Business Structures

Your Business Structure is important


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Business Structures

Whether you are starting a business, buying a franchise or franchising your business, the type of business structure you choose will affect your legal obligations moving forward.

We have set out below a description of the different business structures commonly used in Australia.


Sole Trader

As a sole trader, you are the sole business owner and you trade in your own name. All of the revenue and the liabilities of the business will accrue in your own name.

While this is the simplest business structure, it is also one of the riskiest business structures as it is difficult to protect your assets.



A partnership is a business structure involving two or more people. All of the revenue and liabilities of the business are shared between the partners.

It is advisable to have a partnership agreement prepared so that the rights and responsibilities of each of the partners are clearly set out.



A company is a separate legal entity which is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. It has its own assets and liabilities and its profits are taxed at the company tax rate.

A company’s business operations are controlled by its directors and owned by its shareholders. The company constitution sets out the rules applicable to the company and its directors. In addition a shareholders agreement sets out the arrangement between the shareholders.



A trust is a business structure in which the trustee operates the business. The trustee can be an individual or a corporation. The trustee holds income, property or assets for a group of beneficiaries. The powers and responsibilities of the trustee are set out in a trust deed.


Joint Venture

A joint venture is a business arrangement in which two or more parties (individuals or corporations) agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific business activity. In a joint venture each of the parties is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with the joint venture. The arrangement between the parties is set out in a joint venture agreement.


Our Services

Once you decide on the appropriate business structure we can attend to the appropriate requirements which may include:

  • registering a business name;
  • preparing a partnership agreement;
  • registering a company;
  • preparing a shareholders agreement;
  • preparing a trust deed;
  • preparing a joint venture agreement;
  • preparing loan deeds and charges.


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