Buying A Business

keyboard buy now iconBuying a business is a serious investment and is not without risk. If you are thinking about buying an existing business, it is important to conduct your research and do your due diligence before you sign any documents.

Established businesses often come with advantages such as an existing customer base, goodwill and immediate cash flow. However, not every business is a good prospect. For example, business owners may be trying to sell an under-performing or unprofitable business. With the potential to inherit problems of a business, it is important to seek professional legal advice from the beginning. Clearly understanding what you are investing in and the risks associated with the purchase is paramount to help you avoid unexpected pitfalls.

There are many considerations you should take into account when purchasing a business. These include:

  • the purchase agreement;
  • non-compete clause to block the vendor from establishing a new competing business;
  • the purchase price;
  • the payment terms;
  • the costs to run the business;
  • taxes;
  • is the business profitable?;
  • the business structure;
  • the employees;
  • any past or current disputes relating to the business;
  • if there is a lease;
  • licences and registrations;
  • legal regulations and compliance requirements; and
  • the industry and competitors.

Investigating a business and determining if it is a feasible investment can be complex and time-consuming.

At PCL Lawyers, our team of commercial lawyers can assist at any stage of the buying process. We take the time to understand your expectations, your commercial needs and business goals. Our business lawyers carefully review all relevant documents and can assist by negotiating with the seller to reach an agreement to ensure your interests are protected in the transaction.

If there are lease premises, our team of  property lawyers will ensure that the new or assigned lease is handled for you.

If you are considering or in the process of buying a business, contact us on 1300 907 335 or complete the enquiry form on this page.

Commercial Litigation

AuVWSkY0jYRp9tzzqxt1Ljf3zTQVcw_tGaucfTgG2fQCOMMERCIAL LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION

It is always best to focus on minimising the risk of disputes through well-drafted contracts, operation policies and obtaining sound legal advice from the start. However, in today’s commercial environment, commercial disputes are sometimes unavoidable.

Commercial litigation is the option of last resort. Disputes can often be resolved by dispute resolution and without the stress and costs associated with litigation.

Dispute resolution is the process of resolving a dispute between parties without the Court. There are different types of dispute resolution. For example:

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Conciliation
  • Arbitration

Litigation, however, is sometimes inevitable.

Following the commencement of legal proceedings, but before a matter goes to a trial or final hearing there will almost always be an opportunity for formal mediation of some sort. This can be an excellent opportunity to resolve the matter.

Where the matter cannot be resolved, and requires adjudication by a judge, we have strong trial experience to ensure that your case is well prosecuted.

We are experienced in dealing with litigation in the following courts and tribunals:

  • VCAT
  • Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
  • County Court of Victoria
  • Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Federal Circuit Court of Australia
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Family Court of Australia

At PCL Lawyers, we aim to achieve fast and cost-effect solutions. Our litigation lawyers frequently assist in settling disputes by settling the impasse between the parties. If you have a dispute or court proceedings already on foot, contact our litigation and dispute resolution team today on 1300 907 335 or complete the enquiry form on this page.

Contracts Lawyers

Business Contract

BUSINESS CONTRACTS & AGREEMENTS

We are very experienced at drafting and reviewing Business Contracts.

Some examples include the following:

  • Commercial Agreements
  • Business Sale Contracts
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Share Sale Contracts
  • Intellectual Property Agreements
  • Online (IT) Agreements
  • Terms of Trade
  • Company Share Contracts
  • Loan / Debt Agreements
  • Partnership Agreements

Breach of Contract

Ongoing disputes can be time consuming and expensive.

Our litigation and dispute resolution lawyers seek to resolve a dispute, where possible, without the need for litigation.

However, we have the experience and grunt power to run small to larger scale litigation.

We adopt different approaches having regard to all of the circumstances. Sometimes it is better to take a very tough approach from the start. In other circumstances, a more conciliatory approach can be adopted to help achieve your objectives. We acknowledge that not every dispute is the same and that sometimes commercial relationships need to be protected as part of the resolution process. This requires finesse and sensible strategic planning.

If you have a contract you need drafted, reviewed or a contractual dispute, call us today on 1300 907 335 or complete the enquiry form on this page.

Debt Recovery

Final notice stampIf you are owed money

We offer a streamlined, cost-effective debt collection service.

Do you need a fast, effective, no-nonsense debt recovery service? Then you have come to the right place.

  • We are experienced and highly successful in recovering outstanding debts – large and small.
  • We take an approach that involves fast action and pressure on the debtor using legal processes.
  • When it comes to recovering money, the idea is to make your unpaid invoices the debtor’s priority.

Part of the reason for our success in this area is that we fully appreciate that different approaches are required for different types of debts and different types of debtors. In other words, we consider all the factors before we start the recovery process.

