There are a whole host of i's to dot and t's to cross when taking over a business for sale. While the process doesn't have to be too laborious, once all of the paperwork is filed and your name is metaphorically above the door, knowing which areas to improve first can be tough.
Carrying out due diligence before the purchase itself will give you a good idea of any aspects of the business that may need attention, but there are some areas that have to be taken more seriously than others.
Seventy-three per cent of small businesses have no workplace policies in place.
Specifically, financial compliance is a must if you're to avoid the wrath of the applicable government authorities. However, while this is certainly a serious matter, are too many of Australia's small business owners taking legalities lightly?
Well, research collated by LawPath's online Legal Health Check explained that few companies are fully on top of their legal paperwork and positioning. Specifically, when it comes to outlining the requirements of staff, the survey of some 500 small businesses across the country found that 73 per cent had no workplace policies in place.
Consequently, this is likely to present issues if an employee has a grievance, as many businesses have no protocols in place for such situations.
Taking the proactive approach
The main message from the survey by LawPath is that small business owners simply have to be proactive when it comes to compliance, and build a thorough understanding of their operations in line with any legal requirements.
"All too often we've found that it's just a matter of small businesses simply not being aware of the legal requirements they need to adhere to … Others avoid seeking legal advice entirely because of the cost and complexity associated with it. But the ramifications of not being compliant are just too big to ignore," explained Damien Andreasen, CEO of LawPath.
Utilising resources that are available online can help small business owners better understand compliance.
Mr Andreasen also went on to explain that there are a vast array of tools available that are ready and able to help small business owners better get to grips with compliance. There can be no denying that some of the rules and regulations imposed by the government are complex, so building an understanding is a must.
Leveraging data and fact sheets in the digital space is a solid first step. Moreover, small businesses that build their own resource centre around compliance, ensuring that they have the facility for all employees to learn more, will likely better avoid any legal complexities and pitfalls.