YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN BUSINESS LAW
We’ve been practicing in Commercial and Business law for years. Our lawyers provide proactive advice and solutions to businesses and clients of all types and size. We can assist you with your business lease, partnership, trust, or company advice.
We are ready to advise clients on their business structure or on any area of Business law or Commercial law; including if they are purchasing a business, farm or commercial building. Book an appointment now for help with:
Asset Protection and Director Risks
Asset protection is extremely important and is sadly often overlooked by people who rush into business transactions. We have dedicated lawyers who can, in conjunction with your accounting and financial advisors, advise you on options as to how to minimise your risk.
Structuring your assets correctly can assist greatly in the event that your venture does not work out as planned and your investment or business runs into financial trouble in the future.
We can also assist with the following matters at a fixed price:
- Establishment of companies, trusts and self-managed superannuation funds;
- Changes of trustees and other roles;
- Variation to trust deeds.
Business Succession Planning
When you go into business or start a venture with one or more other persons, you often have good intentions at the start. However, sometimes unforeseen events can occur at a later stage. It is always a good idea to consider having one or more business succession agreements in place. Having appropriate documentation in place in the beginning can save lots of money down the track.
An agreement such as a “Shareholders Agreement” for a company (or a “Partnership Agreement” for a partnership) is an agreement between the parties that typically details each party's obligations and rights in respect of the management of the enterprise and what happens in the event of certain events occurring – such as death, incapacity, someone wanting to leave the enterprise, breach of terms of the Agreement, etc.
Our firm has been assisting farmers with all of their legal needs for generations. Our commercial and business lawyers have years of experience in:
- Buying, selling and leasing of farms, including cane, cattle and other produce;
- Leasehold land transactions;
- Water allocations and licences;
- Dealing with entities such as Mackay Sugar, Wilmar Sugar, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy;
- Interfamily rural transactions;
- Succession planning for farmers; and
- Vegetation management.
We have commercial lawyers with many years of experience that can assist you with the buying and selling of commercial and business land or other property.
Sale of Commercial Property
It is advisable to speak to a lawyer before offering a contract of sale. Our lawyers can assist in ensuring you are aware of your rights and obligations under the sale contract and assist in having the transaction completed smoothly. We can also assist you with related matters such as succession planning and superannuation to help you structure your assets appropriately or plan for your retirement and succession.
We always recommend that you seek accounting advice also so that you are aware of any tax issues such as capital gains tax.
If you are considering buying a commercial property, here are some things to consider:
Before signing a contract to purchase a commercial property, here are some of the matters that you should seek legal advice on:
- Do I need a due diligence period? Are there further investigations that I need to complete before I am “locked in” to an unconditional contract such as review of council information, building records, inspections, town planning and development potential, review of any leases relating to the building, financial situations of tenants, soil tests, title issues, fire safety compliance, valuations and other enquiries?
- Do I need any inspections or special condition relating to asbestos? Many older buildings contain asbestos and the law requires them to be managed appropriately. If you are not advised on any asbestos issues, then you risk opening yourself up to potential costs and liability down the track.
- Have I seen a Certificate of Classification? Certain buildings require a Certificate of Classification in order to be legally occupied and this Certificate must be displayed. If there have been improvements or additions to the building over time, then there should be approvals and certificates for these further works, depending on the age of the building. You should be fully informed about the situation relating to your purchase before committing to any contract.
- Is GST payable? It is very important that you seek accounting advice as to whether GST is payable and have your lawyer check that the contract adequately reflects the correct GST scenario and deals with problems that may arise later. For example, issues such as who is responsible for any penalties if the GST situation is assessed differently by the ATO, or alternative options if the ATO could assess the transaction in more than one way.
- How much stamp duty is payable? You should know the amount of stamp (transfer) duty and other costs that will be payable before signing a contract. You should also obtain tax advice from an accountant.
- Which entity should I purchase in? Is the buyer going to be Joe Bloggs, or Joe Bloggs Pty Ltd or Joe Bloggs Pty Ltd as trustee for the Bloggs Family Trust? Getting adequate asset protection advice from a lawyer is essential. It could be the difference between losing all of your assets or not in the event of financial trouble or insolvency. You should also get tax advice about which entity is appropriate. Often this is too complicated and expensive to change down the track, and should be organised before a contract is signed.
The above examples are simply some of the items to consider. There are many more other matters to consider, and these will often depend on the individual property. Our team of commercial lawyers can assist you in providing advice, negotiating on your behalf and completing the conveyancing process.
Get your commercial leasing matters sorted
Whether you are the landlord or tenant, we have lawyers that can assist you with all things leasing such as:
- Retail shop lease advice and compliance;
- Commercial lease or tenancy agreement advice;
- Drafting of new leases;
- Review of leases;
- Rental increases;
- Exercising of option terms; and
- Lease negotiations.
Retail Shop Leases
Where a lease is considered to be a “Retail Shop Lease” (under the relevant legislation), there are a number of obligations and limitations that apply. Both landlords and tenants need to be aware of their obligations, or there can be serious consequences such as rights for tenants to terminate the lease, risk of former tenants not being released from guarantor obligations, and possible Court or QCAT (Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal) disputes that can arise.
Buying and Selling a Business
Business conveyancing can be complicated. We have a team of experienced commercial and business lawyers that can assist with keeping the sale or buying process as streamlined as possible.
Our range of services include:
- Asset protection advice and structuring
- Drafting, advising and negotiating business sale/purchase contracts and considering the need for any special conditions personal to your circumstances;
- Review of franchise agreements;
- Review of leases, supplier contracts and other contracts associated with the business and assignment of these to the purchaser;
- Advice about stamp duty;
- Advices about business names and intellectual property;
- Personal Properties Securities Register checks and advice and ensuring securities are released at settlement; and
- Completing the conveyancing process.
Other Commercial and Business Law Matters - Guarantees, Loan Agreements, Personal Property Securities & Mortgages
Our experienced commercial and business lawyers can assist with many other commercial and business matters including:
- Review of bank contracts including advices to guarantors;
- Review of insurance contracts;
- Drafting and review of loan agreements
- Advice in relation to security arrangements and mortgages;
- Personal Properties and Securities Act agreements and advice; and
- Building and construction law.