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Commercial & Business Law

Commercial and business law governs the rights, relationships, and transactions of businesses and commercial entities. Most businesses will need legal assistance with undertakings such as forming the business structure, preparing and negotiating contracts, employing staff and additional legal considerations. Childcare centres, for instance, common have significant additional hurdles to clear when operating in New South Wales. These include obtaining and maintaining appropriate development consent, approved provider and service approval. Compliance involves navigating complex regulations and adhering to various compliance measures to meet and exceed all requirements of operating childcare services in NSW. SlaterWatts can assist with all aspects of commercial and business law including childcare centres, service stations and businesses that are subject to liquor licensing and gaming laws.

Business Formation and Structure

Commercial and business law often determines the complex processes of how business owners and directors form and structure their businesses. We can assist in electing and establishing the appropriate legal entity such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, company, or trust, with respect to liability, taxation, employment and leasing arrangements and ownership.

Contracts and Agreements

Contracts are fundamental in commercial transactions outlining the rights and obligations of all the parties involved. Carefully drafted contracts ensure clarity and protect the respective interests, reducing the risk of disputes, uncertainty and legal complications. In the Service Station industry, contracts come into play when dealing with fuel supply agreements, leasing arrangements and goods suppliers, distributors, and employees. We can draft your commercial contracts from scratch, or review and negotiate an existing agreement to flag issues and add provisions to protect your interests.

Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

Many businesses have invaluable intellectual property – unique branding, logos, and product names – that they wish to protect. Existing laws provide protection of these assets, for example, through trademark registration, which prevents others from using similar marks and helps establish a strong brand presence in the market. We understand that intellectual property is an important asset and can help you protect it, whether through trademark registration, licensing agreements, or enforcing your rights against infringement.

Employment Law

Employment law governs the relationship between employers and employees. Understanding and complying with employment regulations is essential for all businesses to establish and promote a healthy and legally compliant work environment and culture. We look forward to helping you navigate the vast range of employment and workplace matters in relation to the hospitality industry and ensure that you comply with your obligations when selling or buying a business.

Consumer Law and Competition Law

Competition law governs anti-competitive behaviour and protects fair competition in the market, preventing monopolies and price-fixing. Consumer protection laws traverse various commercial industries to ensure fair trade practices and prevent deceptive marketing or false advertising. Commercial and residential vendors must ensure they do not misrepresent their businesses or their viability when selling, otherwise they can expose themselves to claims from purchasers under the Australian Consumer Law.

Dispute Resolution and Litigation

Alternative dispute resolution methods, including negotiation and mediation, can be used to resolve conflicts without going to court when disputes arise between businesses, suppliers, customers, or employees. In some cases, however, litigation may be deemed necessary or be in your best interest. Understanding your legal position and your alternatives for resolving a dispute is fundamental to making an informed decision based on measured professional advice. Our experienced lawyers will explain your options, advise you and strongly advocate for you, to ensure that your legal interests are protected.

Data Protection and Privacy

As a business owner, you are responsible for protecting your customers’ data and complying with all applicable privacy laws. This is essential to maintaining customers’ customer data, financial information, and avoiding the costly consequences of ever-increasing data breaches.

Some steps which business owners can take to help protect their customer’s data include:

  • Developing and implementing a data protection policy that outlines how you collect, store, use, and share customer data;
  • Train your employees on data protection, privacy and collection;
  • Using two factor authentication or other strong security measures to protect your IT systems from unauthorised access; and
  • Regularly reviewing your data protection and privacy practices to ensure that they are up to date and remain effective.

If you need assistance, contact one of our lawyers at info@slaterwatts.com.au or call 02 9221 1088 for expert legal advice.