Contracts: Black and White, not read all over
Business Law
If everything isn’t black and white, I say, “Why the hell not?” - John Wayne Can two people read the same...
Succession planning can avoid sudden crisis
Business Law
In 2007 a car accident took the life of a business partner of Mark Love and his colleagues. This was...
Human Rights Commission reveals sexual harassment at work is increasing
Business Law
Last Wednesday, the Australian Human Rights Commission released the results of an extensive survey, showing that sexual harassment remains a...
On the back of a napkin: when is a contract really enforceable?
Business Law
It’s a Friday night, and you and your best mate are sitting at the pub having a couple of drinks. He’s telling you about his new business and lamenting that if he only had the money for a great website to promote it, he could be making a fortune by years’ end. Knowing you’re a web developer, he asks you...
How to know if you’ve been unfairly dismissed
Business Law
According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, losing your job ranks eight out of ten on the list of life’s most stressful events. But when it is unexpected, or happens as a result of something that seems unfair, it can be even more traumatic. In the 2016-2017 financial year, 11,160 cases of unfair dismissal were brought against employers across...
6 Quick Security Tips: What steps can you take to protect your business’ data?
Business Law
As threats to business’ security and data grow ever more complex and diverse, businesses must be on constant guard against the next danger, especially where they must notify individuals in the event of a data breach. The new mandatory data breach notification regime has now come into operation. Having only begun on 22 February (Meyer Vandenberg has previously written on the topic...
Navigating loans secured over personal property: avoid getting caught out by the PPSA
Business Law
For some businesses, this headline should be met with the reaction, “Really? Again?”. However, many businesses do not yet realise that the security regime established under the Personal Properties Security Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) is a fundamental part of doing business in Australia. It is apparent to us that many Canberra businesses remain unaware of the system. Unfortunately, we keep...
Employment law: New year, new start – navigating employment contracts
Business Law
If you have just managed to score that coveted dream job, the last thing you're probably thinking about is the technical ins-and-outs of your employment contract. If you can bring yourself down from that elated high for just a minute though, it might be worth scrutinising your 'employee welcome pack' and ensuring everything is above board. If you have some...
Joining the crowd – Crowd Sourced Equity comes to Australia
Business Law
Recent Federal Government measures have made it easier for start-ups and small businesses to raise capital through Crowd Sourced Equity Funding ("CSEF"). CSEF platforms such as Indigogo and Kickstarter, allow investors to make small financial 'investments' in emerging companies in exchange for equity in the business. Are you eligible for CSEF? From 27 September 2017, unlisted public companies with less...
Debtor management
Business Law
You have a thriving business and a diverse customer base. Your sales are on target, yet cash flow is poor. You sell on credit and you are concerned that tightening the credit you give will impact on your customer relationships. The ACT is one of the slowest paying regions in Australia, payment being an average of 19 days late1. An...
Preparing to sell your business
Business Law
There will come a point when a business owner wishes to realise their investment. Whether for personal or financial reasons there are steps all owners can take to prepare their business for sale; to minimise tax, transactional costs and stress, and maximise the return. Grooming your business for sale can streamline the sale process. Even if the sale doesn't proceed,...
Consumer law and order: manufacturers victims unit
Business Law
In the Australian Consumer Law, the people have remedies against two separate but equally important groups: the retailers, who sell the goods; and the manufacturers, who produce the goods. This is the manufacturer's story. Last month I wrote about consumer guarantees - the rights and obligations of retailers, but the story for manufacturers is different, and their liability essentially stems...
20,000 complaints – but is the customer always right?
Business Law
On 3 January 2017 the ACCC released statistics that more than 20,000 shoppers complained about 'consumer guarantees' in 2016. With Christmas presents now unwrapped and gift cards spent during the stocktake sales, if a good is faulty what obligations do businesses face? The Australian Consumer Law imposes non-excludable consumer guarantees on the sale of goods and the provision of services;...
Why play by the rules? fair is fair, isn’t it?
Business Law
Despite the fact that people care more about the result of the final Saturday in September than the goings-on in Parliament, the AFL does not wield governmental power (though the AFL might wish otherwise). How then did James Hird allege that he was denied procedural fairness when the question of whether he breached the rules was determined? While those proceedings...
Social media and small business – with great power comes great responsibility
Business Law
The increasing use of social media has had a profound effect on the way that people do business. The ability to reach a large market for low cost and engage with customers and potential customers in real time can have a major positive impact on your business. However, with the benefits also comes the risk from both improper use and...
Release of guarantees – keeping your security
Business Law
Guarantees form a fundamental part of many loan contracts; for most lenders, having one or more guarantors for the borrower's obligations under the contract is essential, as it provides additional security for their loan. However, there are several issues to consider where a borrower defaults and you attempt to enforce the guarantee, especially in circumstances where you may only get...
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