constantly changes, it is important that you stay up-to-date with all of the changes made by Fair Work to the relevant Awards, regulations and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and amend your employment agreements accordingly. 

2. Privacy Policy

If your business has a Privacy Policy, you should be aware of your shifting obligations when collecting, storing, using and disclosing personal data of your customers. Privacy law in Australia is currently undergoing considerable reform as it reacts to the international privacy landscape. 

The European Union and California have both in recent years introduced their own data protection regulations which apply in extraterritorial jurisdictions. This means that Australian businesses that are caught under either of these international regulations may be required to update their Privacy Policies and systems as a result. If your business operates in the European Union, we recommend visiting our blog ‘Does the GDPR apply to my Australian business’ to learn more. 

3. Terms and Conditions

The Terms and Conditions that your business includes on its website should be reviewed regularly to ensure that the obligations of your customers and your rights are explained in detail. The shifting age of technology demands businesses to remain focused on predicting the potential hazards and issues when using an online website. Your business should consider any issues you have had with your customers online previously and make sure that your Terms and Conditions prevent your customers from acting in a certain manner while limiting your business’ liability for any effects caused. 

4. Services Agreement

No matter what you call it (Services Agreement, User Agreement, Client Agreement, Master Services Agreement etc), this is a key contract between yourself and your customers, and it should be your business’ main priority when reviewing your legal documents. You will use this agreement to manage your key revenue stream and should make sure that it includes all of the reasonably expected issues that may arise in the provision of your services to protect your business.

If your services have changed since you last updated the Services Agreement, it is important that you include these changes in the agreement. A contract that does not adequately describe the services may open your business to a dispute from a disgruntled customer.

5. Company Documents

If your business is a company, it is important that your company documents including the Company Constitution, Shareholders Agreement, Share Register etc. are kept up-to-date. Not only do you have a duty to do this under law, it is also crucial should a dispute arise (as they so often do). Depending on the Company Constitution and Shareholders Agreement, you may be required to hold a meeting of the Board of Directors or Shareholders to make amendments to these types of documents. We recommend looking into your company’s specific circumstances before attempting to amend any company documents.

Legal advice

You should seek legal advice when drafting or reviewing legal documents. Legal Kitz are here to assist you with drafting and understanding the terms of your documents, and ensuring your documents are up-to-date and in compliance with current laws.

Click here to book a FREE consultation with one of our highly experienced solicitors today or contact us at info@legalkitz.com.au or by calling 1300 988 954. 

The above information has been collected from relevant government websites and is subject to change. For the latest information regarding new or amended legislation, please refer to state and federal government websites.

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