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  • Employment

    Employer Obligations

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    As an employer, you have tax, superannuation, workplace health and safety and entitlements obligations in regards to your employees. Continue reading →
     

    Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Bullying

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    Employees have protections against discrimination when they are applying for a job, while they are working and if they lose their job. The Fair Work Act 2009 also protects employees against discrimination at work.  Continue reading →
     

    Industrial Action

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    Industrial action is when employees refuse to perform work that is intended to reduce productivity, or when employers lock out their employees and refusing for them to work. It is generally unlawful and prohibited unless it is protected action. Continue reading →
     

    Unfair Dismissal

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    Unfair dismissal is when you are dismissed from your employment for reasons that are harsh, unjust, or unreasonable. Continue reading →
     

    Contractor or Employee

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    As a business owner, your taxation, superannuation and employment obligations differ depending on whether your worker is an employee or contractor. Continue reading →
     

    Enterprise Bargaining

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    Enterprise bargaining is the process of negotiation, generally between the employer, employees and their bargaining representatives with the goal of making an enterprise agreement. Continue reading →
     
  • Intellectual Property

    Protecting your Intellectual Property

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    Intellectual Property (IP) is a term used to describe various exclusive proprietary rights to creations of the mind. IP includes copyright, trade marks, patents, trade secrets, and know-how. In most cases, to protect your IP, you need to register it to gain protection. Different IP rights vary in the protection granted. An IP owner can take steps to enforce their…
     

    Confidential Information

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    Confidential Information protects information, or more accurately, secret information, by protecting the relationship in which the information is disclosed.  Continue reading →
     

    Designs

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    A design refers to the features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which give a product a unique appearance, and must be new and distinctive. Registering a design protects the look of the product (visual appearance) and not the ‘fundamental form’ of the product itself. Continue reading →
     

    Copyright

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    The Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), confers a bundle of exclusive rights on creators of copyright material, including rights of reproduction, publication and communication, in subject matter such as literary works, artistic works and films. Copyright protection in Australia is free and automatic. Continue reading →
     

    Patents

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    A patent is a government granted exclusive licence to make, use, or sell an invention for a limited period. Patent protection is offered for any inventions whether products or processes in all fields of technology provided they are new, possess and inventive step and are capable of industrial application. Continue reading →
     

    International Trade Marks

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    There is no such thing as a ‘global’ trade mark. Trade marks are generally a matter of domestic law in each country. A system called the Madrid Protocol can be used to obtain trade mark registration in multiple jurisdictions through a single application.  Continue reading →
     

    Trade Marks

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    A trade mark is a sign used to distinguish one trader’s goods and services from those of other traders. Trade marks must be registered with IP Australia in order to be enforceable. Registration grants exclusive rights to commercially use the trade mark. To protect a trade mark, the owner must monitor for infringement and determine whether action is required. Continue reading…
     
  • Franchising

    Franchising a Business

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    The Franchise System is the most critical part of franchising - a precise, well-documented system that can be easily followed by franchisees will ensure a successful franchise. Continue reading →
     

    Types of Franchise Agreements

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    There are different types of franchises, and as such, there are different types of franchise agreements. However, every franchise will require a franchise agreement and a disclosure document.  Continue reading →
     

    Selling a Franchise

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    Selling a franchise is different from selling an ordinary business. A franchisor will have an established process of selling an individual franchise business within the franchise network. Continue reading →
     

    Buying a Franchise

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    Potential franchisees should conduct due diligence before buying a franchise, including reviewing the franchise agreement and the disclosure document. Continue reading →
     
  • Leasing

    Equipment Leasing

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    Equipment leasing can free up a business’ cash flow and provide an easy path to expanding and upgrading equipment. It also reduces risks of ownership for businesses and end-of-term asset disposal risks. Continue reading →
     

    Retail Leases

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    A retail lease is a binding legal contract relating to retail premises. It is governed by state or territory specific retail leasing legislation. Continue reading →
     

    Commercial Leases

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    A commercial lease is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and a business tenant for the rental of property. Continue reading →
     
  • Business Structures

    Corporation and Corporate Constitutions

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    A company constitution is a document that contains the rules governing the relationship between and activities of the company, its directors and shareholders. Continue reading →
     

    Not-for-Profits and Charities

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    Establishing a non-for-profit organisation or charity requires the correct corporate structure to ensure compliance with financial and operational requirements. Continue reading →
     

    Shareholders’ Agreements

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    A shareholders’ agreement is an agreement made between two or more shareholders, independent of the company’s constitution or contracts in which the company is involved. Continue reading →
     

    Discretionary and Unit Trusts

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    A trust is a legal relationship where a person, known as the trustee, is under an obligation to hold property for the benefit of other persons, known as beneficiaries. Continue reading →
     

    Partnerships

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    A partnership is a legal structure through which two or more people can operate a business as partners. A partnership structure is often used by professional service businesses such as law, accounting, management or architectural firms. Continue reading →
     

    Choosing the Right Structure for your Business

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    There are four common business structures to choose from; sole trader, partnership, company or trust. The structure you choose will significantly affect your business’ legal and operational risk, its asset protection, tax obligations, legal costs and clientele. Continue reading →
     

