Things you should know

  • Getting good legal advice on which legal structure matches your company’s long-term goals and how to meet that structure’s obligations can save a lot of headache and expense later.
  • If you don’t have workers compensation insurance and are the director or proprietor of a business that employs workers, if an employee is then injured, their workers compensation benefits could be recovered from you as an individual – even if your company is a corporation.
  • If multiple people are involved in creating or purchasing a business, you need a shareholders agreement or a joint venture agreement to deal with issues such as control and distribution of profits, personal liability, and guarantee and indemnity.
  • Significant capital gains tax liabilities can arise from a change in business structures.
  • Trust structures may be an appropriate business arrangement.

The Messner & Blunden Difference:

  • We have decades of experience working with businesses, so can give practical, commercially-sensible advice and save you from experiencing problems later.
  • The structure is key to protecting your business and personal assets. No matter what kind of business you’re involved in, we can find the best structure for you.
  • Working with our lawyers from the outset can protect you from time-consuming, stressful and expensive problems later.

Why would you need this service?

Are you thinking about starting or buying a business? Choosing an appropriate corporate structure can offer significant benefits and protections. However, it can be difficult and expensive to change your structure later – so it’s important to get good advice, as early as possible.

Each legal business structure has positive and negative implications to consider. Many businesses start out as a ‘sole trader’, which is a simple structure. However, setting up as a ‘company’ can offer unlimited liability and limited tax liability – which offer advantages for protecting personal assets and can allow your business to enjoy a certain degree of flexibility for taxation purposes.

It can be difficult and expensive to change your business structure later, as it could expose you to a significant capital gain tax liability. Gaining good legal advice as early as possible when setting up and structuring a business could save you significant time and money in the future.

You could lose your home if your business fails and you could also be personally liable for its debt.

Getting early, authoritative legal advice at the outset could prevent this from happening.

Seeking quality legal advice before you acquire licenses, leases, finance guarantees and other documents relating to setting up and purchasing a business is also important.  You might not realise you need council approval to conduct your business in a specific location, until it’s too late.  It’s important to know which documents you should hold onto – and why.

Even your will is important to deal with the continuing operation and sale of the business in the event of your death.

Your employment contracts and employee obligations need consideration early and disputes in relation to same require expert advice.

Have you considered the potential for consumer warranty claims and the possible financial consequences of same?