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More Aussie businesses now looking to grow e-commerce amid COVID-19

More Aussie businesses now looking to grow e-commerce amid COVID-19 article image

Commercial law firm, LegalVision, reports a 52 per cent increase in enquiries from people interested in setting up online businesses in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first.

After mining more than 9,500 enquiries between January and June this year, the Australian law firm found businesses are now undergoing digital transformation to recession-proof themselves during the global pandemic.

The data showed a 17 per cent increase in business structuring enquiries, including new business formation, partnership structuring and business owners protecting assets through trusts.

The firm also saw a 27 per cent increase in regulatory and compliance enquiries as more businesses look to import more goods or obtain licenses to trade online. Intellectual property enquiries also saw a 27 per cent increase.

And more businesses are looking to register trademarks and patents to protect their brand and inventions, says LegalVision CEO Lachlan McKnight. This is tied in with the increase in online businesses.

“The overall results show a fascinating insight into what’s happening on the ground for not only businesses trying to survive, but also for those who have lost their jobs,” Mr McKnight says.

Debt recovery and unpaid invoices

Many businesses are now looking to get privacy policies, terms and conditions and shareholders agreements drafted as they prepare to launch new businesses or move their existing business online.

Also, the firm saw a 12 per cent increase in dispute enquiries.

“We’ve anecdotally been dealing with more businesses experiencing issues around debt recovery and unpaid invoices due to economic uncertainty and business shutdowns, unfortunately,” said Mr McKnight.

“We’ve seen a 29 per cent decrease in corporate immigration enquiries with fewer businesses hiring talent from overseas because of border shutdowns.

“There has also been a 24 per cent decrease in enquiries around selling businesses, with a recessionary economic climate not conducive to be selling a business right now.”

Innovation is key

In the US, many new startups emerged following the global GFC, Mr McKnight notes.

This included Instagram, WhatsApp, Uber, Airbnb and Slack, which became multi-billion dollar enterprises.

Australia’s last recession was in 1991 and the country has “some catching up to do” when it comes to innovation and digital transformation, he says.

“Our companies can either choose to be those that innovate like Disney or Apple or maintain business as usual like Blockbuster and Toys “R” Us.

“I know what we’ll be recommending to our clients!”

LegalVision is a multi-award winning firm that offers legal advice on all aspects of corporate and commercial law including business, employment, disputes, franchise, IT, IP, startups and property.

Mr McKnight says the company is intent on disrupting the traditional law firm business model.

The firm recently launched a new subscription service offering unlimited lawyer consultations and free legal templates starting at $199 a month.

“Our subscription service has had a 129% per cent uplift in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the first.”

Lachlan McKnight … ‘it’s time for innovation'

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