Business structure advice lawyers Melbourne and Ballarat

How you structure your business can affect the amount of tax that you pay, the paperwork you need and even the decisions you can make.

Our experienced business advice lawyers can help you choose the best structure for your business both now and in the future.

Business structures

There are several different ways that you can structure your business. The most common business structures are:

Sole trader

If you’re the only owner of your business and do not have many staff, this is often the simplest business structure. You are responsible for all the decisions and benefit from all the profits of the business but are also liable for all the costs;


A partnership often involves between two and 20 people going into business together. Some may choose to have limited liability in the business or the partners may share responsibility for the liabilities and losses of the business. The partners can also agree how the profits are shared;


Companies are owned by shareholders and have directors and a board who operate the business. A company can be established with just one shareholder and director or with many. Companies can also be public, where others can purchase shares in them, or private;

Joint venture

If you are doing a specific project with at least one more person or business you may choose to set up a joint venture. This isn’t an ongoing business, but is a business structure that sets out each person’s rights and responsibilities in the project; and


A trust may distribute its profits to its beneficiaries and is operated by a trustee. Trusts can be quite tricky to set up correctly but are useful if you want to protect some of the business assets for the beneficiaries.

What to consider when choosing a structure

There are many different factors that can impact what type of business structure best suits your needs and objectives. Some things to consider include:

  • How much control do you want to have over decisions about the business?
  • What are the tax implications of your structure?
  • How do you want profits of the business to be distributed?
  • What ongoing administrative costs and reporting are involved in maintaining the business structure?
  • How much liability are you willing to have over the business debts and losses?
  • How long do you expect to be in business for?
  • What assets do you have?

Why MNG Lawyers

Our business structure lawyers can explain the pros and cons of each business structure and help you determine the best choice for your operations. They can even guide you on the business registrations and administrative requirements that you’ll need to complete, and do all the paperwork for you. Our lawyers also work closely with your accountants to ensure that the best outcome possible is achieved for you.

What Our Clients Says

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can change your business structure if you find it no longer meets your needs. Depending on the complexity of your business and the structure you have and want to change to, changing how it’s structured can be relatively simple or may be quite costly.

While it’s not always essential that you have an agreement, for some business structures we recommend that you do have an agreement. For example, a partnership agreement would set out the rights and responsibilities of the partners. Similarly, a shareholders agreement sets out the obligations and rights of shareholders in a company. If you’re establishing a trust, you will need a trust deed to be drawn up.

Some business structures do require specific legal registrations. For example, a sole trader doesn’t have to register their business but a company must be registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Regardless, if you have a business name that you use publicly it may be worthwhile registering your business name.

Get in touch today, always in confidence.

We’re here to help. It’s our top priority to ensure your needs and concerns are met every step of the way.
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