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Data & Privacy

Data and Privacy Policy Guide for your Startup

As a startup it is becoming increasingly vital to establish effectual data and privacy protection policies and procedures. This is particularly important in today’s technological landscape as most private information is collected and stored online. Without the proper legal protection in place, your startup will run the risk of breaching privacy laws, exposing your venture to hefty fines and irreparable damage to your brand. Some startups choose to develop their own privacy and data protection agreements; however, this may leave some aspects of your venture vulnerable if the right legislation is not included. At Allied Legal, we suggest consulting a commercial lawyer to draft the necessary documents for your Australian startup. Depending on the nature of your startup, we recommend the following agreements as a starting point: 

Confidentiality Agreements 

A startup’s confidentiality agreement protects your startup in the event an employee or client is no longer involved with your startup. An employee confidentiality agreement, also called a non-disclosure agreement, is a contract between your startup and your employees. The contract should protect the confidential aspects of your venture such as manufacturing processes, price lists, marketing plans, customer lists, business plans, financial information, software, and other types of information.

Why Do I Need a Confidentiality Agreement?

Your startup needs a confidentiality agreement to protect what makes your startup your startup. An agreement will also help you to identify what categories of your startup’s information are secret. For example, some businesses may view their client lists as confidential whereas others may wish to protect their internal processes. Once identified, these aspects will need to be outlined in a startup’s confidentiality conditions.

A good confidentiality agreement will specify that your Australian startup will be irreparably harmed if there were to be a breach of the confidentiality agreement. This will make it easier to obtain an injunction to stop a team member from disclosing your startup’s confidential information. To learn more about injunction reliefs you can select the link

Terms and Conditions

Should I Prepare Terms and Conditions for my Startup’s Website?

In today’s world an online presence is essential. This enhances the need for a comprehensive set of terms and conditions for your startup. A startup’s terms and conditions are essentially a contract between you and your clients. They govern the terms upon which you conduct your online business and supply goods and services. Your startup’s terms and conditions should be tailored to meet the needs of your venture. It is necessary to determine the type of transactions your business will be entering into and include clauses accordingly such as refund polices, payment terms, dispute resolution and privacy policy guides. Due to the complicated processes involved in drafting terms and conditions for your startup, we recommend consulting a commercial lawyer. In preparing your own terms and conditions, you risk them not being up to date with relevant startup laws or not covering all relevant matters and probabilities. 

Privacy Policies 

A good privacy policy is an important feature for a successful startup. Not only will your startup’s privacy policy guide your startup, but it will also reassure your clients as to the safety of their personal information when engaging with your venture. A startup or small business’ privacy policy should outline how your startup intends to collect, use, and store client information within its’ internal operations.

Does My Startup Need a Privacy Policy?

Australia has strict privacy laws. However, the same laws do not apply to all businesses. The Privacy Act 1988 (the Act) only applies to businesses with an annual turnover of $3 million or more. If your startup has a turnover of less than $3 million, then you’re considered a ‘small business’ for the purposes of the Act, and the Act does not apply, unless you fall into a specific industry such as a health practice or credit reporting industry. If you operate a startup or small business, then your legal privacy obligations are fairly minimal. But this doesn’t mean that you should forget about drafting a privacy policy for your small business altogether. For example, the Act includes specific matters that some startups and small businesses are required to comply with including regulations regarding the handling of an individuals’ consumer credit information and the handling of tax file number information.

At Allied Legal, we recommend that all startups have a well drafted privacy policy in place. A privacy policy for your small business or startup will depend on the nature of your venture. However, there are key policies your startup should always address, regardless of your offering, including how you plan to store private client data. To read more about what your startup should include in your privacy policy you can select the link.

Should I be Updating my Privacy Policy?

You have probably seen the familiar banner emails from businesses informing you that they’ve updated their privacy policy or terms of use and wondered ‘should I be doing the same?’. The short answer is, yes. Startups are required by law to update their privacy policies or be in breach of data protection policies. A startup will need to update their policy in response to a myriad of factors such as changes to laws and regulations or to comply with new international policy. For a completed list of why you may need to update your startup or small business’ privacy policy, you can follow the link.

At Allied Legal, our commercial lawyers can help guide you through the complicated terrain of data and privacy legislation. Our experts assist diverse startups in Australia and around the world daily. If you would like to find out more about our free consultations, privacy policy guides, or if you would like to have an agreement drafted by one of our experts, you can connect with us on 03 8691 3111 or send us an email at hello@alliedlegal.com.au.


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