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Business Operations

If you are going to run a business you need to understand the basic rules relating to contracts. There are all sorts of contracts so, when you've read our Advice Guide on the topic generally, choose from our website the type of contract you want or contact us to discuss.

Have a look at our Advice Guide for some tips to consider when you’re negotiating.


Getting the most out of e-commerce means using your website not just as an online brochure but to transact business as seamlessly as possible. This may extend to empowering your customers to carry out real-time buying or ordering of your product. You’ll need to consider a lot of issues in both setting up the online facility as well as the customer transactions themselves. The latter will require a specific set of sales terms that would not apply to a real world transaction. Don’t sell your business short by using documents you find elsewhere and don’t really understand. Ask us for help.

Businesses that write software or develop applications, and those that commission the writing of specific software or applications, should know precisely what is involved in their agreement. There is much to consider, including specifications, changes to specifications, approval process, delivery schedule, acceptance testing, price and payment, project management, access to source code, warranties, indemnities, termination, disputes, and of course later support of the software. Don’t rely on documents you find elsewhere and don’t really understand. Let us help you customise the contract and properly protect your business.

If your business is writing and developing software or applications, you will want to license your product carefully to ensure there are no gaps in your rights to control your intellectual property. There is much to consider, such as the term, the fees, installation, termination, source code quarantining, upgrades, warranties, reverse engineering, liability limitation, and of course what support you will offer your customers and perhaps even their customers. We can provide clear and practical documents and advice to protect either the business licensing their software or the business seeking to use that software.

Sales

How you access good sales people can say a lot about how successful your enterprise might eventually be. At one end there’s the employed salesman on a wage and at the other the pure commission agent. Wherever along that line you choose to position your sales force, the important thing is that everyone knows precisely what their rights and duties are.

One of the classic ways to leverage your business is by using distributors to sell your products or services rather than employed sales people. Distributorships can be extremely profitable for both parties if the two sides have the right attitude and have carefully considered the issues. A good agreement is fundamental to that success, even more so if the product supplier is overseas.

Leases

For landlords we can provide easy-to-access leases along with all the strategic and legal advice you need to understand the issues and how to deal with them. For tenants we can review the lease you’re being asked to sign, highlight the danger areas and negotiate any changes.

Loans

Easy-to-access loan agreements along with all the strategic and legal advice you need to understand the issues and how to deal with them. Click here for information on The Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA)

The PPSA catches many types of everyday business transactions. Failure to understand and comply with the PPSA could have significant adverse effects on your business, particularly because registration of the security interest is vital to the priority and enforcement of the security interest and is key to protecting business assets. Click here for more information.

Trade Secrets

Pure ideas are not property and cannot be ‘owned’. They are therefore hard to protect – hard, but not impossible with the right planning and a good confidentiality agreement.

It was estimated that a few years ago the total value of intellectual property in the world surpassed the total value of the world’s real estate! Your intellectual property needs protection through one of the legislative protection regimes (copyright, patent, trade marks or registered designs), through well-drafted agreements that limit the prospect of abuse or if necessary through court enforcement of your rights.

Companies

The company’s constitution is its rule book. Most people simply buy a shelf company and hope for the best. Is your company’s constitution the best it can be? Does it help you specifically with your corporate operations in the safest way possible?

At well over 2,000 pages the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and Regulations is second only to the taxation legislation in terms of size and complexity. If you use a company to run your business you’re going to need help to ensure you comply. We offer that help on all matters associated with the running of a company.

Often non-executive directors are so happy to be asked to sit on the board of a company they forget that a massive amount of responsibility comes with the role – responsibility that can quickly turn into liability if things go wrong. While a quality contract between the company and the non-executive director can’t limit that liability, it can provide a number of important rights that could make things a lot easier for the non-exec if the sheriff is at the door.

When things go wrong the liquidator, the creditors, the staff, the suppliers, the tax office and ASIC all come gunning for the directors. Protect your position in advance by knowing your duties and meeting them in the way the courts have directed.

Customers

When you extend credit to customers you are giving them a loan. The biggest lenders to business after the banks are the trade creditors? Would you give a loan to a complete stranger that you knew nothing about? So why grant credit on that basis. Let us help you develop a quality credit application form which captures all the necessary information – just in case things go wrong.

Whether you sell business goods or services, or buy them from others, you need to understand the issues relating to the sales terms that apply to the transaction. Those terms form the contract for the deal and if something goes wrong it will be too late to complain that the contract didn’t provide what you wanted.

Trusts

Following the decision in Bamford's Case and the passing of the Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No.5) Act, trustees of discretionary trusts may need to consider the issue of streaming capital gains or franked dividends to specific beneficiaries. Trust deed amendment may be necessary. However it may be that no amendment is needed and that the trustee can achieve streaming simply by resolution.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

A legal audit is a systematic review of the business’ activities and documents to ensure compliance with all necessary laws and regulations and to provide a snapshot of the business’ risks in the future. It is surprising that many businesses see such audits as unnecessary or a luxury. What could be more important than safeguarding the future of the business and its owners and operators in this way?

The rule book for how businesses compete with one another is the trade practices legislation. The laws cover behaviour which is anti-competitive along with provisions to protect the consumer. Every business needs to ensure it is acting according to the rule book because the penalties can be very severe.

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