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Before a new practice can begin operation it must meet requirements of the Australian Tax Office, the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner, and the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014.

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Business planning is about developing strategies to achieve the goals of the practice. Find out the steps the LIV have suggested in order to prepare a business plan.

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Establishing a suitable working environment not only influences the momentum within your practice but can also affect first impressions from clients and colleagues.

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Running a legal practice has two critical aspects.  One is effectively practising law by offering high standard legal services to clients.  The other is running a profitable business.

Making sure the practice of law and the running of a business are complementary and successful requires effective practice management.

Whether you’re starting a practice or acquiring an existing one, there are a number of practical steps to setting up a new legal practice.

The following websites also provide relevant information, forms and checklists:


  • LIV Practice Management Course

    This course has been expertly designed to provide the essential business and financial knowledge and skills to help lawyers transition to principal of their own practice or move into partnership.

    Read more
  • Starting a practice checklist

    Download the checklist 'Starting a practice' and view the items you should consider prior to establishing your own practice.

    Download the PDF
  • Business structure checklist

    Download the checklist 'Business structure' and view the items you should consider prior to establishing your own practice.

    Download the PDF
  • Business planning checklist

    Download the 'Business plan' checklist and view the components that should be considered and incorporated in your business plan.

    Download the PDF
  • Buying a practice checklist

    Download the checklist 'Buying a practice' and receive guidance when considering the purchase of an existing practice.

    Download the PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a suitable business structure?

    A suitable business structure is one that accommodates the requirements of the practice, complies with the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (the LPUL Act) and is approved by the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner (VLSBC).

    It is highly recommended to seek specialist advice to assist the selection of an appropriate practice structure.

  • What are the steps to starting a practice
    1. Choose the major business structure that best suits your practice objectives:
    2. Comply with regulatory requirements specific to your business structure. These include written notice to the VLSBC using the approved, structure-specific form  
    3. Consider whether to form a professional service trust (PST)  
    4. Outline an appropriate management system  
    5. Negotiate the contents of the partnership agreement (if applicable)

    Refer to the business structure checklist (pdf).

  • What are the steps to buying an existing practice?

    While many practitioners begin a practice from scratch, another option is to buy an existing practice. 
    Before buying a practice:

    • Get essential information on the practice for sale from the owners
    • Explore the current client base for opportunities for expansion
    • Consider keeping the current owners as consultants or employees
    • Have the practice valued before purchasing
    • Understand the tax implications of the purchase

    Check the ‘Buying a practice’ Checklist