Small Business Support
Our business lawyers regularly assist clients ranging from individuals or sole practitioners to large corporates on structuring measures that allow you to mitigate risk and maximise flexibility. We assist you in establishing best practice structures and agreements to prevent asset exposure.
Experts in all business structures
When you are beginning a business, there are a number of structural options available, such as: Sole traders, Partnerships, Joint Ventures, Trusts. A sole trader is the simplest structure as no separate legal entity is created, however it also means that you will be personally liable for the businesses obligations. You are also taxed at your personal rate.
A partnership involves two or more individuals carrying on a business under an agreement. No separate legal entity is created and the parties share jointly both the profits and liabilities of the business. A joint venture is very similar to a partnership, but the parties work towards the same strategic goal for a particular project rather than an ongoing business while remaining separate entities.
The distinction between a partnership and a joint venture is not always a clear one, yet the implications can be substantial meaning that consulting a small business lawyer can be highly important to ensure you are not held liable for a party who is considered to be in partnership with you despite your intention to the contrary. Trusts can sometimes be used for business purposes though the trustee is liable for carrying out obligations according to the trust deed – which can be very difficult to properly modify without expert assistance.
Partnering with early-stage start-ups
When you undertake a start-up project, there are significant cost outlays involved (for a useful start-up costs calculator see Business Queensland).
Our small business lawyers take pride in assisting businesses of all kinds and are especially encouraged by the growing start-up trend in Australia. No matter your industry or stage in the business growth cycle, our team can assist you in establishing or correcting your business structure. The most significant advantage of implementing our business structuring strategy is that it allows businesses to protect their valued assets from any adverse claims brought against them without restricting their freedom to operate in an agile way.
Typically a key concern for small businesses is the ability for any of their clients or suppliers to pursue their assets and cash for any perceived wrongdoing. Without implementing specific structures that “trap” losses into a specific entity, the ability for a litigious party to severely damage or bankrupt your business is increased.
In addition to providing the safest business structures given your particular circumstances, we also work with clients to create fair agreements with clients and suppliers to minimise the risk of a dispute arising in the first place. We negotiate on your behalf and take the stress out of forming understandings with other parties.
Creating separation between business operations and assets
An effective method for minimising the risks of asset exposure in the context of business structuring is by creating a partition between the interactions of your operating business with clients or suppliers and assets like equipment, cash and your intellectual property.
Our Gold Coast business lawyers offer unique and innovative company structures to meet your specific needs. We also assist founders and owners in the use of discretionary trusts to hold company shares for an added layer of asset protection and to enable superior tax minimisation capabilities.
Helping small businesses form relationships
As part of the guidance we provide to small businesses we also assist in forming appropriate and fair agreements between the company (or sole proprietor) and its suppliers and customers. By creating proper legal agreements at the outset, the risks of any business relationships deteriorating are significantly reduced. As a result, clients can rest assured they can safely focus on making their business as profitable as possible.
Ramsden Lawyers’ expert business lawyers also assist small businesses in determining whether a capital raise is right for them and whether there is a foreseeable liquidity event to justify taking on the extra burden of satisfying the debt or equity obligation that attaches to it.
We can provide advice on the best ways to negotiate with and approach various types of investors ranging from family members to venture capitalist firms. For those businesses that achieve significant growth, Ramsden Lawyers also provide experienced IPO listing capabilities to our clients here on the Gold Coast.
Our areas of expertise include:
Business structuring, Capital raising, Populating your company, Establishing fair agreements with customers and suppliers, Registering and protecting intellectual property.