Importance of getting the Company Structure right prior to trading

The importance of having a well defined company structure in Qld prior to trading is significant for several reasons:

1. Legal Requirements:

Queensland, like other States, has specific legal requirements for business structures.  It is important to choose the right structure that complies with the law.  Common structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, companies and trusts.  Each has its own legal obligations and tax implications.

2. Limited liability:

If you opt for a company structure, such as a proprietary limited company (Pty Ltd), shareholders generally have limited liability.  This means their personal assets are protected in case the company incurs debts or legal liabilities.  This is a crucial advantage, especially for businesses with substantial financial risk.

3. Taxation:

The choice of company structure can have a significant impact on your tax obligations.  Different structures may be subject to different tax rates and rules.  It’s essential to consider the tax implications of your chosen structure and make sure it aligns with your business objectives.

4. Funding and Investment:

Your company structure can influence your ability to attract investors or raise capital. Some structures, like companies, are more appealing to investors due to the ease of issuing shares.  In contrast, sole proprietorships and partnerships may struggles to attract outside funding.

5. Succession Planning:

The structure of your company can affect how you plan for the future and handle changes in ownership.  A well thought out structure can make it easier to transition ownership, sell the business or pass it on to heirs.

6. Regulatory Compliance:

Different structures come with various compliance requirements, such as registering with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), submitting annual reports and complying with the Corporations Act.  Failure to meet these obligations can lead to penalties or legal issues.

7. Brand and Reputation:

The choice of company structure can also affect your brand and reputations.  Some structures, like a Pty Ltd, can convey a sense of professionalism and stability to clients, customers and partners.

8. Risk Management:

Your company structure can impact your risk management strategies.  For instance, trusts can be used for estate planning and asset protection, while companies provide legal separation between personal and business assets.

9. Flexibility:

Different business structures offer varying levels of flexibility.  You may need to adapt your structure as your business grows or changes, and it’s important to choose a structure that allows for this.

10. Reporting and Record-Keeping:

 Each structure has its own record keeping and reporting requirements.  Proper documentation and compliance are essential to avoid legal issues and maintain good standing with regulatory authorities.

Before trading in Queensland or anywhere else in Australia, it’s advisable to seek professional legal and financial advice to determine the most suitable company structure for your specific business needs and objectives.  The right structure can have a significant impact on your business’s success, legal compliance and financial stability.

McLaughlins Lawyers have been helping clients effectively set up their company structures for over 65 years. We understand that each client will have different requirements for their business structure and can tailor a solution to meet your specific needs. We can help you avoid the pitfalls and successfully set up your business to avoid unnecessary costs to change the structure after you commence trading, call or email Pip Davis on (07) 5591 5099 and [email protected] for help.

McLaughlins Lawyers, your experienced Gold Coast lawyers, we stand beside you and are here to help you with your commercial needs.


Author: Pip Davis

Legal Practice Director: Paul Robert Davis

Date:   20.10.2023