    Co-operatives

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    A co-operative is owned and operated by its members. Once a co-operative is formed, it has its own legal identity that is separate from the members who have established it. Continue reading →
     
  • Contracts

    Contract Termination

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    A contract can be terminated for a number of reasons, including a repudiatory breach, a trigger of a contractual termination clause or actionable misrepresentation. Discharge by agreement, for breach or by frustration all have varying consequences.  Continue reading →
     

    Ending a Contract

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    Breach and repudiation of a contract may both give rise to a right of contract termination. Continue reading →
     

    Contract Basics

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    A contract is a legally binding agreement or set of promises between two or more parties that the law will enforce. There are four main elements in a contract: offer, acceptance, intention to create binding relations and consideration. Continue reading →
     

    Unfair Contracts

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    A term of a consumer contract is void if the term is unfair, and the contract is a standard form contract. The unfair contract terms provisions only apply to standard form contracts. Continue reading →
     
  • Disputes and Litigation

    Consumer Protection

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    Australian Consumer Law is regulated by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. This legislation reflects most of the consumer protection provisions of the fair trading legislation in each state and territory. Continue reading →
     

    Product Liability

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    The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) applies to all businesses in Australia. It includes national laws for unfair contract terms, consumer rights, product safety and telemarketing. Continue reading →
     

    Defamation

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    Defamation is the publication of something that is likely to cause harm to a person’s reputation. The law of defamation is designed to protect the reputation of individuals. Continue reading →
     

    Debt Collection

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    To avoid bad debt occurring, ensure you have a strong set of Business Terms and Conditions. Send invoices with clear invoice terms and a short payment period. If customers do not pay within the payment period, you can send a Letter of Demand. Continue reading →
     
  • Loans

    Guarantees

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    A first-party guarantee is where you guarantee the loan with security in the form of an asset. A third-party guarantee will allow someone else to guarantee the loan. Continue reading →
     

    Security Agreements and Personal Property Securities

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    The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) refers to 'security agreements' as the instruments by which security interests are created, arise or are provided for. Continue reading →
     

    Loan Agreements

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    A loan agreement is a contractual agreement between two parties whereby one party (lender) agrees to provide a loan to the other party (borrower) Continue reading →
     
  • Online Business

    Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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    Your Website Terms, Sales/Business Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy are important legal documents that not only inform your website visitors of their rights and obligations, but also fulfil your online legal obligations. Continue reading →
     

    Domain Names

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    A .au domain requires a registered trademark, company or registered business name corresponding to the domain name.  Continue reading →
     

    Selling Online

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    In addition to the responsibilities as a traditional physical retailer of goods and services, an online business faces a number of additional legal obligations, including handling online payments, customer privacy and online reviews. Continue reading →
     
  • Personal

    Binding Financial Agreements

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    Parties in a marriage or de facto relationship to enter into a financial agreement to manage their finances during the course of their relationship, and to resolve disputes in the case of a relationship breakdown. Continue reading →
     

    Wills

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    A Will determines how your assets will be distributed on your death and reduces stress and financial burden for your family in the event of your death. Continue reading →
     
  • Startups

    Crowdfunding

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    There are three main types of crowdfunding: equity-based crowdfunding, donation-based crowdfunding and debt-based crowdfunding. Continue reading →
     

    Startup Valuation

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    There are a number of different approaches and methodologies to valuation. This will depend on your company and the industry it operates in. In valuing a startup, you need to understand the industry and your competitors. Continue reading →
     

    Employee Share Schemes

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    Employee Share Schemes (ESS) align the interests of employers and employees by offering shares or a right to acquire shares in relation to an employee’s employment. Continue reading →
     

    Startup Funding

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    Each stage of funding (unless you raise debt finance) requires giving up equity in the company. Each person or entity owning equity becomes a co-owner of the company.  Continue reading →
     
  • Superannuation

    Superannuation

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    Superannuation are savings for retirement. Your employer has tax and superannuation obligations if they employ workers. Continue reading →
     

    Self-Managed Super Funds

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    SMSFs can offer a number of benefits generally not available with other super options, including more investment control, investment choice and one fund for the family. Continue reading →
     
  • Business Operations

    Lotteries and Competitions

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    If you run an online competition or trade promotion lottery in Australia i.e. a game of chance, you may be required to hold a permit. This includes competitions on social media networks. Continue reading →
     

    Voluntary Administration

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    The Voluntary Administration process provides for the business, property and affairs of an insolvent or nearly insolvent company to be administered in a way that maximises the chances of the company continuing to operate. Continue reading →
     

    Business Activity Statements

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    A Business Activity Statement (BAS) is a report that is submitted by a business to the Australian Taxation Office. The statement contains details about the various types of taxes that may need to be paid by a business. Continue reading →
     

    Directors’ Duties

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    Directors have a duty to not only ensure compliance with general and specific laws (Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) applying to the company’s operation, but also to shareholders.  Continue reading →
     

    Anti-Competitive Behaviour

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    Competition law protects, enhances and extends competition between businesses. The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) prohibits conduct that is likely to substantially lessen competition in a market. Continue reading →