Possible outcomes include the following:

  • payment in full;
  • payment plan (if suitable);
  • legal proceedings;
  • wind-up (if a company); and
  • bankruptcy (if an individual).

Most debtors do not want to be wound up (in the case of a company) or be made bankrupt (in the case of an individual). Sometimes they are just feeling the pressure and don’t know what to do next.

Our goal is to help prioritise the importance of the debt owing to you so that you get a solution earlier (in case they go broke later) or otherwise to get the debtor to focus their mind on dealing with you before other debtors.

To find out more about our debt collection service, contact us today on 1300 907 335 or complete the enquiry form on this page.

Employment Lawyers

Employment ContractsEmployment contract

A solid employment contracts will clearly set out the rights and obligations between Employer and Employee.

However a well drafted employment contract will do much more than that. It will help protect you as an employer against disloyal employees. For instance, confidential information is generally very valuable, as is your customer base. You want to do everything you can as a prudent employer to prevent that information from one day walking out the door to a competitor.

There are other things that are delineated in an employment contract such as employee behaviour at work, restraint of trade if they leave and, where applicable, KPI’s.

Employment contracts have the added effect of making you look organised and professional as an employer. A well drafted employment contract demonstrates that you value the employment relationship. Most employees feel comfortable also knowing the expectations and parameters of the role. This creates a great deal of confidence in the employee, which only helps your business.

In a modern and competitive marketplace, employment contracts have become a fundamental.

Our employment lawyers are experienced in drafting tailored employment contracts across a broad range of industries.

Employee Disputes & Employee Issues

We are experienced in acting for employers in unfair dismissal cases, Fair Work Commission matters and other circumstances where there is a dispute.

We are particularly experienced in pursuing former employees for breaches of the employment contract, including wrongful use of confidential information and breaching restraint of trade clauses.

Contact PCL Lawyers Today

As an employer, it is important to safeguard your business. Contact us today on 1300 907 335 or complete the form on this page to find out how we can assist your business and it’s employment matters.

Franchising Lawyers

Franchise Word Cloud ConceptWe are dedicated franchise lawyers and understand the franchisee perspective.

Buying a Franchise

Buying a franchise is a great opportunity to operate your own business under an established brand and proven model. It is often considered a viable alternative to a start-up business. However, buying a franchise is not a guarantee of success and issues can arise.

It is important as a prospective franchisee to consider all the advantages and disadvantages of franchising and seek advice from an experienced franchising lawyer to understand your rights, responsibilities and the legal ramifications of becoming a franchisee.

The Franchise Documents

The Franchising Code of Conduct requires franchisors to provide prospective franchisees with:

1. the Franchise Agreement;

2. the Disclosure Document; and

3. a copy of the Franchising Code of Conduct (the Code).

Understanding the contents of the franchise documentation is imperative. This is because the documents set out the details of the franchise business, your obligations and rights as franchisee and the obligations and rights of the franchisor.

The franchise agreement is often weighted heavily in favour of the franchisor. Failing to consider the agreement carefully may result in problems which could have been prevented by simply obtaining proper legal advice from the beginning. Therefore, it is important to consult a franchise lawyer prior to signing a franchise agreement.

At PCL Lawyers, our team of franchise lawyers can:

  • review franchise agreements and disclosure documents;
  • review other relevant documentation such as employment contracts, operation manuals and sale of business documents;
  • assist with due diligence;
  • advise you on your rights and obligations as a franchisee;
  • advise you on the rights and obligations of the franchisor;
  • advise you on your options when the franchise agreement expires;
  • assist with negotiating with the franchisor; and
  • assist with leases and Premises Licence Agreements.

Our approach at PCL Lawyers is to provide experienced advice and not merely a “rubberstamp”. We are here to answer the myriad of questions you likely have and to assist you in your due diligence.

To speak to one of our franchising lawyers, contact us on 1300 907 335 or complete the enquiry form on this page.

Franchisee Disputes 

Franchise disputes can be disruptive and costly.

We understand the importance of achieving a solution efficiently and cost-effectively. When a franchise dispute arises, we take the time to make an assessment of your position and provide concise legal advice on the options available to you.

Our approach is to obtain a resolution by way of mediation.  Legal representation at this time can help you get a better and a faster result.

For many cases, we find litigation is a last resort. If legal proceedings need to be commenced, our litigation team are savvy and experienced.

At PCL Lawyers, our franchise lawyers act for both franchisors and franchisees. To discuss your franchise dispute, contact us on 1300 907 335 or complete the enquiry form on this page.

Selling A Business

customer and salesman shaking handsThe process of selling a business should not be rushed, no matter how attractive an offer may be. Selling a business requires careful planning to ensure a successful sale and the best possible price for your business.

