Business Brain Food

We’ve all heard horror stories of successful businesses who get completely taken down by legal action. If you take the advice of our guest this week, you can make sure your business isn’t one of them. Joanna Oakey will go through all of the main pitfalls your business may be exposed to, and we promise; there isn’t a hint of legal jargon! This is all to-the-point advice that any business owner can benefit from hearing.

Joanna is a commercial lawyer with a passion for business, having worked across a large portfolio of sales, mergers, acquisitions, commercial law and intellectual property. She has been a keynote speaker in events across Australia, and we like her even more because she hosts her own podcast!

See below for some great legal tips from Joanna:

**  If your business is growing quickly then you are probably the most exposed to a legal challenge.

**  Not having a registered trademark is very dangerous. You are exposed to attack from two different angles. Firstly, an organisation with a brand similar to yours could bring a case; and secondly you are open to other competitors sprouting up and copying your brand.

**  With intellectual property the only thing you can protect is the expression of the idea, not the idea itself.

**  Don’t forget your clients. Have a strong client engagement agreement to cover yourself.

**  You should only think of your terms and conditions as something to fall back on when your legal team fights another legal team. You should really do what you can to avoid this scenario, so make sure you are explicit with the most important parts of your Ts & Cs during the buyer journey.

**  Make sure you protect yourself against unfair dismissal claims. Are your employee agreements what they should be?

**  The key is to have all of these things in place BEFORE you need them.


In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

**  How litigation really works

**  The definition of intellectual property

**  The definition of copyright

**  The definition of patents

**  How to apply for a trademark

**  Is clicking a box accepting terms & conditions legally binding?

**  What protection an employee probationary period actually offers

**  How to restrain ex-employees


Resources mentioned in this episode:

**  Free business advice and tools from Ben:

**  If any listeners have a business and want to know more about their legal coverage, you can have a FREE 40-minute consultation with Joanna. Simply go to and type in “I want my free 40-minute session, I’m a Business Brain Food listener" in the enquiry field.

**  Joanna’s Podcast is called Talking Law. If you type that into itunes or google you will easily be able to find it and subscribe.

**  The Business Brain Food Facebook group:

**  All previous BBF episodes & show notes can be found at

**  Twitter:


Call to action:

Remember what Joanne kept going back to: have your legal frameworks in place BEFORE you have a problem. You could save yourself a lot of time, money, and maybe even your entire business!

Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!

Until next time, have a profitable day!

Ben Fewtrell
(02) 9111 5000