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Starting a new Babysitter marketplace business - what legal steps do I need to do?

Discussion in 'Business Legal Issues' started by FinnMcCool, 13th May, 2017.

  1. FinnMcCool

    FinnMcCool Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm creating a new 'Babysitter marketplace' service. It's where babysitters can register a profile and parents can search for them and make bookings.

    I have been careful to ensure this is simply a marketplace, where my service only introduces two parties to conduct business, and not a babysitting agency (nor are the babysitter considered employees, wear uniforms, or anything like that - it's more like Uber). I do however make a very small commission (5%) on each booking.

    I have a separate bank account, separate email address, website however I re-used an old ABN I had in my own name (well, I actually tried to make a new one, but the government told me I already have one and should use that!).

    I can see exisiting babysitter services such as FindABabysitter.com.au that are operating and are very similar.

    What should be my next steps as far as protecting myself here? Obviously I'll have T&Cs and try and spell it out every at every opportunity that I cannot accept liability for the babysitters on the site, however I just want to make sure I've done everything I possibly can.

    I'm happy to sit down with a lawyer, but I don't want to be scared away of doing this due to liability given there are other websites out there doing the same thing just fine.


    FMc.
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    But are they?

    Just because someone else takes huge risks, doesn't mean that you should.

    I would never operate a business like this - where the risks are somewhat greater than zero - using my own name. At least get a basic Pty Ltd company structure in place. As the director, you'll still potentially be liable if stuff goes really wrong - but you get a lot more flexibility.
     
  3. FinnMcCool

    FinnMcCool Member

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    Yes, absolutely. I will be getting advice on this and a basic Pty Ltd company structure (or whatever is most appropriate) setup.

    I do have the option of re-purposing the app into a 'Find a Cleaner' application, which I'm starting to think exposes me to a lot less risk... (naturally a couple months re-work will be required :( )
     
  4. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Why stop there?

    How about other home services? Lawn mowers / gardening? Dog walkers? Pool cleaners?

    Of course, you're starting to compete with the likes of Airtasker there though.
     
  5. FinnMcCool

    FinnMcCool Member

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    Yes - that is the plan.
     
  6. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Member

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    Employment of minors is a minefield. A far higher duty of care and contractual problems
     
  7. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Member

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    Passing off may be the first issue. You indicated follow a competitor model on a public forum
     
  8. FinnMcCool

    FinnMcCool Member

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    Hi Paul. I do not plan to hire minors, or any babysitters at all. My understanding is that they will not be employees, similar to Uber, Foodora, Deliveroo, etc.

    Sorry, I don't understand - passing off?
     
  9. FinnMcCool

    FinnMcCool Member

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    Can you point me in the right direction on this? I tried to register an ABN however it rejected me I already have one from some prior contracting I did in the past.

    Is this something I can do myself (with help from some forum posts) or a question for an Accountant, or Lawyer (or both)?
     
  10. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Member

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    Corkey likes this.
  11. FinnMcCool

    FinnMcCool Member

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