Legal Advice for Small Businesses

Do you run a business? What sorts of legal issues do you normally encounter when running your business? For that matter, when was the last time you saw a solicitor? Would it be before you started your business – or only after you encountered a problem?

Solicitors are a little bit like doctors. You usually only ever see a doctor when you are sick – when something has gone wrong with your body. In the same way, businesses usually see solicitors when something has gone wrong. That shouldn’t be the case.

It is understandable that a majority of businesses are averse to seeking legal advice from a solicitor. Legal advice is often seen to be intrusive, complicated, annoying, and more often than not – expensive. However, the reality of the situation is that in order for your business to be successful, you need to get your business in order – and that includes sorting our your legal obligations as well as seeking ways in which your business can better protect itself. And the sooner you can do that, the easier it is to deal with problems in the future.

What sorts of matters do businesses commonly deal with? Terms of Trade, Trade Practices, Compliance with ASIC, Intellectual Property, Confidentiality, Leases, Bad Debts, Contracts, Disputes… the list is innumerable. Yes, you can ignore it or attempt to deal with it on your own. However the bottom line is that if something goes wrong, a significant sum of money can be spent attempting to rectify the problem. In contrast, investing a little time and money into getting some advice beforehand can greatly reduce the chances of such an incident occurring.

After all, if you have peace of mind in these aspects, you can better concentrate on running your business.

We want you to succeed – so if you ever need any help or a quick consultation and review of your business practices – please do not hesitate to call us!

Dealing with Bad Debt

Managing and dealing with your cash flow is very important for anyone in business, but a failure to manage bad debts may be highly damaging to a small business. As a small business, you must be always mindful of this situation, especially in the current economic climate.

Unfortunately in the current economic climate, bad debts and commercial disputes become all too common. Most people are quick to rush off to see a debt collector, or a solicitor, however the problem with taking legal action is that doing so may be costly and time consuming. Before taking such a path, you should review and assess:

  • If you have a clear, straightforward, and strong case
  • If you do not have a clear case, if you need to obtain legal advice to consider your position
  • If the matter can be negotiated and resolved
  • If an lower value offer is made, is it reasonable to accept it rather than to start legal proceedings

Court isn’t necessarily the first place to go to resolve a dispute. Rather, it should be considered the last place to go. The court system is often, slow, procedural, adversarial in nature, inflexible, and costly. There is also the risk that you may lose the case and be subject to paying the costs of defending the case.

The last thing you have to take into consideration is the capacity of the debtor to pay. There is no point in wasting both time and money taking action and enforcement against a debtor who cannot pay.