Articles

Foreign Investment Surcharge

Purchaser duty surcharge:

The NSW Government introduced a 4% surcharge purchaser duty on the purchase of residential real estate by foreign persons from 21 June 2016. The surcharge is in addition to the duty payable on the purchase of residential property.

If a foreign person, purchases a residential property for $2 million, duty calculation is as follows:

Duty payable on $2 million is $95,490

Surcharge of 4% on $2 million is $80,000

Total payable is $95,490 + $80,000 = $175,490

The second significant change is that foreign persons will not be entitled to the 12-month extension for the payment of stamp duty for off-the-plan purchases of residential property, which applies to residents of Australia.

 

Who is an ordinary resident?

An individual is an ordinarily resident in Australia at a particular time if the individual has actually been in Australia during 200 or more days in the period of 12 months immediately preceding that time, and is not (or was not, immediately before their most recent departure from Australia) subject to any limitation as to time for their continued presence in Australia.

A New Zealand citizen is not classified as a foreign person if they hold a special category visa, within the meaning of section 32 of the Migration Act 1958 of the Commonwealth and whose continued presence in Australia is not subject to any limitations as to time imposed by law. However, […]

Sunday, November 6, 2016|0 Comments

Selling Your Business – The Legal Tipsheet

Contract For Sale of Business being signedSelling a business is a marketing exercise requiring planning and preparation.

As the seller, you will be thinking about how to achieve the highest price for your business and how to make the transaction process quick and easy. To make a successful sale you will need to anticipate where the buyer is coming from. A buyer will be thinking about paying the lowest price. A prudent purchaser will carry out thorough enquiry including thorough scrutiny of the accounting records, sales turnover and trend, and lease arrangements.

The buy-sell process

The conclusion of a business sale should be a successful transaction for both the seller and the buyer. Be prepared for the scrutiny of the prospective purchaser. It will save you time and stress at the time of the inquiry if you prepare ahead and consider the following:

  • Why are you selling?
  • How long have you owned the business?
  • Ensure that you have on display your certificate of registration of the business name. The purchaser may ask to sight the certificate of registration.
  • Is the one entity responsible for your lease, employee expenses and all licences, stock and equipment?
  • Your current lease arrangements. The purchaser should be provided with a copy of the lease. This will provide details of the length of the current […]
Thursday, September 22, 2016|0 Comments

What to Know When Starting a Business

Starting a new business venture involves many challenges and considerations. It can be a time consuming and exhausting process, but it is important not to overlook the legal issues involved in the early stages to prevent headaches down the line. Ensure that your interests are adequately protected by following this guide.

Structure of business

First, you must determine the structure of the organisation. In Australia there are four organisational structures available, each with its own unique taxation, legal liability and accounting considerations:

  • Sole trader: a person who is the exclusive owner of the business,
  • Partnership: two or more people or entities running the business together,
  • Limited Liability Company: a distinct legal entity whose owners are legally responsible for its debts only to the extent of its paid-up capital,
  • Trust: an arrangement where a person or company (a trustee) holds property as its nominal owner on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries

These arrangements are not fixed; there are options available for changing the structure at a later date if your circumstances change. For instance, a sole trader may wish to incorporate (ie change to a company structure) to enhance income and asset protection.

Founders Agreements

If you will be starting the business with other people, then you should consider signing a document that specifies the rights and responsivities of each of the parties. An oral agreement or even a […]

Thursday, September 15, 2016|0 Comments

Here’s What To Do If You’ve Missed Your Court Date

Have you missed your Court date? Don’t Panic

If you have missed your Court date, you should contact the Court immediately and find out what happened.

There are a number of things that can happen with your matter. The Magistrate may:

  1. Magistrate may deal with the matter in your absence;
  2. Adjourn the matter to enable you to attend on the next occasion – you should not rely on this taking place; or
  3. Issue a warrant for your arrest.

Has the Magistrate dealt with your matter in your absence?

You may like to consider lodging an Annulment Application (under section 4 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) ACT 2001) at the Local Court. You will be given a date for the hearing of your annulment application, at which time you must attend Court.

The Magistrate may accept your explanation and annul the decision after which your matter will be reheard. It is best to lodge the application as soon as you find out about your matter having been dealt with in your absence, even though there is a time limit of 2 years from the date the order was made.

The following are the grounds for lodging an Annulment Application:

  1. You were unaware of the matter until after it was dealt with;
  2. You were hindered from attending Court as a result of an accident, illness, misadventure, or other extenuating circumstances;
  3. It […]
Sunday, September 11, 2016|0 Comments

Your residential investment property – Ending the tenancy

W800px-Triple_Front_(With_4_Fronts)_style_house_in_Heidelberg,_Victoriahether selling your investment property, deciding you want to move in, or just wanting the current tenant to leave you will need to remember the time required to be given to the tenant to vacate.

Lease agreement due to expire

When the fixed term of the agreement is due to expire, either party can end the tenancy by giving 30 days’ notice. The notice can be served up to and including the last day of the fixed term agreement.

Expired lease agreement

After the fixed term has expired and there has been no breach of the lease conditions, you can obtain vacant possession by providing either 90 days’ notice (without having to state a reason) or 30 days’ notice in the case of the property having been sold with vacant possession.

Breach of lease agreement

If the tenant has broken any one of the terms of the tenancy agreement, including being in arrears with rent payments, the period is reduced to a minimum of 14 days’ notice.

