Business law

Canberra Business Lawyers

There are so many legal considerations to running a small to medium business. From structuring your business, to assisting with running your business to your exit plans, We are here to help you get started, maintain your business and achieve success.  We listen to your needs, utilise our vast experience, minimise your risks, help solve your problems and keep your business running smoothly.

Starting your business

Establishing a business can be exciting and exhausting! You may have a great idea you want to develop or you may want to purchase all or part of an existing business.

How you start is really important so getting commercial legal advice can steer you in the right direction. A commercial lawyer who listens to your ideas, your goals, your current circumstances and your concerns, can help you get the basics sorted, so you can build a successful business from a strong foundation. This includes looking at:

  • Which business structure will be right – taking into account your overall circumstances, your goals for the business and assessing your liabilities, risks and whether a trust structure might benefit you and minimise your tax obligations.
  • The agreements to make sure you are properly protected from the beginning – these can include a company constitution, shareholders (or partnership) agreements, employment contracts, lease agreement and financing.
  • If you have an interest in buying into a franchise, talk to us about franchising (You can see this series of blog posts.)

We have devoted a page to startups to help you get up and running.

Managing your business

Most business owners who are technically skilled and interested in the ‘doing’ part of their business usually benefit from assistance with the legal aspects of ‘running’ a business. The legal issues that we can help you identify and plan for include:

  • The documents, policies and procedures that help to run a business smoothly and avoid issues – such as privacy and data breach policies and terms & conditions.
  • Competition law & consumer law – so that you operate effectively in your sector and understand your obligations to your consumers.
  • Commercial contracts – with suppliers and/or sellers, contractors, consultants and agencies.
  • Premises and equipment – whether the arrangement is leasing, licensing or ownership, including mortgages and securities.
  • Personal Property Securities Register – if your business involves selling, buying or hiring personal property such as equipment, machinery or inventory.
  • Employment contracts and obligations – we discuss employment more fully here.
  • Intellectual property – you can find out more about IP here.

Problems & disputes

Problems and disputes are unwelcome, but they need to be dealt with effectively and in a timely manner. Our lawyers emphasise strategic, practical and cost-effective legal advice with a focus on resolving your dispute. While we will provide you with solutions that use alternative dispute resolution methods, we can also take any of your matters through litigation.

Common business problems needing legal assistance include:

  • Shareholder, director or partner disputes
  • Workplace disputes
  • Contractual disputes
  • Supplier or customer disputes

 

We have shared some of our expertise about commercial disputes here.

Expanding your business

A successful business may enable you to develop into other markets or include others in your venture.

  • Developing different paths to market your product or service – such as e-Commerce
  • Commercialising your IP
  • Establishing branches, additional offices or locations
  • Increasing shareholders or business partners
  • Interstate or international markets
  • Franchising your idea (you may want to read this blog post)

We focus on long-term relationships with our corporate clients – contributing to your business by understanding your sector, your goals, your circumstances and your personal needs. We have worked with many small local businesses across a wide range of sectors and helped them develop their unique venture over many years.

In addition, our membership with Meritas, a global alliance of business law firms, places us in an ideal position to assist local, national and international business.

Successfully exiting your business

One of the greatest concerns of baby-boomer business owners in Canberra is how they will convert their years of hard work and the large portion of wealth contained in their business into a suitable retirement outcome.

Strategic succession planning is the key to assisting business owners to identify, protect, maximise and extract the value contained within their business and achieve a successful exit.

A successful succession plan should consider 3 important factors:

  • Exit readiness and value maximisation for the business;
  • Personal and family wealth management to fund retirement and provide for future generations
  • Life after business – preparing the owner (and often their family) for what might be several years of retirement.

Business succession is not something you think about only when you are ready to retire. Our Business Succession service can guide you to ensure you maximise your return within a timeframe that suits you best. We can also assist you with the legal documents often required to facilitate your exit.

Meet your Business Law team

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Thanks so much, Gerald Santucci and Caitlin Meers, for all your valuable assistance with the sale of our business. We found the whole process quite stressful – but it was made much easier and more manageable because we had our trusty SHG lawyers supporting us.

Christmas this year will be much more relaxed and happy than it was last year – I can tell you!

AC (Business Sale)

19 December 2017

It was such a pleasure to be able to work with a professional who was committed to listening to us and understanding our needs.

Allistar Twigg provided expert legal advice in a friendly and respectful manner. On top of all that, he pulled out all stops to meet what were our extremely tight deadlines on the final document delivery.

Just can’t fault the service!

C Campbell-Wood, General Manager, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (Business)

18 May 2017

Get in touch

We'll get back to you within 24 hours or you can call us on
02 6285 8000