It will be important to consider matters such as:

  • employees and training;
  • confidentiality agreement / non-disclosure agreement  – to protect your interests from non-genuine buyers or an unsuccessful sale;
  • special conditions to be included in the sale of business contract;
  • restraint of trade – this is important if you are interested in working in the same industry after the business sale;
  • the intellectual property of the business;
  • ownership and sale of business equipment and stock;
  • the settlement process;
  • lease – if business operates from a fixed premises;
  • transitional assistance;
  • your involvement in the business after the sale; and
  • registering your security interests on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).

At PCL Lawyers, our business and commercial lawyers can assist in the offer process, prepare contract documentation for the sale, negotiate and complete the settlement process. Our team have the skills and experience to ensure a smooth sale transaction across a variety of industries.

Contact us on 1300 907 335 to discuss your business sale or alternatively, contact us by completing the enquiry form on this page. 

Wills Lawyers

my will message illustration designHaving an up to date Will is acting responsibly – looking after those you care about. It will likely ensure that your wishes are clear after you die and minimise the risks of your Will being contested.

At PCL Lawyers, our experienced team of estate lawyers can:

  • Draft Wills (Simple, Complex Wills, Testamentary Trust Wills)
  • Review and update your Will – it is recommended to review your Will every 3 – 5 years or after any major life event (for example when you get married or separated from a spouse)
  • Draft Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Draft Medical Powers of Attorney

Wills

If your asset structure is straightforward, we can prepare a simple Will for a competitive fee.

If you have a more complex asset ownership structure, own a business and/or you have a large asset pool, some thought is required to ensure that that the distribution will be in accordance with your wishes.

Contact PCL Lawyers Today

In any event, our team can advise you as to the different options available and recommend an appropriate approach. Our estate lawyers will guide you through the potential risks and provide assistance to mitigate against future estate disputes.

For peace of mind contact us today on 1300 907 335 for a confidential discussion. Alternatively, contact us by filling out the enquiry form on this page.

Probate

Hand with wax sealWhen a person passes away, their Estate must be dealt with. However, this cannot be done without an order from the Supreme Court.

Grant of Probate

If the deceased has a valid Will, a Grant of Probate will need to be applied for before the Executor can administer the Estate. Once probate is obtained, the Executor’s role is to distribute the assets in accordance with the Will.

Letters of Administration

When a person dies without a Will, this is known as dying intestate.

In order to deal with the deceased’s Estate, the rules of intestacy apply and Letters of Administration will need to be applied for.  In this case, a similar method to probate is followed to allow the Administrator (usually the next of kin) to distribute the Estate.

Contact our Wills & Estate Lawyers Today

Our probate service is efficient and professional, in what of course is a difficult time.

Please call us today on 1300 907 335 to discuss your matter or alternatively contact us by filling out the form on this page and will respond to you promptly.

 

Commercial Leasing

Leasing through Lens on Missing Puzzle.At PCL Lawyers, we have strong experience in the commercial leasing space – both retail and non-retail.

We provide a cost effective service across the following areas:

New Leases – If you are the Landlord

We draft commercial leases for landlords on a regular basis. Our documents are precise and well presented.

Commercial leases are complex documents. They must provide for several eventualities that may arise during the term of the lease and for when the lease is terminated. Without careful consideration of the terms of the lease, issues can arise.

New Leases – If you are the Tenant

It is wise as a prospective tenant to ensure that the proposed lease is understood and drafted in way which is fair.

We will always add value to a new lease negotiation. It is more than just peace of mind. You want to make sure that your rights and responsibilities are understood.

Some issues that require particular consideration are:

  • Fitout
  • Termination
  • Make Good
  • Rent Free Period
  • Adopting the right wording for special conditions

Lease Disputes
Lease disputes require decisive action.

Our team of commercial leasing lawyers are pragmatic and committed to resolving a dispute as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Sometimes litigation is nonetheless inevitable and we can most definitely bring the necessary skill and resolve to the table. We are experienced in lease litigation for matters heard in VCAT and the Supreme Court of Victoria. We also regularly appear at commercial leasing mediations.

Whatever the dispute, you need tough lawyers in your corner.

Some examples of a lease dispute include:

  • Default for Non-Payment of Rent
  • Rent Review
  • Breach of Lease
  • Demolition Clauses
  • Exercise of Option
  • Lease Termination and Lock Out
  • Injunctions (preventing a landlord form locking out a tenant)

Assignment of Lease

Leases are mostly transferred when a business is sold and the premises are transferred to the new incoming purchaser.

Our property lawyers can draft or review the assignment of lease for you.

Sublease
A sublease is necessary when only a portion of the premises is being leased to a third party. Subleases require specific and drafting.

Contact PCL Lawyer’s Leasing Team 

Contact us today on 1300 907 335  or alternatively contact us by filling out the form on this page.

For more information on commercial leasing, visit PCL Commercial Leasing