By Dominic Woolrych, Legal Product Manager, LawPath

Whether you are running a brick-and-mortar retail store(s) and/or an online retail store, between delivering great service to your customers and handling your staff, legal considerations are probably the last thing on your mind.

Here are several quick tips to consider as you build your retail empire.

1. Ensure that your employment contracts are air-tight.

As much as it is important to get great people to help build your retail empire, you need to hire your team on your terms. It’s required by law to have detailed and tailored employment contracts for your employees, and also helps to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the scope of the employment.  

2. Manage your culture better with a good set of Human Resources policies.

You should consider having a coherent set of HR policies in place when running a business. These policies set out the obligations and standards of behaviour expected of the members of your business, and also stipulates the process to undergo should a dispute arise. 

3. Protect your intellectual property.

As your business grows, your brand becomes increasingly valuable. It is vital that you protect your intellectual property by, for example, trademarking your brand and patenting anything you may invent along the way. Having a recognisable brand takes hard work, and trademarking your brand signs, like your logo and slogan, allows you exclusive use of those signs for 10 years.

4. Online retailers 

If you are running an online store, you are required by the Australian Consumer Law to include Website Terms and Conditions of Use on your website. Similarly, if you are running the store through a mobile app, you should consider using a Mobile Application Terms and Conditions of Use. These Terms and Conditions will set out your service standards, and also sets out the rules for users of your online store.

Further, you are required by the law to include a Privacy Policy for your website and/or mobile app that is compliant with the current privacy law. It states how you will collect, use and respect the personal information of your customers.

5. Trade fairly

All states and territories in Australia are governed by fair trading laws. Apart from knowing your obligations to maintain a fair trading environment for your customers, it is important that you are aware of your own rights to fair trading when it comes to your related entities, including your suppliers, competitors and wholesalers.

About LawPath

LawPath is Australia’s leading provider of cloud Legal services for small to medium businesses, providing technology powered legal services at a fraction of the time, cost and complexity of the traditional system.

LawPath's cloud-based legal hub for small and medium businesses provides an easy legal workflow solution. Businesses can find and tailor legal documents which can then be sent to all parties to execute, before finally storing them in LawPath's easy-to-navigate cloud vault. LawPath’s Quick Quotes product also allows businesses to receive the best fixed-fee quotes from over 600 trusted Australian lawyers, often at more than 70 per cent cheaper than traditional services, at any stage of the legal process. 

Since launching in 2013, LawPath has helped over 13,000 customers save over $5 million in legal fees.