unfair terms

Consumer Protections Extending to Small Businesses

Consumer Protections Extending to Small Businesses Commencing on 12 November 2016, small businesses will have some of the protections that consumers have under the Australian Consumer Law. Traditionally, consumers are protected from unfair terms when buying goods or services from businesses, and this will continue. These protections will be extended to small businesses, so that […]

Avoid disputes

How To Quickly and Easily Avoid Disputes with Your Business Partner

How to Quickly and Easily Avoid Disputes with Your Business Partner Not having a buy-sell agreement with your business partner is a critical mistake that so many business owners make. Whether you are partners, shareholders in a company, or unitholders in a unit trust, you should have a buy-sell agreement. A buy-sell agreement won’t completely […]

exit strategy

Exit Strategy for Tradies

Exit Strategy for Tradies Harris Business Solutions held an information evening for tradies on 23 June 2016 at Hogan’s pub in Wallan. Here’s my presentation from the evening:

legal costs

Legal Costs

Legal Costs Warning: this post is a bit of a rant about legal costs and the industry generally. I understand that lawyers have a bad name, mainly from American TV, but we should not all be tarnished with that brush. There seems to be a general mindset that lawyers are out to rip people off, […]

types of trusts

Types of Trusts

Types of Trusts I have written an article explaining what a trust is, but this article will take it a bit further. A trust is a relationship between a person (trustee) and another person (beneficiary) in which the trustee holds property (trust property/trust fund) for the benefit of the beneficiary. Sometimes there is more than […]

Business Exit Strategy Checklists – This Goes For Farms Too!

Business Exit Strategy Checklist – This Goes For Farms Too Business succession planning is about planning for the future. It is about making sure that your family and employees won’t be left in the lurch if something happens to you. It is also about planning for retirement, and exiting your business. Here’s a checklist of […]

Farming: Organic v GM

Farming: Organic v GM by Jacqui Brauman I recently went to a conference where barrister Joel Silver spoke on a torts case which involved a farming who lost his organic certification and was blaming his neighbouring farmer for growing a genetically modified canola crop for that loss. The case was Marsh v Baxter which went […]

Improving Performance in Your Small Business

Improving Performance in Your Small Business by Jacqui Brauman As a small business owner myself, I am continuously striving for improvements. I truly believe that if we are not growing (as in learning, improving, being curious, and searching for more efficiency), then we are dying. Part of the problem being a small business owner is […]

Planning Your Exit Strategy

by Jacqui Brauman Your exit strategy is your succession plan from your small business. For each small business, their succession plan could look different. It could involve, depending on the level of planning: outright sale of the business to a third party transfer of management to family members, along with some form of ownership control […]

Agisted Stock: Ownership Risk

Agisted Stock: Ownership Risk by Jacqui Brauman A recent local case has brought to my attention the risks of agistment without a written agistment agreement. Where stock is agisted on a property for 12 months or more, ownership can be jeopardised if the agistment property goes into receivership or insolvency. The situation I came across […]

Small Business Succession

Small Business Succession Small business succession planning is vital, both to take control of your business’  future and to increasing its value. Most importantly, with succession planning, is the contingency plan – so that if something happens to us, we don’t leave our family and employees in the lurch. Contact us to arrange a chat […]

Recovering Debts from Companies

Recovering Debts from Companies by Matthew Elvin If a company has failed to pay you or your business a sum greater than $2,000 by the due date, one of the first things you should consider is whether to issue a Statutory Demand for Payment of a Debt (“a Statutory Demand”). At first glance, Statutory Demands […]

What do Consumer Guarantees cover?

What do Consumer Guarantees cover? In Australia, most consumer transactions are now covered by the national Australian Consumer Law legislation (“the ACL”). The ACL is designed to protect consumers and to ensure fair trading. Under the ACL, suppliers and manufacturers automatically provide guarantees about certain goods they sell, hire or lease, and services they provide […]

Family Trust Succession

Family Trust Succession Your family discretionary trust was probably set up by your accountant with the primary purpose being tax and income flexibility. As you age, your priorities will change, and if you are looking at a succession plan for your family trust (particularly if your business is run in your family trust), then your […]

Consumer Guarantees – What does a supplier guarantee?

Consumer Guarantees – What does a supplier guarantee? by Matthew Elvin Last week I explained what the Consumer Guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law (“the ACL”) are and when they apply. This week I detail the guarantees that a supplier must provide a consumer under the ACL. Firstly, a supplier guarantees a number of things […]

Consumer Guarantees – what services are guaranteed?

Consumer Guarantees – what services are guaranteed? I have recently written about the Consumer Guarantees that suppliers provide to consumers under the Australian Consumer Law generally, and, in particular, in relation to the supply of goods. In this article, I discuss the Consumer Guarantees as they apply to services and service suppliers. Firstly, a supplier […]

Are “No Refund” Signs Legal?

Are “No Refund” Signs Legal? In recent articles I have written about Consumer Guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law (“the ACL”). If you have not already read these articles, I encourage you to do so, especially if you are interested in what Consumer Guarantees are and when they apply. In this article I discuss “No […]

Fit For Purpose

Fit For Purpose by Matthew Elvin The “fit for purpose” guarantee as it applies to the provision of services requires that a service must achieve the consumer’s stated purpose; provided that the consumer makes the supplier aware of what the specified purpose is before the time of purchase. What this means is that service suppliers […]

Repairs and Spare Parts

Repairs and Spare Parts by Matthew Elvin Under the Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”), manufacturers and importers are required to guarantee the availability of repairs and spare parts to consumers for a ‘reasonable’ time. That is, they must take all reasonable steps to provide spare parts and repair facilities (such as a place that can fix […]

What is a trust?

What is a trust? by Jacqui Brauman This is a complex area, because there are many forms that a trust can take. I have previously prepared a downloadable fact sheet on this website about trusts, too, so that would be worthwhile looking at. Basically, a trust exists when someone holds property for the benefit of […]

Consumer remedies under consumer law

Consumer remedies under consumer law by Matthew Elvin In recent articles I have written about the consumer guarantees that suppliers of goods and services must provide consumers, as well as the remedies available when a guarantee is breached. In this article I discuss the circumstance where a supplier has breached a guarantee, but the consumer […]

Succession of family trusts

Succession of family trusts by Jacqui Brauman So you have been running your business or your property investment portfolio in your family trust. But you’re now wanting to retire, or at least know that if you take a step back, that the whole thing won’t collapse. You’re at a crossroads, and you need a succession […]

A Simple Technique for Getting a Company to Pay What It Owes You

A Simple Technique for Getting a Company to Pay What It Owes You by Matthew Elvin If a company owes you money, there is one particularly simple and effective technique to recover that money quickly and cheaply. You can even do it without a lawyer. It’s called a Statutory Demand for Payment of a Debt. […]

How To Get A Refund On A Dodgy Product or Poor Service

How To Get A Refund On A Dodgy Product or Poor Service by Matthew Elvin Have you ever been misled by someone selling you a product or service? Have you ever had someone sell you a dodgy product and then refuse to give you a refund after you discovered the truth? If this happens to […]