Business owners should obtain legal advice in relation to any matter that they are unsure about, to ensure the sustainability and continued growth of their business, minimise commercial risk, and to protect owners and directors from personal liability wherever possible.
Business sales and purchases
There are many considerations when selling or purchasing a business. We regularly advise on the sale and purchase of multifaceted businesses, assisting with:
- preparing complex sale and purchase agreements;
- conducting due diligence enquiries;
- preparing shareholder agreements;
- preparing complex deeds of settlement; and
- transferring leases and business assets.
Our business and commercial law team has expertise in a range of transactions, with particular focus on the sale and purchase of accounting practices, financial planning practices, medical and physiotherapy practices, post offices and all types of franchises.
Legal structure and risk management
To successfully operate a business, owners need to make sure they have received appropriate advice and have the correct structures and safeguards in place.
The various legal structures and entities through which a business may be operated have different benefits, strengths and weaknesses, varying levels of protection for owners, and degrees of complexity. Our business and commercial law team can assist you with making an informed decision as to whether you should run your business as a sole proprietor, partnership, registered company, or through a trust.
Reducing risk in the operation of a business through the preparation and implementation of commercial documents is of vital importance, which documents include:
- asset protection policies;
- partnership agreements;
- shareholder agreements;
- unit holding agreements;
- buy-sell agreements; and
- terms of trade / terms of engagement.
If you or your organisation are owed money that is overdue, we can assist in recovering payment of the outstanding debt. Many people do not realise that:
- debtors often repay money after receiving an initial letter of demand from a lawyer, which need not be an expensive or time-consuming process;
- a creditor may file proceedings in Court seeking payment of an unpaid debt and, if the debt remains unsatisfied, apply for judgement which enables enforcement proceedings to be taken against the debtor;
- signing judgment against a debtor can adversely affect their credit rating, which may only be rectified by them clearing the judgment debt;
- in many cases, a portion of your legal costs and court filing fees may be recouped with debt recovery proceedings; and
- a company that owes a debt may be wound up if it does not satisfy or successfully set aside a valid statutory demand within 21 days of the demand being served.
Business contracts such as service and supply agreements or licence agreements are fundamental to any business, and set out the legal rights and responsibilities of the parties to a commercial transaction.
The subject matter of a contract can vary considerably, from a single transaction for the sale of one product, to the ongoing provision of services over several months.
Intellectual Property and Trademarks
Business owners often underestimate the importance of protecting their intellectual property rights. Intellectual property includes brands, logos, designs, inventions, patents, and trade secrets.
Copyright laws form an important part of commercial law by protecting against the exploitation of original work, and providing remedies to those who suffer loss through infringement.
Registering a trademark of a brand or logo is an inexpensive way of protecting your business’ image and identity. Trademarks can be registered nationally or internationally, depending on the needs of your business.
Our commercial and business law team will discuss your individual circumstances, to assist in you in developing risk minimisation processes, and if necessary, resolving commercial disputes before you are required to incur significant costs and expenses in relation to the same.