- have all personal assets held by an entity not exposed to business risks.
- have these assets held in a separate entity(ies) and grant a licence to your operating entity to use them.
- ensure that your Directors & Shareholders loans to the business are secured by a debenture charge over the business, thus becoming secured creditors.
- ensure you are aware of all of your obligations under business agreements, and if in doubt seek immediate advice from your Lawyer and/or accountant
- have all your Partnership Agreements; Shareholder or Unitholders Agreement in writing prepared by lawyers. If it is not written it is not done.
- have a business Succession Plan between business partners in place including financing of retirement, death or disability
- review your Will regularly to meet your changing circumstances.
- register all intellectual property rights including trademarks, designs and patents.
- quarantine your family assets from your business assets in the event of worst case scenarios.
Buying a Business
- have your lawyer and other service providers complete a due diligence on the business you propose to acquire.
- check that all suppliers are tied to the business & that the vendor isn’t in breach of trading terms
- arrange for all key personnel of the business, whom you are retaining, to be contractually tied to the business.
- research the business and be aware of all risks and stresses involved, not just financial risks.
- ensure you have full family support, and that they are aware of the benefits, risks & stresses.
- ensure you have structured your purchase to minimise the risk to your personal assets
Employment Law Tips
- ensure new employees commence with a probationary period of up to 3 months.
- ensure all employees sign an employment agreement setting out the terms and conditions of their employment
- periodically review each employee’s work performance.
- have your sexual harassment and discrimination policies displayed in a prominent position.
- ensure that your employees are qualified to perform the tasks asked of them.
Family Law Tips
- consider a cohabitation or financial agreement before entering into a marriage or defacto relationship if you have substantial assets in your name.
- make sure you have access to some cash in your own name for emergencies.
- consider changing your locks.
- get competent advice before you sign anything or agree to anything
- make sure any agreement you reach after a separation about financial settlement or payment of child support is done legally.
- make a new Will after a separation and review the nominated beneficiaries of any superannuation policies in your name.