2023 provides many small business owners with the opportunity to set new goals for their company. It is a time to reflect on the past and take advantage of the opportunities that the new year can bring. This time of year also provides time for small business owners to review their legal obligations and keep up-to-date with them.
It is crucial not to ignore legal responsibilities once they are established. The beginning of the year is the best time to establish these legal responsibilities and ensure your business is on the correct path legally.
If you’re a small business owner in 2023, here are the top four areas that you should review in the new year.
Receiving payment is crucial
Begin the year by evaluating your payment and invoicing systems.
You should consider whether your client agreement clearly outlines your costs, pricing structure, and payment instructions. It is also important to ask yourself if you are experiencing defaults in payments from clients and if your current process for managing debts is effective. Further, you should be including late payment fees in your client agreement and ensure that they are being enforced for the most effective payment process.
It is necessary to remember that small businesses are entitled to receive payment for their work. Therefore you may need to assert yourself to ensure payment is timely and complete.
Examine your policies and contracts
It’s essential to regularly review your contracts and policies on an annual basis. Here are some key areas to focus on
- Ensure that the copyright year on your website is up-to-date.
- Review your Service Agreement or business Terms and Conditions to ensure they align with your current service offerings and business processes.
- Update your contracts with your current business name and contact details if they have changed.
What to consider if you employ staff
If your business employs staff, it is important to be aware of your Single Touch Payroll (STP) requirements. This includes the STP Phase 2, PAYG obligations, superannuation obligations, Fringe Benefit Taxes as well as other payroll obligations. If you are unfamiliar with these requirements, it is critical to take the time to understand them as soon as possible.
The start of the new year is also an excellent time to review employee contracts and evaluate if they are still suitable and relevant for both your business and the employee.
It is worth noting that employment obligations can change frequently, including recent changes like the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022. As such, it is essential to have a system in place to keep up-to-date with changes in employment legislation.
Collaboration with independent contractors
Review your agreements with independent contractors. These include agreements with virtual assistants, marketing managers and website developers to ensure they are up-to-date and any services or pricing are fair. Keep in mind that it is appropriate to negotiate for better terms if you are not satisfied with your current arrangements.
It is key to understand the distinction between a contractor and an employee in order to ensure that you are engaging them correctly.
If you have any questions about how to improve your small business this year, DF Legal is here to help. Phone us on (02) 9774 3175.