Selling a tenanted property

If you are selling the property and it is managed for you, make sure you advise the managing agent as soon as the property has exchanged that you require the tenant to vacate. They will then issue the Termination Notice. If you manage the property yourself then it is your duty to […]

Thursday, September 1, 2016|0 Comments

Shared Parental Responsibility

Amendments to the Family Law Act in July 2006 made significant changes to parental responsibility for children. The reforms placed a greater emphasis on the best interests of the child to encourage separated parents to share parental responsibility and resolve disputes in a co-operative manner. These initiatives aim to bring about a cultural shift in how parents think about family relationships and how family separation is managed: away from litigation and towards cooperative parenting with the focus on the children.

New Amendments to the Family Law Act were implemented in 2012 to reduce childhood exposure to family violence. These changes sought to prioritise the safety of the children in parenting matters by giving greater weight to the protection from harm when determining what is in the child’s best interest. The amendments also broadened the definition of family violence to include physical and emotional abuse.

Shared Parenting

The law dictates a presumption of equal shared parental responsibility when the Family Court makes parenting orders. Both parents will need to confer with each other and share an equal role in making decisions about important long term issues concerning their children such as education, religion, culture and health. The presumption does not arise in circumstances of family violence or child abuse.

What factors will the Family Court consider?

The Family Court will take into account whether spending equal time with both […]

Thursday, August 25, 2016|0 Comments

Identity Theft

The AFP (Australian Federal Police) website states:

“Identity crime has become one of the most common and fastest growing crimes in Australia. Each year around five percent of the adult population, or about 900,000 people, report being a victim of identity crime resulting in a financial loss.

Recent estimates by the Attorney-General’s Department indicate that identity crime costs Australia upwards of $1.6 billion each year, with the majority (around $900m) lost by individuals through credit card fraud, identity theft and scams. More alarmingly, identity crime continues to be a key enabler of serious and organised crime, which in turn costs Australia around $15 billion annually.”

Consider the safety of your identity and challenge yourself to the AFP Survey. Are you protected? Many of us know how to protect our identity but keep putting off the time required to make improvements to protect our identity. Have you changed your passwords lately? Do you have a locked postbox? Do you shred personal documents before placing them in the recycling bin? Follow this link to complete the survey and rate your risk of potential identity crime.

http://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/campaigns/national-identity-fraud-awareness-week

Don’t become one of the statistics! The following list provides guidelines to assist you to take the necessary steps to protect your identity today!

Identity Theft Protection

Identify theft protection

Thursday, July 28, 2016|0 Comments

Buying a Business – The Legal Tipsheet

Buying a business is a huge commitment, both commercially and emotionally. There is much to consider but with guidance from your accountant and legal advisor, you can make an informed decision.

Getting started

Ask yourself:
• Why am I going into business?
• What skills, ability, experience and discipline do I bring to being a business proprietor?
• Am I suitable for this particular business?
• Do I have the financial capacity to run the business?
• What staff back-up will I have?
• What am I seeking to achieve from the business?

Reality checking

Purchasing and running a business is about minimising risk and maximising reward for effort. The failure rate of running a business is very high with considerable adverse consequences including stress, bankruptcy, loss of credit rating, marital breakdown and loss of reputation.

Many businesses are purchased by unwary first timers at an over-value. Purchasing a business requires prudent planning and sound commercial judgement. You need to be methodical and focussed.

You are purchasing not just an income stream but also a valuable asset which ideally should grow in value to on-sell. Given the responsibilities and risk you will be taking on, it is not worth purchasing a business merely to be paid an employee’s award wage! Having said that, many businesses for sale have great potential and provide an ideal outlet for your untapped entrepreneurial flair!

Assess the business

Assess the past and present […]

Thursday, July 21, 2016|0 Comments

Extensions to Anti-Smoking Legislation

Did you know that extensions to Anti-Smoking Legislation came into effect from 6 July 2015?

anti smoking legislationAre you ready to implement the necessary changes that will impact on your business?

Cafes and restaurants are urged to ensure they are aware of the important changes to outdoor dining in relation to smokers which came into force in mid-2015.

From 7 January 2013 the following bans on smoking in outdoor public places came into effect:

1. Within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building including non-residential buildings and combined residential / commercial buildings

2. Public transport including light rail stops and stations, railway stations and platforms, bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry wharves

3. Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public spaces

4. Spectator areas of sporting grounds during organised sporting events

5. Open areas of public swimming pool complexes

However as of 6 July 2015 these bans were extended:

  • Licensed premises including clubs, hotels, restaurants and cafes have been added to the 4 metre exclusion zone (mentioned in point 1 above); and
  • Commercial outdoor dining areas must enforce a total ban of smoking in the seated dining area with a further 4 metres extended from the entrance and exit to the licensed venue, club, restaurant or cafe. At a food […]
Wednesday, May 25, 2016|0 Comments

Government ‘My Health’ website updated

The Government’s web-based health portal, My Health Record has updated to allow individuals to upload their own Advance Care Directive for doctors and health care professionals to access when necessary.

An Advance Care Directive is an important document which allows an individual to communicate medical care wishes and beliefs. It details future medical care preferences and provides guidance to family, close friends and medical professionals in the event of a person being unable communicate due to illness or injury.

 

Individuals can now log on to their My Health Record and upload a PDF form of their signed Advance Care Directive document through the Advance Care Planning section of the portal. With the click of a few buttons, doctors and authorised representatives (such as elected family members or carers) can access this information when it is needed – free of cost.

My Health Record was launched by the Labor Government in 2012 in an attempt to modernise Australia’s medical records system. Other items available for upload include a list of medicines prescribed for the patient, organ donation decision, diagnostic reports like x-ray results and blood tests. Previously, individuals could specify the custodian of their ACD but, as of April 2016 it will be possible to upload a digital version of the document as well.

If you are interested in preparing an Advance Care Directive, please call Acclaim Legal today […]

Thursday, May 12, 2016|0 Comments