Leading commercial law practice in Sydney for all your business law needs
Altria’s corporate law team approaches each of our client’s businesses with an outcome-driven focus, to provide cost-effective legal solutions. Recognising that no two organisations commercial law needs are the same, we develop bespoke solutions for our clients and the industries they operate within.
Specialist corporate lawyers
Commerical law is a broad area of the legal system. Managing your commercial law affairs correctly will protect your interests, can reduce your tax and avoid or resolve disputes promptly. Our full range of corporate and commercial services include confidentiality agreements, advice on buying and selling a business, mergers and acquisitions, refinancing, private equity, dispute resolution, property law, incorporation of company structures, advising on and drafting employment contracts, and establishing partnership agreements.
A commercial law team that works in your corner
Our corporate lawyers cover a range of legal, regulatory and compliance areas. It is wise to have a commercial law firm such as Altria on your side to assist you from the very beginning that understands your operation and industry intimately. We can offer fixed fees for items such as business set up and contracts, and will operate on a time basis for more complex and open ended services such as contract negotiation with another party. While many businesses consider corporate lawyers expensive, it does not need to be prohibitive. De-risking your operation with sound legal advice will help you avoid costly business and personal losses in the future.
We represent both private and public companies, entrepreneurs, investors, governments, institutions, as well as small and medium sized businesses. We offer a full range of commercial law services.
Our services include
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Buying and selling a businesses
- Mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
- Partnership Agreements
- Incorporation of companies
- Private equity Insolvency
- Dispute resolution
- Property law
- Employment contracts
Talk to a commercial lawyer
Call (02) 9134-5851 to discuss your business matters with a lawyer.
Book a free appointment
Your initial consultation with our commercial lawyers is completely no obligation.
Commercial Law Fact Sheet
At Altria, we provide advice you can understand, in a straightforward, clear and concise manner. Our Commercial Law fact sheet provides an overview of setting up, running and transitioning a business and the many legal issues you need to be aware of and navigate. In this fact sheet we cover:
- Business legal structures
- Government regulations
- Business contracts
- Resolving disputes
- Selling your business
- Succession planning
If you wish to discuss any business law matter further with a commercial lawyer please contact us today.
Corporate lawyers that manage the entire business lifecycle
From initially setting up the right structure to exiting your position, you will want to ensure that each step on your business and investment journey is done right. Altria’s business lawyers in Sydney will be by your side for the entire journey of your business, protecting you every step of the way.
- Setting up your business
- Running your business
- Selling or transitioning your business
1. Setting up your business
Starting off in the right way is essential for commercial success and to avoid legal pitfalls. Altria’s experienced team of business lawyers are experts in their field and can guide you on the right structure. We are small business lawyers too, and can ensure entrepreneurs get the level of protection they need.
Structuring your commercial venture
One of the most important steps as you start is to ensure that you have the right corporate structure in place. Choosing wisely will reduce your tax burdens, personal liabilities and provide the right protections of all owners. We will listen to your future goals and work with you to set up the right business structure to minimise tax, reduce liability, as well as getting you off in the correct manner for whatever your exit strategy.
An individual operating as the sole person legally responsible for the business. You can employ staff.
Legal considerations – Responsible for all business liabilities; no division between personal and company assets, meaning your assets could be used to settle damages; require indemnity contracts while conducting business.
An association of people or entities running a business together but not as a company structure.
Legal considerations – Partners are responsible for all business liabilities; partners must operate per their Partnership Agreement; partners are responsible for their own tax.
A separate legal entity with similar rights as a person. ‘Proprietary Limited’ companies are privately owned, while ‘Limited’ companies are publicly traded.
Legal considerations – Can remove personal liability; directors have obligations and may be liable; listed companies operate in a highly regulated and public environment.
An entity that holds property or income for the benefit of others.
Legal considerations – Legality of the trust structure; protects against personal liability of assets in the trust; must operate per the trust deed; requirements for who can be settlors, trustees and beneficiaries; tax reporting and compliance.
This is where the ‘franchisor’ provides the business systems and processes, licensed IP and marketing plan to the ‘franchisee’ to run an outlet of the brand. Risk can be reduced due to the system of the franchisor’s network.
Legal considerations – Conducting business per the ACCC’s ‘Franchising Code’; operate with good faith between franchisor and franchisee.
Managing regulations with your business law team
Fair trade, employment, health and safety, environmental, intellectual property, insurance and tax considerations all need to be addressed. Each business and industry is different and Altria’s law business law team can assist you maintain compliance. They will identify risks and provide guidance to reduce and insure you against any liabilities.
Trademarking attorneys to protect your IP
You will want to ensure any name is available and consider protecting it with a trademark. Registering a domain name or business name does not mean you have the intellectual property rights to it. Altria’s business lawyers can help choose the right approach to protect your IP, as well as searching to ensure no infringement.
Talk to Altria’s experienced business lawyers today about your corporate law needs. We can assist at every stage of a new business or start up.
