News

Buying a Franchise – things you should know

Buying or starting a business can be overwhelming. There is a lot to consider – the most suitable structure for your business, the financial and taxation implications and ensuring from the start that you are placed in the best position for future growth and profitability. A franchise is a popular choice when looking at business opportunities. The good reputation of the product or service has already been established and there are usually several franchise outlets that appear to be doing...

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What ‘personal effects’ could mean in your Will

What’s in a word, or a phrase? Potentially, a Mercedes motor vehicle according to the New South Wales Supreme Court decision in Lowe v Lowe [2015] NSWSC 48. It is not uncommon for a Will to state phrases like, ‘I give my personal effects to John, Bill and Ted in equal shares’. However, when it comes to distributing the assets of an estate, and in the absence of the deceased to explain his or her real intentions, phrases such as...

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Key considerations when selling your business

You should ensure you take time to prepare and carefully consider the sale of your business, before committing to sell. There is a lot to organise and prepare when getting ready to sell your business. The discussion below outlines some questions you should consider before listing your business for sale. Why do I want to sell my business? Be honest with yourself and consider the real reason for wanting to sell your business. Have you had a tough month of business?...

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What employers need to know about new casual employment laws

The Fair Work Act (FWA) was recently amended to change workplace rights for casual employees, and places new obligations on employers. A new definition of casual employment has been introduced, as well as a pathway for casual employees to move to permanent employment, through casual conversion or offer of permanent employment. Essentially, the laws confer a statutory entitlement for long-term casual employees to be offered, or to request permanent employment in certain circumstances.  It is important to note that the...

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Do you have a business partner? Then you need a Partnership Agreement!

A Partnership Agreement is a contract between all the partners in a business and outlines each partner’s duties and responsibilities, governs important matters that arise from the business, procedures for making business decisions and how to resolve disputes amongst partners. The relationship between business partners can deteriorate if they do not understand their duties, roles and obligations. This is why we recommend a Partnership Agreement for individuals operating businesses in partnership. All businesses and relationships between partners of a business are unique, so to...

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Death and superannuation benefits

It is important to understand the interplay of the laws governing superannuation, tax and succession when planning your estate. Appreciating how these laws interact can help avoid some common pitfalls in estate planning and may have a significant impact on the net (after-tax) proceeds received by your beneficiaries. When we refer to ‘death benefits’ we generally mean the aggregate of a deceased person’s superannuation account and the proceeds of any life insurance policies held in superannuation. These funds are treated...

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You have a Judgment Debt in your favour – now what?

If you have obtained a judgment from a Court or Tribunal in your favour with respect to a debt owed to you, you are known as a judgment creditor. The person or business who owes the debt is known as the judgment debtor. Even if a judgment is obtained, a judgment debtor may continue to fail to pay the debt owed to you. If that is the case, there are a number of procedures which you can take to enforce...

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Insolvency and the right to terminate contracts

Reforms to insolvency laws which commenced on 1 July 2018 prevent contracting parties from relying on certain termination clauses in commercial contracts. The reforms aim to give companies facing financial difficulties an opportunity to trade their way out of their predicament rather than having a contract unilaterally terminated. Generally, contracting parties can no longer rely on an ipso facto termination clause to end a contract in certain circumstances pertaining to the other party’s financial position. Companies should be aware of...

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Varying the terms of a Will after death

In Australia, a person is ‘technically’ free to choose who should benefit from his or her estate. Testamentary freedom is a well-founded principle. This principle however may be subject to community expectations of moral obligations. Consequently, in some circumstances a Court may order that the terms of a Will be varied to satisfy a claim by an eligible person. These claims are commonly known as family provision claims. Alternatively, there may be a mutual agreement between the beneficiaries of an...

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Settling Legal Disputes – Calderbank Letters and Offers of Compromise

Costs in legal disputes can quickly escalate. There is benefit in all parties seeking to compromise their differences, rather than agitate their dispute through the Court system. The Courts recognise a number of initiatives which promote early settlement of claims. In this article, we consider the use of Calderbank settlement offers, settlement offers made under the rules of the Court and how the use of these instruments can provide costs protection in litigation. Costs – the general principles There is...

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