Commercial & Business Law

We provide tailored commercial solutions for businesses of varying sizes and industries including start-ups, primary producers, family farming enterprises and corporations. Our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers have a regional focus and are committed to the needs of business in far north Queensland.

  • Corporation and company structures
  • Sale and purchase of business
  • Partnership agreements / shareholder agreements
  • Trusts, commercial agreements, contracts including loans and mortgages
  • Australian Consumer Law
  • Business and corporate restructuring
  • Agistment, partnership and indemnity agreements
  • Workplace relations – termination, unfair dismissal, discrimination
  • Employment contracts
  • Workplace Occupational Health and Safety

What is Commercial Law?

Commercial law regulates the sale and distribution of goods, as well as the financing of some commercial transactions.

What is Business Law?

Business Law regulates the formation of companies, mergers and acquisitions, and shareholder rights. Business law also includes everyday issues that a business owner might encounter, from leasing commercial property to protecting intellectual property, debt recovery and terms of trade.

Business Structures

One of the most important decisions that you make when starting a business is the legal structure for your venture. You can select from sole trader, company, partnership, and trust. Each form of legal structure has different tax implications, asset protection, and costs to set up and run.

A sole trader structure may be suitable if you are the only person in control of your business, however, by ‘going it alone’ you are also solely responsible for the legal and financial ramifications of your venture.

A company is a more complex legal structure, which has some significant benefits in terms of limitation of liability but does have more compliance requirements.

Partnership is a model that allows two or more people to share the profits and risks of a venture.

A trust separates the legal from the beneficial ownership of assets held in the trust structure and requires a trustee to take responsibility for the running of a business. This is a particularly complex business model to set up and run, but it can be a powerful tool to protect business assets for the benefit of those not directly involved in the running of the business.

On occasion, the legal structure of a business needs to change. This can be a positive landmark, such as when a sole trader becomes so successful that it makes more sense to transition into a company structure. There are some issues to consider when changing the legal structure of a business, and we can help you to navigate this process.

Corporate Restructuring

Corporate restructuring most commonly occurs because a business is underperforming. A corporate restructure can modify any aspect of the financial and/or operational functions of the business, but by definition, a restructure is a change that transforms the business in a discernible way.

Business owners/directors can use a restructure when a business is struggling with profitability. This might occur when profits are declining, and the business owners/directors want to help the business back to its former success. As such, a restructure can involve the sale of property, closure of enterprises, debt restructuring, and/or redundancies, and you should seek the advice of a solicitor early in the planning process.

A restructure can also be a final effort by business owners/directors to avoid insolvency. There are strict rules when it comes to the actions that a business can take when it is unable to pay its bills, so in that case, you should seek the advice of a solicitor before attempting a corporate restructure.

Corporate restructuring is also a tool that creditors/liquidators use when a business is insolvent. In that event, creditors/liquidators may determine that a corporate restructure offers the best path to repaying the company’s debts.

Debt Recovery

In a perfect world, you would never have to chase outstanding debts. In reality, however, it is likely that some clients or customers will be slow payers or refuse to pay their invoices at all. The best approach to chasing debts will depend on the circumstances, the identity of the debtor, and amount owed.

When dealing with companies, it might be best to serve a statutory demand which creates a presumption of insolvency unless the company pays up or successfully has the demand set aside.

If the debtor is a sole trader or partnership, you might start with a letter of demand or pursue payment in court. Depending on the circumstances, there may be room for negotiation, and you could enter into a deed with the debtor for repayment of the debt by instalments.

No matter what is owed and by whom, it is important to avoid throwing good money after bad – our experienced lawyers can assist you to navigate this process.

If you need assistance, contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] or call 07 4063 5900 for expert legal advice.