Take a look at the articles we have published so far:
As a general rule, a company provides its shareholders with ‘limited liability’. This means that the extent of resources a shareholder risks when they invest in an enterprise is limited to the amount of capital they put into the company (or agree to put in). If the company runs out of resources, or gets hit with a nasty surprise, the capital may all be lost, but the shareholders are not obliged to put anything additional in. They have just ‘done their doe’.The limitation of liability for shareholders has not really changed much over the centuries that limited liability companies have been around. What has changed, is the role and responsibility of directors.
As a general rule, Budgets try to please as many people as possible, and upset as few as possible. This strategy is even more important for a Budget in an election year - when short-term memories are still likely to be working on polling day.
As a business owner, you trust your employees to be honest. It’s therefore every employer’s worst fear to find out that an employee has been stealing from you. But what if then, that employee sues you, and your lawyer tells you that employee has a case?
Indemnities are often treated like a ‘standard’ or ‘boilerplate’ contract clause, when they are anything but. If they are ignored or overlooked, you could be in trouble when something goes wrong. However, when used properly, indemnity clauses can help you to manage your risk when entering into an agreement.
As a lawyer, you really savour the great deals you get to assist great clients with. Find out about just such a deal we recently had the fortune of being entrusted with.
The ATO is using Director Penalty Notices more often. However, the ATO officers are only human and they can make mistakes. There are four main ways in which your DPN may be challenged.
You would think this is obvious. Some of us can still remember our first school savings account with the State Bank, pink piggybank and all… But when you start involving companies, trusts and partnerships, things can get a little more complicated.
The 7 year anniversary of transitional and original Personal Property Security registrations is coming up soon. That means that many security interest registrations will automatically expire on 30 January 2019 if they not rectified or renewed.
If you are involved with an incorporated association or considering setting one up, then chances are you have come across the term ‘model rules’. Did you know that you do not have to use the model rules? Incorporated associations can choose to write their own rules. Here are 5 things to consider when preparing or updating your incorporated association’s rules.
The departure of an employee can be a difficult time for your business. It is also a time that your business is exposed to the potential for real damage. If you establish a clear and consistent process for departing employees, you can protect your business and minimise the impact on staff and customers. Use our ‘departing employees’ checklist to protect your business.
We have written a lot of technical stuff about selling a business. But we’re finding that more and more people want to understand the best high-level strategy to actually conclude a deal. This article sets out the key steps.
Most Shareholder Agreements, Constitutions and Partnership Agreements provide 'pre-emption' rights. These are rights that require someone wanting to sell an interest in the enterprise, to first offer the interest to the other equity holders. But they do not necessarily require the majority to buy.
There really is only one sustainable career or endeavour – commoditisation. This is the work of taking something requiring high levels of knowledge, experience and creativity, and turning it into something that a novice can easily do for themselves, for free. If you want to maintain and grow your real value over an extended period, that is it. There is nothing else.
If you have a company then you have probably sat in a meeting with your accountant and heard the phrase 'that may raise Division 7A issues'. Everyone usually then grumbles and nodes wisely, and moves on... But you may be asking yourself, 'what the hell is Division 7A all about?' Glad you asked.
The Government has announced a 'tax integrity' measure to 'improve' the taxation of testamentary trusts. What impact does this potentially have on your estate planning strategies?
We all love our trusts, but unfortunately they don't last forever. They have an ‘expiry date’. When you reach this date, the Trust ends and its property must be distributed to beneficiaries. Before this time you need to consider who will be entitled to the assets, and what tax and stamp duty liabilities may be triggered. You also need to see if the date can be extended...
It's relatively easy to get into property ownership with someone. But it can be considerably harder to get out. Particularly if you don't have a co-ownership agreement in place. Find out what court remedies may be available to you NSW if you find yourself stuck in a property.
Many businesses have built strong brands by treating customers well. But it is also important to ensure that no single customer can put your business at risk. You need to draw the line somewhere. This is where your terms of supply come in. However, these terms need to be consistent with the Australian Consumer Law.
In South Australia stamp duty is not payable on a transfer of real property from a trustee of a trust to a person who already has a defined beneficial interest in the property. For example, a transfer of property from the trustee of a unit trust to the unit holder. But there are a couple of tricks you need to be aware of.
