Business Law

Setting up a Business

I only gained a proper understanding of the pitfalls and rewards of being a small business owner when I went in to practice on my own. My first step was to seek good financial advice on the cost of setting up a practice, budgeting and managing cash flow.

The second step was to find well located premises and then outfitting it with computers, telephones, work stations and the like. I was still nervous on the day I signed up for a three year lease.

The third step was putting together a good team. Working well together is vital and only happens if each person’s role is defined, the firm’s values are clear and each team member is focused on the common goal. Only then can a firm deliver the outcomes a client wants.

Buying a Business

It is important to carry out “due diligence”. This can include examining profit and loss statements, identifying assets and liabilities, debtors and creditors.

Check carefully for all plant, equipment and assets being sold along with current valuations. Obtain details of stock and how it will be counted and valued at settlement.

Obtain lists of customers and suppliers as well as employees, if the employees are being kept on as part of a sale of a going concern.

Buying a business is a complex transaction. You need to do research, understand risks and seek legal advice.

Running a Business

The most frequent problem relates to cash flow, caused in part by clients/ customers not paying their tax invoices.

The first step is to engage a solicitor to issue a letter of demand for payment to be made within a specified time, say seven days.

If that fails the next step is to issue a Statement of Claim through the local court, if the debt is less than $10,000. Serving the claim on the debtor will make that person either pay the debt or if they want to defend the matter the court will hear evidence and decide on the claim.

Getting advice

Business law covers a range of areas including leasing, business contracts, employment contracts and HR issues as well as debt recovery in the local court.

If something is worrying, a solution could be as simple as a phone call away. I am here to help.

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