Legal Updates

Corporate and Commercial

Unfair contract terms for small businesses

From 12 November 2016, standard form small business contracts will be covered by the current regime for unfair contracts. Between now and then, the regulator (ACCC) expects businesses to review their standard form small business contracts to ensure that there are no unfair terms and to take action if there are. What is a small…

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Family Trusts and Marriage Breakdowns

Earlier this year, we hosted a seminar for accountants and financial planners which included a presentation on how Testamentary Trusts were considered by the Family Court during a matrimonial property settlement. Not surprisingly, the factors the Court considers with Testamentary Trusts are virtually identical to the factors considered with Family Trusts.  Who controls the trust,…

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Personal Property Securities Registrations and Sales of Businesses

The practical implications of Personal Property Security Registrations (PPSR) need careful consideration in the sale of a business. As a reminder, the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 introduced the legal framework for a national scheme for registration of securities over most forms of personal property. This scheme replaced state based registrations of things such as…

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Do you deal with small businesses? If so, changes to unfair contract provisions may impact you!

The Australian Consumer Law (under the Competition and Consumer Act (ACL) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act (ASIC Act) deal with the provisions of unfair terms in ‘standard form’ ‘consumer contracts’ across a range of industries including telecommunications, utilities, travel, domestic building, motor vehicle and finance. Currently the unfair contract provisions do not…

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Protection of Company and Business Names

The entitlement to and protection of company names and business names is an important, although often poorly understood, area of the law. A company name can be registered if it is not identical to another registered company name or business name. A business name can be registered if it is not identical or nearly identical…

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Stamp Duty Update

And/or nominee contracts It is common practice for many land contracts to name the purchaser as ‘Bob Smith and/or nominee’. At settlement, the land is then transferred to someone else (‘Ultimate Purchaser’). If the Ultimate Purchaser has, prior to the date of the contract, appointed the named purchaser to enter into the contract on their…

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Verbal Agreements and Back-dating Documents

In the commercial world there is often a desire for documents to take effect before the date on which they are ultimately signed. Typically this is where parties have reached an agreement and must wait while their solicitors properly document that agreement. Parties may be tempted to ‘back date’ the documents to when their plans…

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Testamentary Trusts and Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Although not expressly stated in the income tax legislation, for many years the Australian Taxation Office has adopted the practice of treating the trustee of a testamentary trust in the same way that the executors are treated when transferring the assets of a deceased to a beneficiary. Put another way, for CGT purposes death does…

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