A few judges and populist politicians have recently made some snarly comments about lawyers and ‘greedy’ people who are challenging Wills. Apparently, as a profession, we are getting a bit of ahead of ourselves in bringing too many of these cases to court. Read this article to get informed about the debate.
Everyone gets a $1.6 million cap on the assets that can support a tax-free super pension. You and your spouse each get a separate cap. But super pensions that pass to you from your spouse when they die may put you over your cap. This will have adverse tax outcomes. You need to plan for this as part of your estate planning.
In South Australia it is possible to transfer a property from a family trust to a beneficiary without stamp duty. Find out how.
The end of the first calendar quarter for the year is fast approaching, and this is a great time to think about improving your employment processes and procedures. To get you started, these are our favourite employment law 'nuts and bolts' that may need some tightening.
If you're thinking of selling your business, we bet there are 2 key outcomes you are looking for: 1. Getting the highest purchase price possible; and 2. Being able to make a clean break from the business, so you can think about something else (and maybe even relax or take a holiday). These outcomes are both realistic and achievable, but it will take some planning before you put the business up for sale.
We think 'learning how to learn' is perhaps the most important meta skill you can acquire. Why - because effective learning enables you to effectively respond to change - and your ability to respond to change is the number one (and perhaps only) thing that will determine your longer term success.
The Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) is the legislation that governs everything about security interests in personal property, which is almost all property that is not land. The broad purpose of the PPSA is to create a system for the registration of security interests, which is searchable by anyone and which can then be enforced against other parties. This register has been formed as the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).
We are not advocates of higher taxes. But, we are advocates of honest tax policy. So read 'company tax cut' as essentially a reduction in Australian tax on foreign investment. Full stop.
In this podcast Dr Rhonda Patrick interviews Dr Satchin Panda on 'biological clocks' and the circadian rhythm. This material has day-to-day application for all of us - how to sleep better, eat better and generally optimise things with nothing more than a better understanding of how important our body clocks are to our general overall health.
In this interview Kevin Rose talks with Robin Deeke, an FBI counterintelligence agent, who has written a book called the Code of Trust
If you have a discretionary family trust, then chances are your accountant has mentioned ‘unpaid present entitlements’ or ‘UPEs’. No doubt you have just nodded wisely, but deep down, do you really know what this means?
Most people who advise on testamentary trusts talk about the ‘tax benefits’. This emphasis is plain wrong. Why? Because, a simple Will (without a testamentary trust) is more likely to do harm, and to lead to family disharmony, than one with a testamentary trust.
A gift of property that is no longer in your estate when you die automatically ‘fails’ (or ‘adeems’). This rule can lead to unfairness and unintended consequences.
Doctors earn their money by ‘doing things’. Performing surgery, diagnosing an illness. This is great from a ‘personal fulfilment’ perspective, but not so great from a ‘personal tax’ perspective.
People who say this are just demonstrating their ignorance. Here’s why. The ability to use a trust as a ‘tax loophole’ was pretty much closed out in the 1970-80s. To suggest that trusts somehow make tax disappear for the ‘wealthy’ is plain silly.
Like any business, hotels have several moving ‘parts’ that need to work together so that the machine runs smoothly. If you are thinking of buying a hotel or similar hospitality business, make sure you are familiar with these unique features before you sign on the dotted line.
A key benefit of having your super in a SMSF is that you can choose who ultimately benefits from particular assets within your fund when you die.
Catherine assists families and businesses in a range of areas, including estate planning, commercial agreements and setting up entities. She has particular experience in assisting business owners to implement strategies to preserve the value of their business and helping clients that are experiencing difficult situations following a relationship breakdown or the loss of a loved one.
We are often asked what rights an employer has to require their employees to undergo a medical assessment or provide their medical records. The answer is usually not straightforward, as there are some serious personal and privacy issues to consider. The question comes down to striking a balance.
Have you been approached by a telecommunications carrier that is interested in putting a tower or other structure on your land? How do you know if the deal you are being offered is fair?
An 'Ancillary Fund' is a special type of trust that can be used to collect and distribute donations for charitable purposes. The Fund can be set up through a trust deed while you are alive, or through your Will. Importantly, the Fund does not undertake charitable work itself, but can be used as a collection point to pool donations and then distribute them to charities and causes, as decided by the trustees.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has won its first case against an accountant being ‘knowingly involved’ in the workplace breaches of his client. The accountant could now face up to $357,000 in penalties, as though he committed the breaches himself. Find out what you can do to avoid this problem.
