solicitor Tag

A discretionary trust is a great way to separate different assets and protect these from business risk.  A discretionary trust works by separating "ownership" from "control".  By using a trust you may ensure that your personal assets are not put at risk.  Trusts are based on legal technicalities, so it is necessary to take care, simple technical failures in the management can undo the protection that a trust offers.  Too often we find that advisors do not take care to ensure that the arrangement actually works, or having set up the trust properly, over time the original intention of protecting the asset is forgotten.  Please read our story about Ralph to see how the most carefully constructed trust will not offer protection when improperly managed.

Riba Business Lawyers Most people think that businesses have to register a business name.  They are not correct.  You can always trade using your own name or your company name and it is not necessary to separately register a business name. Of course there are some rules that must be followed if you chose to do this. Firstly you must trade using your full name.  In the case of company this means using all of the name of the company and this includes the end part of that name.  For example a company called The Groovy Herb Pty Ltd must in all documentation signage etc. include the whole of that name which means writing "Pty Ltd" on everything.

It is quite common for Franchise Agreements to contain clauses which have a significant effect on the way in which the sale contract should be drafted.  If  a contract for the sale of a Franchised business is signed without first reading the Franchise Agreement and checking any requirements, then it may be difficult to unravel the resulting mess. There is a lengthy list of things that need to be checked.  If  steps are not taken to ensure compliance, then it is likely that any sale contract will be in conflict with the Franchise Agreement.  This problem can be difficult to resolve because the sale contract may oblige the seller to do one thing and the Franchise Agreement may prohibit the doing of that same thing.

Going to court is expensive.  It is so expensive that many commercially minded people would rather pay someone money that is not owed, or walk away from money that is owing, just to avoid legal costs. While some business people take this practical approach, others want to stand up for the principle of the matter.  Having principles can however be very expensive. It is true that because legal costs are high, even a win may feel like a loss.  Legal costs are sometime higher than the value of the dispute. Lawyers have a saying that "costs follow the event".  In other words, normally the winner of legal proceedings will receive an order that their costs should be paid, by the losing party.  We mention some exceptions below. Here we should pause to think about what this means:

Dealing firstly with whether it is possible to franchise your business.

If your business:

  • was only established in recent years,
  • has not been tested over time in a range of economic conditions,
  • is not a respected and recognizable brand in your local area,
  • does not utilize  operational documentation relating to the processes employed in that business,
  • is not strongly supported by employed managers who are fans of the business,
  • does not utilize a patent or other assets that other potential business owners would value and
  • does not produce a healthy profit after factoring in the franchisors anticipated administration and promotions costs

then you are probably not ready to franchise.

When a retailer purchases from a wholesaler or a manufacturer the retailer must ensure that they know the limitations of the goods purchased.  If the goods are faulty then the retailer may be liable to any subsequent buyer.

Whenever a retailer sells goods to a consumer there is a sale agreement and conditions are implied into that agreement.  Consumers may make use of these conditions to successfully claim against a retailer.

The stakes can be high!  If a product is not fit for a purpose it may cause damage and necessitate rectification works the cost of which may go well beyond the cost of the goods supplied.

If your Tenant has failed to pay rent or is in breach of some other essential term of the Lease, you may decide that terminating the Lease and searching for a new Tenant is the best way for you to limit your losses.   It may be, for instance, that the tenant is impecunious.

Before you will be able to “change the locks” and re-enter your property, Section 124(1) of the Property Law Act provides that you must first serve on your Tenant a notice which states the breach complained of and what the Tenant has to do to remedy the breach.

It is in your best interests that any breach notice is issued correctly the first time.  You must ensure that the breach notice is factually accurate and complies with the technical requirements imposed by law.

Providing a defective notice can be costly.

Firstly, a defective notice may give the Tenant the ability to have the notice set aside. This would force you to re-issue the notice thus delaying your efforts to terminate the Lease. This may allow the Tenant to continue to occupy the Premises while in breach until such time as the notice is re-issued correctly.

One of the problems with our modern legal and business system is that it is exploited by those who know how to exploit it.  Yet, for others who genuinely need the protection, that these systems were designed to provide, the red tap and excessive cost, makes help impossible to obtain.

We see this commonly in disputes relating to unpaid debts and money owed due to breach of contract.  A person who owes money, may well know that it is often not worthwhile for a creditor to pursue payment.  This is because the legal cost of chasing payment is too great.  A debtor who believes that a creditor will not chase payment is unfortunately less likely to pay.

I have included some links at the end of this article that may assist anyone who is owed money.

Fortunately since December 2009 QCAT (Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal) has

Lots of people have great ideas but, do not have the time, the focus or the money, to implement or advance those ideas.  In these times, which many business people see as, uncertain times, people are not prepared to take a risk, even if the potential reward is handsome.

There are however ways of reducing the cost and risk associated with the development of  an idea, project or business, while at the same time obtaining access to a bank of  ideas, knowledge and resources, at no upfront cost.  Yes, less cost and a better chance of success!  It is possible!

The Australian Consumer Law has replaced various State and Territory laws from 1 January 2011.  This means that business and consumers throughout Australia are now governed by the same consumer laws.

The ACL is found in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) The Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) has been repealed and many of its provisions now appear in the Competition and Consumer Act. Some parts of the Competition and Consumer Act mirror the wording of the Trade Practices Act, however there have been significant changes to the provisions of the Trade Practices Act. The numbering of the Act has changed therefore Businesses that use documents that refer to the Trade Practices Act and its various provisions should amend those documents so that they now refer to the correct provision of the Competition and Consumer Act.