BUSINESS ASSET PROTECTION
Our Gold Coast business lawyers are experts in advising on legal structures designed to protect assets both from creditors and unnecessary taxes. We assist a range of clients from individuals and small business owners to large corporate entities on implementing effective strategies to ensure their assets are secure.
PROVEN EXPERTISE AND A WIDE KNOWLEDGE BASE
Our team of business lawyers is adept at providing the personal or business financing structures you require to ensure that your income and assets are protected. For example, we offer advice on establishing discretionary trusts for the purposes of asset protection by distributing your earnings across different members of your family to ensure that your income remains subject to lower tax brackets.
Ramsden Lawyers are also experts in providing asset protection advice to directors, who become personally liable in the event that they breach directors duties. We regularly assist company directors in establishing trusts to hold their assets to ensure protection from creditors and regulator sanctions.
Asset protection also becomes relevant when considering how best to accommodate taxation requirements for the purposes of holding shares. Often times it is more tax efficient to hold shares through a trust rather than as an individual when a company or companies you have invested in begin to dispense dividends to shareholders, or when you are seeking to sell shares (which would otherwise trigger capital gains tax).
Our Gold Coast business lawyers also assist clients in establishing Binding Financial Agreements for the purposes of protecting assets of parties to a marriage or de facto relationship in the event of dissolution.
BUSINESS STRUCTURES THAT MAXIMISE ASSET PROTECTION
Apart from the wide range of individual solution our business team offers to clients, we are also particularly adept at catering the business structures we advise on to your asset protection needs. There are generally four (4) business structures to choose from: Sole trader, Partnership (alternatively a joint venture), Company structure, Trust structure.
Each business structure brings with it asset liability implications that need to be addressed. For example, sole traders are personally liable for the debts of the business, meaning it is often beneficial to use separate entities to hold assets and run the business.
Under a partnership structure the partners are joint and severally liable, meaning that each partner can be held to account for the debts and obligations of the other partner or partners. In the case of a partnership it can be helpful to use entities such as corporations or trusts to be parties to the agreement rather than the individuals to ensure their personal assets are protected from the business.
Companies are useful entities for businesses that are growing, though they also require asset protection from creditors, clients, negligence claims, risks to the broader public and product liability. By the same token companies need to consider internal risks such as industrial actions, fraud, claims from partners to a partnership, personal relationship breakdowns and inability of a company owner to work (for example, due to a personal injury or illness).
ADVISING ON ALL AVAILABLE OPTIONS
Ultimately the goal in asset protection is to separate the assets of a business from the risks of operating that business. Separating assets from operating risks can take a number of forms, including but not limited to the following:
- Separating business assets from personal assets
- Separating business assets from business risk
- Separating the risks of one business from another
- Reducing assets held by individuals at risk of bankruptcy
- Separate assets from internal risks.
PARTNERING WITH CLIENTS
Our Gold Coast business lawyers understand that business is about relationships, which is why we offer our clients a tailored approach to meeting their needs. Ramsden Lawyers has experience in advising on unique and innovative asset protection measures and has engaged with clients in a diverse range of industries including resources, childcare, veterinary, automotive, dentistry, technology and construction.
We also have significant experience dealing in large-scale project work and property developments including cross-border transactions.
OUR AREAS OF EXPERTISE:
- Fixed trusts
- Family trusts
- Discretionary trusts
- Unit trusts
- Hybrid trusts
- Holding companies
- Trading companies
- Risk minimisation
- Asset separation
- Industry-specific expertise