As most people now know, from 1 July 2017 the amount a super fund member can have in a pension account will be capped at $1.6 million. There has been a lot of general commentary on these changes, but little deeper analysis of the details.
Deciding to purchase property with another person is likely to be one of the most significant financial decision you may make in your lifetime. Unfortunately, things do not always go to plan and it may be the case that one of you wants ‘out’.
How do you calculate the extent of any 'discount' when an interest under an employee share scheme is granted to an employee?
How do you qualify to defer any tax otherwise payable on shares and options acquired under an employee share scheme? When does the deferral come to an end?
If you want to do charitable work or raise funds to help people living overseas, you should carefully consider your options to make sure your aid is targeted to where it's most needed.
There are over 700 laws that can impose personal liability on directors. While it is common for companies to provide directors with an 'indemnity' or 'insurance cover' for these liabilities, there are limitations and restrictions on how far this indemnity and cover can extend.
People are more aware – and wary – than ever of family law issues in relation to their assets. More and more couples seek binding financial agreements to protect their assets, or put off living together or marrying to minimise their financial exposure.
What is, and what is not, in your personal estate? This may sound like a academic question not worthy of a lot of thought. However, if you are in estate planning mode, it is critical that you answer this question correctly.
Most people realise the importance of protecting their Intellectual Property. But ‘ideas’ and ‘concepts’ aren't a form of IP, as there is no 'property' capable of being protected. Don't despair, there are ways to protect and exploit your interests.
Losing an employee, whether by dismissal or resignation, is never easy. But it’s even harder when the employee walks out the door with a head (and possibly a briefcase or USB) full of your confidential information.
One of the big benefits of being a not-for-profit organisation (NFP) is the availability of tax concessions. But are you making the most of the concessions available to your organisation?
We are commonly asked what's the best structure to use when setting up a new charity or other 'not-for-profit' (NFP) organisation. While incorporated associations and public companies limited by guarantee are often suitable, they are not the only options, and there is no easy 'one size fits all' answer.
Take-it or leave-it (or perhaps ‘void-it’)? Some things to consider in your Website Development Agreements
Website developers understand very clearly the notion of the ‘information architecture’ of a website, yet not all of them get it when it comes to the architecture of the service agreement they enter with their clients
Just because you and your partner make 'mirror Wills' does not mean that your partner cannot change their Will (either before or after you die). Furthermore, your partner does not have an obligation to inform you if they do change their Will. Find out how to deal with these issues.
You signed a contract, but things aren't working out. It happens. In this article we explore some ways you might be able to get yourself out of the deal.
So you've just come up with a great business concept, given it a test-drive among your family and friends, and now want to go to the next stage. What do you do? You need to put together the 'playing field' for your venture. In other words, you need a 'business structure'.
Your relationship is over, and you want out. But you aren’t sure what you need to organise before you leave. Hopefully this doesn't sound familiar - but if it does, we recommend you read-on... In this article we set out our 7 steps to leaving, which we hope will help you through this difficult transition. These steps will also help someone assisting a relative, friend or client through this process.
Your super doesn't form part of your estate, and is not subject to the terms of your Will. It's therefore critical to have in place appropriate arrangements to make sure your super ends up where you intend.
When you are separating for your spouse or partner, it's easy to get bogged down in negotiations about your kids and dividing up your property. But don't forget your estate planning - otherwise you may just end up leaving your former partner the biggest gift of them all.
When we hear the word 'company', we all think we know what the person is talking about. We deal with companies every day. Most of us work for a company, and we certainly buy things from them. But companies are actually a strange thing. Let's start with a bit of a history lesson.
Divorce is the legal process that formally ends a marriage. In practical terms, it is often the easiest part of a separation - but perhaps one of the more emotionally charged. Read on for a brief overview of the divorce procedure.
Kasia works with high net-worth individuals to achieve their estate planning and business succession goals, assists those dealing with the finalisation of deceased estates (including probate and estate litigation and helps business owners establish suitable business structures.
