Business Lawyers Online
Leave nothing to chance… Leave it to us!

“My business employs over 50 people and is expanding by acquisition and joint venture. Lexxon’s business law division has enabled me to do this with confidence that the risks are reduced significantly.”
Darren Brighton, Managing Director, BluFi Australia Pty Ltd

“I have used Russell Wheeler as my business lawyer for over 20 years because I get top end legal advice without paying top end prices”.
Richard Hughes, Director, Catylis Properties Pty Ltd

“There is no doubt I would be a lot richer today if I’d used Business Lawyers Online for advice on previous business dealings”.
Mark Lusher, Director, Romasor Pty Ltd

"Russell is very practical and in my opinion this, combined with his experience in business law, makes him a great asset to any company which appoints him as its resident director. I am very happy to recommend Russell highly to anyone who is looking for a company director in Australia".
Neal Macrossan, Managing Director, Incorporator.com.au, Australia

“Russell has done an excellent job as our resident director. He deals with everything professionally and quickly. We have no hesitation in recommending him as a director to anyone who wants to establish a business/company in Australia”
Peter Siu Kit Ng, Managing Director, Guang Yi Company Ltd, Hong Kong

“You can always rely on getting the right advice. Russell Wheeler has been my lawyer for over 25 years. You couldn’t find anyone more trustworthy.”
Geoff Leaver, Chairman, CVC Funds Management (now retired).

“They put together a comprehensive stakeholders’ agreement when we first started. Without it I doubt we would still be in business today”.
Chris Muir, Director

“Russell is a very professional company director and is a real pleasure to work with. I can wholeheartedly recommend him for the role of resident director.”
Patrick Coleman, CEO, PAYG, England

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What you must do to protect your business

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How to protect your name

Company registration gives you the right to use the name to conduct business. Nothing else.

It does not stop someone using that name for other purposes [e.g. as a brand name].

It does not stop someone using a similar name for their business. 

It does not stop someone who already has a similar name from taking legal action to stop you using your name (even after you have registered it!).

You therefore need to check to see if there are any similar names registered which could cause a problem for you. It is also wise to consider protecting your name (whether it is the name of your company or a brand) by registering a trademark – TM registration.

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contract legal advice

Protection against legal and consumer problems

One way to prevent problems, and one of the most important, is to have well thought out terms and conditions of business.

Most people don't realise the risk they are taking by not having EFFECTIVE written customer contracts, by copying them from another business or by using an online template.

Send us a copy of your terms of business and we will let you know (free of charge) if they are OK – free terms of business evaluation. Another thing that you may not be aware of. Many people use a company or trust to avoid the risk of trading in their own name, not realising that they are often exposing themselves to the personal risk of being a director and other risks, such as personal liability for misleading conduct by the business.

Protecting company assets

If you have any valuable intellectual property (IP) or tangible assets, whether they are valuable now or you expect them to be valuable at some time in the future, it is wise to takes steps to keep them safe.

Effective legal documentation and business insurance are both important to protect assets, but neither are foolproof. Therefore, it is sensible to take steps to separate valuable assets from the trading activities of the business so that they will not be lost if the company gets into financial difficulties.

The way this is done is to have the valuable assets owned separately and then license the use of those assets to the trading company. 

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Protecting yourself

Most people think a company will protect them against personal liability. It is a good start, and a lot safer than operating as a sole trader or in partnership, but it is not enough.

A company director in Australia is personally liable for many debts of a company such as superannuation payable to employees, tax on wages payable to the ATO and any debts incurred at a time when the company cannot pay invoices when they become payable.

In addition, directors can be personally liable for other things the company does, such as misleading a customer. You don’t actually have to say or write something which is misleading. An omission to do something or say something is enough, and directors are often liable for this (even if they are not personally involved).

There is no need to be alarmed or put off by these things – they just need to be taken into account in the way your company does business and in the legal agreements which are so important for your protection.