January 12 2022

Starting a Law Firm in Australia Checklist

Planning for success Are you contemplating launching your private law firm in Australia? There were 18,748 private law firms as of 2018, delivering legal servic...

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Planning for success

Are you contemplating launching your private law firm in Australia? There were 18,748 private law firms as of 2018, delivering legal services across Australia. 

That number may have increased or decreased, owing to the prevalence of splits and mergers in the legal industry. Over 70 thousand solicitors decorate the Australian Law industry, valued at $23.0 billion in 2021.

But how do you get started? It is a lucrative, competitive industry and will require you to lay down strategies, follow a few steps, and devise means of winning clients. The numbers may be intimidating at first, but when you master your craft, you will realise that there is enough opportunity for everyone.

Business Structure

These are the must-have items before you delve into your preferred practice. You may endeavour to start as a;

  • Partnership with your law colleagues
  • As a sole practitioner.
  • An incorporated legal practice (ILP).

Tax

Once you work on the above, there are several mandatory boxes you have to tick to be in the right books with the taxman. Your law firm has to meet Australian Tax Office (ATO) requirements before you can begin operations. These requirements are;

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
  • Collection of Payroll Tax (CPT)

Both the fringe benefits tax and the collection of payroll tax are not mandatory and are only applicable where necessary. To avoid inconvenience, you may register for them, and as your firm grows, you are sure that there will be zero setbacks.

Legal Practice Regulatory Requirements

After taxation, legal regulatory requirements come next. They are quite a handful, but they are all necessary;

  • Registration for a new law firm at Legal Services Board and Commissioner (LSBC)
  • Seek, and get a Practicing Certificate for legal practitioners in Australia.
  • Laid down frameworks for annual LSBC statutory payments
  • Get training on Trust Account Management. It is a mandatory requirement if you plan to operate a trust account.
  • Get a trust bank account and inform your regional legal authority board, and hire an external auditor.
  • Seek and obtain Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Once done with the above tax-related and statutory regulations, you are through with the vitals for opening a law firm in Australia. You then advance to the non-vital requirements, which are equally important. These will help you smoothly launch and grow your firm and possibly outmanoeuvre and subdue teething problems that plague many start-ups.

The Non-essentials, But Equally Important

1. The workforce

Here, you will need to hire qualified personnel to handle different responsibilities in the firm. Established smaller firms may have front office managers, Human relations managers, consultants, partners and more. But as a startup, you may find that part-time help in administration and bookkeeping will let you focus on client delivery and billable hours.

As you grow, establishing a vibrant workforce can be a great accelerator in the early years of your firm.

2. Marketing

Strategic marketing will help your firm create an online presence, attract leads, close them into clients, serve them and retain them. Today’s satisfied customers can quickly become marketers themselves through word of mouth and referrals.

Depending on your goals, you may look into marketing tactics like digital advertising through search engines like Google, producing and promoting relevant content that attracts potential clients, building your brand through events and public relations, and investing in a website that acts as your 24-7 salesperson.

3. Technology

Nascent firms need legal technology systems for secure communications, time management, organisation of documents and emails, automation of precedents, time-tracking, streamlining matters and more.

Enter mattero, software engineered for lawyers. It is tweaked to streamline everyday business tasks and undoubtedly makes launching your law firm in Australia a breeze. It is a feature-laden platform that simplifies daily activities and acts as an all-knowing, all-recalling personal assistant. It features smart integration, which helps you work smarter, manage different components of your firm, and save lots of time.

Parting Shot

Starting a law firm in Australia may seem daunting at first, but you are good to go once you list down all the required documentation, training, and licenses. It may take some time to have it all together, but the venture is worth all the hassle. However, you will save time and work smart if you adopt the right tech for the job, and that is where mattero comes in. Get an instant free trial of mattero today to see how it can power your firm’s early growth.

Learn More

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Law ganised get organised
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Bright side family law
CatcherLegal_logo_1-line
Private mediation
Law ganised get organised
Evans Planning Law Logo_Navy_Landscape
sunland_legal_logo
Bright side family law
CatcherLegal_logo_1-line
Private mediation
Law ganised get organised
Evans Planning Law Logo_Navy_Landscape
sunland_legal_logo
Bright side family law
CatcherLegal_logo_1-line
Private mediation
Law ganised get organised
Evans Planning Law Logo_Navy_Landscape
sunland_legal_logo
Bright side family law
CatcherLegal_logo_1-line
Private mediation
Law ganised get organised
Evans Planning Law Logo_Navy_Landscape

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