Commercial Law

What are the legal requirements of crowdfunding in business?

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) defines equity-based crowd-sourced funding (CSF) as:

… a company raising funds—usually through an online intermediary—from a large number of individual investors who make relatively small financial contributions to the company… [and] a fundraising option for start-ups or small to medium-sized companies.[1] [Read more…]

What is a Case Management Hearing?

In the Federal Court of Australia, a case management hearing is a meeting of the parties and the Court to identify issues at the earliest possible stage (Case Management Hearing).[1]  They are the essential element of, and main procedure used in achieving, case management.[2]  In Queensland Courts, they are referred to as case management conferences.[3]  Case Management Hearings may be referred to by different terms in each State.  This article discusses Case Management Hearings in the Federal Court. [Read more…]

What is Division 293 tax?

The normal rate at which pre-tax superannuation contributions in excess of $25,000 (Contributions) are taxed is 15% as prescribed by section 291.15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) (ITAA).[1]  However, section 293.15 of the ITAA  includes an additional tax on Contributions (Division 293 Tax) that applies subject to certain criteria.[2]  This article discusses the Division 293 Tax, and to whom it applies.  Superannuation contributions equal to or below $25,000 are referred to as Low Tax Contributions. [Read more…]

Circuit layout rights and how to protect them

Circuit layouts are two-dimensional layout designs or plans (topographies) of three-dimensional integrated circuits used in computers and equipment that relies on computers (such as modern cars, televisions, washing machines, and medical devices).  Circuit layouts are sometimes referred to as computer chip or semi-conductor chip designs. [Read more…]

Novation versus assignment in commercial contracts

Novation and assignment of contracts are processes that on first glance appear to have similar outcomes.  However, from a legal perspective, the two are strikingly different, and the wrong choice is capable of having dire legal consequences when things go awry.  Therefore, for those wishing to transfer contractual rights and obligations to third parties, it is critical to understand each legal mechanism’s significant distinctions. [Read more…]

Deal fatigue in business transactions

Deal fatigue is very common in commercial transactions in Australia because of the complexity of the law and the sheer volume of documentation that’s often required.  An unfortunate consequence can be that benefit of entering into the deal in the first place can be watered down to the extent that the deal becomes unpalatable.   This article will discuss the symptoms of deal fatigue and offer some tips on avoiding it. [Read more…]

Transfer duty exemption for small business restructures

On 9 October 2020, the Queensland Commissioner of State Revenue (Commissioner) issued Public Ruling DA000.16.1 (Ruling) which outlines new transfer duty exemptions under the Duties Act 2001 (Qld) (Act) available to eligible small businesses undergoing a restructuring.   The Ruling stems from a public announcement made by Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick on 7 September 2020. [Read more…]

Franchising Code changes closer to fruition

In November 2020, the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (Government) released its hotly anticipated Exposure Draft proposing amendments to the Franchising Code of Conduct (Code).  The proposed amendments seek to implement the commitments the Government made in August 2020 in response to the Parliamentary Joint Committee’s March 2019 Fairness in Franchising Report (Franchising Report).  The Franchising Report identified a range of regulatory matters to be addressed in the franchising sector. [Read more…]

Changes to monetary threshold for consumer contracts

For businesses that provide goods or services to non-consumers, the recent Treasury Laws Amendment (Acquisition as Consumer – Financial Thresholds) Regulations 2020 (Amendment) has the effect of widening the scope of the consumer guarantees regime under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).  This means that, as of 1 July 2021, contracts that were not previously subject to the consumer guarantee protections (because the value of goods or services was less than $40,000) will be captured under the new regime. [Read more…]

Shareholders’ agreements & deadlock clauses

One of the most important issues to be addressed by a Shareholders’ Agreement is what happens where the directors or shareholders cannot agree and a deadlock arises.  In cases where voting of Directors of a board is proportional to the shareholding represented by the appointed director, or there can be a deadlock caused by “one vote, one director” care needs to be taken to ensure that control can be exercised by addressing the deadlock issue.  Of course the deadlock can also be between shareholders. [Read more…]

Send this to a friend