Owning and managing a business can be stressful
Businesses have a lot to gain from engaging a lawyer on an ongoing basis in their business.
You have worked hard to build your business and you want to protect it. Lawyers think analytically and strategically, and are detail focused. Having a lawyer by your side who understands your business and your priorities can help you to make good decisions, avoid mistakes and protect you from risk.
You can think of our lawyers like an insurance policy; an investment in good upfront advice can save you from losing time, energy and money later on.
Our lawyers constantly work with businesses who are negotiating important deals, managing their risk and strategising with them to achieve growth and success. This gives our lawyers a unique perspective on business and how to best approach every transaction you are undertaking, no matter whether you are a start up, a small business or a medium enterprise.
At Robertson Hyetts Solicitors, we spend countless hours talking to business owners in both formal and informal settings. We understand what is important to you, and the many competing pressures involved in managing a successful business. To make your life easier and save you time, we provide comprehensive legal expertise and advice, focusing on delivering value and results – so you can focus on what you do best, running your business.
By working with Robertson Hyetts Solicitors you can rest assured knowing that we’ve got you covered. Our solicitors undertake continual professional development keeping up with industry updates, ensuring that we have the latest knowledge to guide your business into the future.
Business & Commercial Services:
Our dedicated team provides skillful representation and counsel in all aspects of business and commercial law including:
Our lawyers will assess your current situation and give you a professional opinion on how the law applies to your circumstances, and advice to help you improve your situation and manage your risks. This could be as simple as explaining a clause in a contract, or as complicated as responding to a threat to sue.
If you offer your customers standard terms and conditions or payment terms, a quick review by a lawyer can guide you and provide you with peace of mind if something goes wrong, ensuring you will be in the best possible position. If you do not already have these documents, a lawyer can prepare documentation tailored to your business needs. Our lawyers will help you to avoid common mistakes, including unfair contract terms which may be investigated by Consumer Affairs or the ACCC.
Are you a partnership, a company or a trust? Do you know the difference? Is the structure you have the most appropriate one for your business and stage of growth? The structure that you need will depend on what type of business you run, who is involved, the income and assets held in the business and how much money you want to spend. A structure can change as you grow, however there can be costs and tax implications. A discussion with one of our team can help you to assess the difference and if required, our lawyers can help you to restructure.
Buying a business
Our lawyers regularly assist our clients to buy businesses. You might buy a business once or twice in your lifetime. Our lawyers will guide you throughout the process, so you can hit the ground running. By engaging in proper preparation and comprehensive due diligence, we can ensure that the entire business is transferred to you, identify the risks and make sure you are not inheriting the debt of the previous owner. Due diligence is a vital process and should be undertaken together with your trusted advisors.
Robertson Hyetts Solicitors act for countless landlords and tenants each year. In addition to drawing up lease documents, our solicitors also handle rent reviews, lease renewals, lease transfers when businesses change hands, advice on breaches of lease terms and managing the end of a lease. Where required, our lawyers will send notices of default on your behalf, recover debt, represent you at the Small Business Commission or initiate proceedings in VCAT and the Magistrates Court.
Whether you are buying into a franchise, currently operating a franchise and having some difficulty, or looking to sell your business, our solicitors can provide you with the advice needed to support a fruitful business relationship with your franchisor. Franchising has its own set of laws, and our lawyers have experience with these laws and how they apply to franchising agreements.
Our lawyers can prepare the legal documentation required to record an agreement between you and another person, or company, or between business owners. Deterioration in a relationship or poor memory can lead to disputes about what was originally agreed. By going through a formal process of recording your agreements, common scenarios that lead to disputes can be discussed and recorded in formal agreements. Our lawyers are often engaged to resolve disputes when agreements have not been documented, and can guide you to avoid these common mistakes.
Robertson Hyetts Solicitors can help you to identify and protect your intellectual property. Should you be using confidentiality agreements? What is a trade mark? Someone has breached my copyright, what do I do? Our lawyers have the experience and expertise to point you in the right direction and ensure your intellectual property is protected.
By engaging a lawyer to assist you in negotiations, you can outsource the stress and rely on the skills that lawyers develop through years of training. Our lawyers are often able to negotiate more advantageous terms to contracts which are provided to our clients, or add terms which provide our clients with certainty, flexibility and options if things go wrong.
Selling a business
The process of selling a business should be commenced three years prior to offering the business for sale, or as soon as possible. This will include an audit of your business assets and securing any assets that are not secure, and increasing profitability. Talk to your financial and legal advisers in advance about your plans. We can prepare all of the necessary paperwork to sell your business and ensure that there are no remaining risks to you, once settlement is complete.
The law relating to social media may have been slow to develop but there is an evolving set of laws that must be complied with. Traditional advertising laws continue to apply. Additionally, there is a growing set of case law about employees and their use of social media. We can review your social media pages to identify potential issues and prepare social media policies.
Start up business documents
Our team have developed comprehensive checklists to help us to identify your exposure to risk and provide you with the legal documents that you need. Your idea might rely on secrets – do you use confidentiality agreements when discussing your idea? You might be looking for investors – do you have an investment agreement and a shareholders agreement so that your investors know what they are buying? Do you know what laws apply to the industry you are getting into? Our solicitors have helped many businesses to get off the ground and are able to help you to strategise and prioritise within your budget.
Succession planning focuses on continued success in times of change. You can be left exposed when the personal circumstances of those involved in the ownership or management of your business change through divorce, illness, death, retirement or otherwise. Our lawyers approach succession planning as a big picture examination of your assets and responsibilities and identifying how best they can be smoothly managed in all types of situations. This can involve putting in place buy-sell agreements, wills and estate planning.
Customer complaints are a fact of business. Understanding your obligations under the consumer law, particularly in relation to advertising, is important and can help you to avoid customer complaints. Our team will review your advertisements and your social media accounts.
Banking & Finance
Our Banking & Finance team can assist you with the preparation and execution of mortgage, securities, and project finance documentation. We also provide services for the preparation of default and bankruptcy documentation. Need help understanding your loan or preparing and executing loan documents? Our lawyers are more than happy to help.