Commercial &
Business Law

Commercial & Business Law

Commercial and business law generally encompasses a body of laws and regulations relating to business and commerce.

Buying or Selling a Business?

If you are buying a business, or selling one, getting the right legal advice is vital.

If you are in the market to buy an existing business, you will want to get advice on what due diligence to perform, which other professionals you should speak with, and what the contract says you will be getting (or not getting).

If you are looking to sell your business, you will want to know that once the contract settles, your liability for the business has been transferred and that you get the funds promptly. You’ll also want to know that the contract has been well drafted and that you have complied with any disclosure or other obligations that you might have.

Business Structuring

If you are starting a business, one of the first steps you should take is deciding what your business structure will be. While it might be tempting to just apply for your ABN and operate as a sole trader, getting some legal advice is a good idea so you can determine whether this is the most appropriate structure for you. This might depend on whether you want to grow your business, whether you are going it alone, whether you want to form a partnership with someone else, or if your venture is a family affair.

Common business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, incorporated companies and family or unit trusts. Each have their own pros and cons and vary in their complexity, reporting requirements, treatment of income tax and level of asset and personal protection for the owners.

Whatever your circumstances and business goals, setting up the right structure from the beginning can help to avoid future headaches. We can help you decide on, and set up, the most appropriate structure for your business.

Commercial Agreements

Whatever you do in your business, chances are you will enter several contracts and agreements with other people or businesses. Business contracts set out the legal rights and responsibilities of each party to your negotiations and can cover numerous arrangements such as employment, licensing, the supply of goods or services, or the leasing of commercial/retail premises.

A business contract should clearly document the promises agreed between the parties, set out a balance of rights and responsibilities, and include important terms such as the scope of services or products to be provided, warranties and indemnities, and dispute resolution processes.

The subject matter of a contract can vary considerably, from a single transaction for the sale of a product, to the ongoing provision of services over many months. Some contracts will need to take into consideration, and comply with, specific consumer protection laws.

If you need a contract prepared for your business or have been presented with an agreement and you aren’t quite sure what it is you are signing up for, we recommend speaking to an experienced business lawyer.

Debt Collection

When it comes to running a business, debt collection can be a necessary evil. No matter how your relationship with your clients starts off, or how much you think you can trust them, sometimes clients just don’t pay an invoice when it falls due.

There are various ways to pursue an unpaid debt and choosing the most cost effective and appropriate method is important to avoid costly mistakes. Getting paid for an overdue invoice may be as simple as sending a well-drafted letter of demand to the debtor. Alternatively, you might need to take court action to recover the amount owed. If it is a company that owes you money, another option might include serving a statutory demand under the Corporations Act 2001.

If you find yourself spending time chasing debts and your calls are being ignored (or promises to pay are not kept), talk to one of our lawyers about what you can do next.

Commercial Litigation

Even with the best of intentions and efforts, you might find yourself needing to go to court. Whether you are trying to enforce a contract or payment, or you find yourself served with a statement of claim or summons, getting competent legal advice is essential. We have the expertise to guide you through the court processes to get you the best possible outcome, and are experienced in all aspects of alternative dispute resolution which can help you resolve your dispute as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

If you need assistance, contact us at [email protected] or call 02 6964 9343 for expert legal advice.