Corporate 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…]

Can a company be wound up under s 461K for failing to achieve its objectives?

The recent New South Wales Supreme Court (NSWSC) case In the matter of Gearhouse BSI Pty Ltd [2021] NSWSC 98 (Gearhouse) provides further guidance on the Court’s power to wind up a company under section 461(1)(k) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act).  This article discusses Gearhouse and how it applies section 461(1)(k). [Read more…]

What is my superannuation taxed at?

Superannuation can be a tax-effective way of saving for retirement and it is well known that employers are required to contribute to their employee’s superannuation funds (Funds) separate to taxable income.[1]  However, taxes still apply to all aspects of Funds.  The rate used differs depending on what is being taxed.  [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…]

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…]

Shareholder’s inspection allowed despite distrust

The case of Rasley (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Financial & Energy Exchange Ltd [2020] FCA 1462 involved an application to the Federal Court by a shareholder (Rasley (Singapore) Pte Ltd) (Rasley/Plaintiff) to inspect the books of the defendant (Financial & Energy Exchange Ltd) (Financial/Defendant) pursuant to section 247A of the Corporations Act 2001(Cth) and at common law because of its standing as a shareholder. Section 247A provides that the Court may only make orders if it is satisfied that an applicant is acting in good faith and for a proper purpose. [Read more…]

Shareholder oppression – the early warning signs

The usual definition of shareholder oppression (Oppression) is something that occurs when a majority of shareholders in a company misuse their power to oppress minority shareholders.  That said oppression is not limited to situations of majority and minority, it can occur when the disputants have equal shareholding  but there is an imbalance of control (or power) caused by a variety of statutory and contractual controls that were agreed to at the start of the relationship. [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…]

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