Starting a business

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Starting a business is an exciting time. Your motivation is high, you are bursting with ideas and eager to get on with developing a successful and prosperous business. Planning is important at this early stage. Once you have determined the viability of your business concept and you are ready to set up your business you will need to think about the type of structure you will use. Which is the best vehicle from which to conduct your business? This is ...

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Protecting your personal property from business creditors

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When you are in business you want to expose your personal property to as little risk as possible. This is one of the reasons for setting up a separate legal entity for your business, such as an incorporated company, and for keeping your personal affairs and finances completely separate from your business.

Shareholder liability

When you incorporate a company, the shareholders get limited liability protection. That means their liability for the debts of the company is limited to the amount they have ...

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Use of your companies’ names

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Many people have registered limited liability companies, yet operate under separate trading names.

It is prudent to ensure that your business cards and every written communication used or sent by, or on behalf of, any of your businesses have the relevant company’s proper legal name on them.

If you do not do this then your company and you personally as directors risk being convicted of an offence under the Companies Act 1993 and fined $5,000 each.

Also, anyone dealing with you will not ...

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How to cancel a lease when your commercial tenant stops paying rent

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This article is about what you should and shouldn’t do when enforcing your commercial lease against a tenant that has defaulted on their rent payments or another condition of the lease.

Do not:

Do not take matters into your own hands. Do not physically remove the tenant or the tenant’s property or change the locks.

Do:

The best thing to do is to see a commercial lawyer. Take with you a copy of all the documents you have that relate to your lease together ...

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Debt collection 101: demand payment

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Someone owes you money and you want to be paid.  You may have lent them money or they may owe it to you under an agreement e.g. unpaid rent, or goods supplied on credit.  How do you get the money from them?  Can you make them pay?  A common first step to recover a debt is to write a letter demanding payment.

A “letter of demand” is a formal way of demanding payment. The letter will usually include the following information:

  • Identify ...
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Debt collection 101: register a security interest over goods sold on credit

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In business the most important thing is your bottom line.  You need to get paid.  The best way to do that is to only accept cash.  Unfortunately that does not work for everyone who is in trade, some businesses need to take goods and/or services on credit in order to keep operating. It makes more commercial sense for some businesses to pay you once a month. The first step in debt collection is having good systems in place from the ...

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Borrowing explained: loans, mortgages and guarantees

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Borrowing money

When you get a loan, the bank will usually require a mortgage and guarantee.

The loan relates to the amount of money you are borrowing from the bank and contains the bank’s lending terms that you have agreed to, such as the interest rate, repayment plan and the security required by the bank.

A mortgage is a charge that will be registered against the land belonging to the borrower or a related party.  This is the bank’s way of ...

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Structuring your business and incorporating a limited liability company

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One of the first things people consider when going into business is the type of entity or structure they would like to use to carry out their business. The business structure is like a vehicle which will take the business through its life cycle from formation to winding up. However, depending on the type of business, different structures may be appropriate for different stages of the business.

For example, it may be appropriate to start operating the business using an entity ...

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Retailers providing credit must register as financial service providers by 30 November 2010

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New laws applying to the finance industry from 1 December this year will have a substantial impact on financial advisers and financial service providers. This legal blog deals with the new obligations on financial services providers.

Retailers providing goods on credit terms are financial service providers and therefore need to register as financial service providers under the new laws applying to the finance industry by 30 November 2010.

Generally, any ...

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Quitting your job? Been fired after giving notice? Want your final pay?

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Quitting your job can be a stressful time. The situation is made worse when your boss is not happy you are leaving and tells you not to come into work, makes your last days at work intolerable or does not want to give you your full and final pay. Both you and your boss must follow a proper process when terminating your employment relationship.

Giving notice and final payment

If you give the required notice, your boss must pay you until the ...

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