2. Running your business
Having the right legal advice and documentation in place allows you to operate a successful enterprise through good business dealings, meeting compliance and protecting your interests. Altria will work with you to get a standard set of minimum contracts in place, and can work with you on a needs basis when the need for bespoke negotiations and contracts arises.
Altria’s employment lawyers will ensure you remain within regulations
Good employment contracts make good legal sense. Meeting workplace obligations and entitlements are minimum requirements set by the Federal Government. Your employment lawyer can assist you meet compliance. Good employment contracts also set out the terms of resolving performance issues, errors, misjudgements or conflicts, as well as setting out any non-compete periods or exclusivity. Talk to Altria today if you are about to hire.
Our lawyers can assist draft the many business contracts you require
Ensuring you are covered with the correct contracts and agreements will result in a healthier business over time. Altria’s experienced commercial law team can assist with all contracts to protect your business dealings.
Also referred to as non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), these contracts are essential to protect your intellectual property and sensitive business know-how. Drafted correctly they form an important legal protection so you can operate your business without fear of having your competitive advantages stolen.
Dealing with suppliers, clients or customers, you will want to ensure proper protection. Having clear and agreed terms of trade and service levels ensures that you have a legal foot hold in any dealing or dispute. You may be signing other’s terms, so you’ll want to ensure the fairness of any trade you enter.
An Indemnity Agreement is where one party agrees to indemnify or ‘hold harmless’ another party against anticipated losses, claims or lawsuits. An accident or unforeseen circumstance may arise, and you will want to ensure that you are not liable.
Our commercial lawyers are seasoned in navigating disputes
Going to court can be a costly option, so we will first seek to resolve the matter out of court, including negotiation or mediation channels. Good commercial contracts outline the various steps that are required to be taken before going to court as a final step.
We can help when you are suing or being sued
Resolving a commercial dispute through litigation can be a time of high emotion and anger. Having Altria’s level headed commercial lawyers in your corner ensures that you get the right advice and representation on the matter to avoid the dispute and reduce the damages if defending a claim, or to seek maximum damages if prosecuting a wrong. We will also work to reduce any personal liability in the process so you do not become personally responsible.
Talk to Altria’s experienced business lawyers today about your business operation needs to ensure your organisation runs smoothly and is adequately protected from damages.
3. Transitioning or selling your business
As your business evolves, you will want to take advantage of opportunities to grow, expand, spin off or wind down. There are a variety of options, and Altria’s experience corporate lawyers will work with you to find the right avenues to take.
Trade sales, mergers and acquisitions
While there are many financial considerations in selling, merging with or taking over an entity, it makes good business sense to work with our corporate law firm early on. From the start of conversations and beyond, we can assist you in the many steps it takes to make a successful transaction. This includes due diligence, pre-sale documents including heads of agreement, MOUs and letters of intent, sale and purchase negotiations and agreements, and licensing and transfer of intellectual property. We will also ensure all regulatory bodies are notified and paperwork processed correctly.
We can help avoid and navigate insolvency
Insolvency is a very serious matter, and needs to be dealt with professionally and efficiently by trained corporate lawyers. In Australia, there are three avenues to resolve insolvency if a business is in dire straits. You have several options, and we will discuss the pros and cons of each course of action.
- Voluntary administration – Where the company or major creditor appoint an external administrator to turn things around.
- Liquidation – Where the company sells off its assets and distributes the proceeds among creditors and shareholders.
- Receivership – Where a receiver is appointed by a major creditor to sell company assets and repay debts to the creditor.
Where your lawyer can advise you during insolvency:
Altria’s lawyers will advise you on the best course of action, your obligations and remaining on the right side of the law:
- Avenues to avoid insolvency
- Minimising personal liability
- Restrain you from trading while insolvent
- Curbing preference payments
Altria’s business law team will work to recoup any money owed to you from the debtor via several legal avenues:
- Statement of claim
- Statutory demand
- Defending preference payments
Before taking steps of insolvency Altria’s commercial law team can assist in finding the correct manner to reorganise to trade out of your situation. We can help with creditor negotiations so you remain solvent, as well as protecting you personally and the company during the process.
Preparing for succession
Our lawyers can guide you on succession to family members, and on gradual hand over such as profit sharing agreements. They can also guide you on tax, pension and superannuation implications of any trade.
Changing business structure
Altria’s expert business lawyers will help you review your current set up and can advise you on the pro’s and con’s of any structural changes to your business. There are many different legal, tax and compliance obligations so it’s smart to choose the right structure wisely. We will navigate the process for you, including the necessary steps with the various agencies including the ATO, ASIC and IP Australia. Your business structure can determine your tax liabilities, your responsibilities and liabilities, protection over your assets and the cost and paperwork to operate your business.
Talk to Altria’s experienced corporate lawyers today about the future of your business. We can help with short and long term planning to transition your business.
Get in touch with our commercial lawyers
If you are wanting more information or are not ready to fill out our Case Starter please send us a message about your corporate matter below.