Is your commercial lease compliant with the PPSR regime? You need to know the answer to this question. Everyone has heard about the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), which came online on 30 January 2012. The implications of the new registration system are still not widely known. For many people the need for registration is only discovered after it is too late.
What would happen if you lost mental capacity or died? While your physical life may be well provided for, chances are your digital life is seriously at risk.
Well drafted 'pre-emption' clauses in a Shareholders Agreement or Constitution provide you with important protections. But there are a number of potential traps that you need to be aware of.
Unlike divorce, marriage separation does not have an effect on your Will. For this reason, the period of separation that occurs prior to divorce is possibly one of the most important times to ensure your Will reflects your changed circumstances.
In this article, we will discuss some of the critical clauses that are often missing from basic employment documents. We will cover what each critical clause does and why it is important, and the potential consequences of not including the clause in your employment documents.
When you are entrusted to deal with the estate of a deceased loved one, it can feel overwhelming. We are here to guide you through this time with compassion, clarity and certainty.
Our gift to you is our Work Communications Policy, which is designed to be a set of fundamental rules for an SME to adopt internally to ensure that the quality of its communications is regulated. Click on the link to download a copy of the Policy to adopt in your workplace today.
In Australia, there are 3 main types of employment contracts: permanent (full-time or part-time), casual, and fixed term (whether full-time or part-time). This article focuses on fixed term contracts.
The concept of a 'bucket company' is used to describe a company into which distributions from a discretionary trust are made to cap the tax rate on the trust's income to the flat company rate of 30%.
The short answer is that it depends on whether the trustee first falls within the class of potential beneficiaries, and then whether the trustee is specifically excluded from benefiting.
When you give an outright gift to someone under your Will, the beneficiary receives the gift from your executor, with no strings attached. The beneficiary can do what they like with it. If you impose any rules on the gift, then you have effectively created a 'testamentary trust', and things get a little more complicated.
Dealing with employees and their entitlements as part of a business sale or acquisition is not straight-forward. There are plenty of traps and tricks for the uninitiated. Find out what you need to know.
Do you have the right to determine who inherits your farm? The short answer is 'not necessarily', but there are things you can do to increase the chances of your wishes being upheld.
Sexual harassment can cost a business dearly in terms of lost productivity, staff turnover, recruitment costs, legal fees and court awarded damages. Two recent court cases have shown us that courts are now prepared to make increasingly large awards to compensate victims of sexual harassment. Here we give you the tools to identify sexual harassment in the workplace, and provide the steps you need to take to prevent it.
When you first read these clauses it isn’t always clear what they are trying to achieve, and why you would include them in your Shareholders Agreement (or Constitution).
Everyone is playing a winner-takes-all game – at your cost. Microsoft, Google and Apple are trying to own you, and keep you from being ‘part-owned’ by the other guys, and they have been playing this game for years.
Will all business owners be required to return profits from their businesses as personal services income if they are involved in the business? Will they be required to earn a ‘market wage” (whatever that is)?
Sometimes people look to their super fund as a means of funding life insurance for a business buy-sell arrangement. This is possible, but there are some tricks and traps to be aware of...
By now, everyone has heard about the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), which came online on 30 January 2012, (well, we hope so!). However, the implications of the new registration system are still not widely known.
LinkedIn and other social media networking sites have their uses, and can be good for ‘profile’ building. But the question is – can you afford to lose control of your business contacts and spend time building value for another business, the social media site?
A Special Disability Trust (SDT) is a special type of trust that allows parents and immediate family members to plan for current and future needs of a person with severe disability. The trust can pay for reasonable care, accommodation and other discretionary needs of the beneficiary during their lifetime.
Employers have long struggled with the balance between an employee’s responsibilities at work and their right to a life outside of work. This has often given rise to the question of whether an employer can discipline employees for recreational activities conducted outside of working hours.
Are you looking for someone to act as a local director in Australia? Andreyev Lawyers can assist you with all aspects of sourcing and appointing a professional nominee director for your Australian company.
Irrespective of why or how, raising money in Australia is a heavily regulated activity, with severe penalties for people who do not comply with the rules. There are rules for both the party raising the money and for people who assist them.
A clear and comprehensive social media policy is essential to set the guidelines of what you expect from your employees. Here are our top five tips for creating an effective social media policy for your SME business.