Social media feeds full of side hustle ideas? Have you set aside your evenings to get your side hustle off the ground? Don’t forget to take stock of the risks involved. Here’s a few things to think about.
1. Don’t forget your day job
Don’t get caught out – check your contract of employment and relevant policies which may contain provisions along these lines:
- Restraints to stop you competing against your employer – get advice if needed
- Requirements to disclose your other business activities, particularly if there’s any sort of commercial relationship between your employer and side hustle
- Even if not set out in these documents, you shouldn’t use your employer’s resources without their approval or confidential information (like client lists or process manuals) to further your business venture
2. Research your name
So you’ve picked a name for your product and/or business. Trademarking is recommended but perhaps you aren’t committed to the name or can’t fund that outlay just yet. At a minimum, make sure you won’t be infringing someone else’s intellectual property rights, which could be a very costly exercise, by doing some research like google searches and searching the trademarks register at IP Australia.
3. Pause to check your set up
There are many ways to manage risk including insurance and how you structure your business (for the latter, tax, accounting and legal advice is a good idea).
Agreements and other terms can also be a useful way to set out expectations and mitigate your risk. Documents you may wish to consider putting in place include:
- If you are going into a business with others, a partnership or shareholders agreement setting out how your arrangement will work
- Agreement for services if that’s what you are providing
- Non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements – get this signed before you provide information to further your conversations with funders, customers or suppliers for example, particularly if you have or will have valuable intellectual property rights
4. Customers = compliance management
If you are dealing with end-consumers there are a number of issues to be considered. Here are a few examples:
- Marketing: Do you have a process in place to ensure your ads, social media and statements on your website are not misleading and deceptive? If you are running an email marketing campaign, are you across the spam laws which include the need for an opt out?
- Complaints – While we all aim high, sometimes you can’t satisfy everyone. Are you ready to respond calmly, clearly and in compliance with the consumer guarantees?
Thank you for reading an Abledale Tale. As the name suggests, this isn’t advice, it’s just a story. Whether you are looking to incorporate or your company is established, please get in touch to discuss how we may be able to assist you.