When it comes to accounting and bookkeeping for small businesses, one of the hardest things to control is your profits and losses for the year. This is especially true for businesses owners like farmers or fishermen who can earn highly variable incomes.
Luckily, the Australian government has made a number of allowances for people who own businesses like this to make it easier for them to keep their taxes in order. One of the more popular things that they have done is introduced something called a farm management deposit.
What is a farm management deposit?
According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), farm management deposits are designed to help primary producers deal with the effects of having a highly variable income. For example, in drought years, a farmer may make a complete loss, meaning that they don’t have any taxes to pay. However, in a good year, a farmer may make more than enough money, pushing themselves into the top tax bracket. In this case they would pay a lot more tax than would necessarily be fair.
Farm management deposits provide something of a compromise, and help primary producers pay something of a fairer amount of tax. Basically, on very good years, you can make a tax deductible farm management deposit, which will reduce your taxable income. You can then withdraw this deposit on a poorer year and pay tax on it then. Although the benefit of doing this may not seem obvious immediately, you will obviously pay less tax by keeping more of your income in the lower tax brackets.
When a person dies their estate must be ‘administered’ which can mean different things for a person who owned a business than for someone who did not. If the deceased person was a business owner, it is important to seek advice from a lawyer immediately as there are many things to know about and to do, especially when it comes to tax compliance.
If the persons who has died was near and dear to you it may be difficult to focus on the administration of their estate, especially if it includes a business that is operational. If this is the case you may want to appoint a deceased estates lawyer as an executor. This will save you a lot of stress at a time you are least able to bear it.
Otherwise, it is important to know exactly what you should do as the executor of the estate. Here is an ATO checklist to help you.
Once you start running a business, whether it be a local plumber or painter, you are likely to find a whole host of legal issues that must be solved quickly to avoid fines, litigation and loss of reputation, amongst other things. The best way to do this is to have good lawyers on hand so you can get the advice you need quickly. Keeping the same business solicitors is best, because they will be familiar with your business and know exactly what is likely to be a problem and how to avoid it.
It is far better for your business and your peace of mind to avoid a problem than have to solve it. Working to solve a problem will take a lot of time and effort away from running the business, even though this must be done. Avoiding the problem in the first place will cost a lot less, even when you take into account paying your legal advisor.
It’s a well-known fact that psychologically speaking, people feel better when they are surrounded by a beautiful setting and in business, this includes the appearance of employees. Management in business usually understands this, which is why employees are chosen partly by their looks, especially for those positions that have to do with the public. Employees that want to make the most of their business opportunities often choose a Botox to give them a youthful and healthy appearance.
A Botox treatment can certainly give you a more youthful and healthier look by removing facial wrinkles. Wrinkles between the eyebrows and across the forehead not only make you look older than you are, they can make you look harassed and bad-tempered. This is not the image you want to project in the office.
A commercial lawyer along with a business consultant is the best person to provide professional legal advice for any conveyancing work when purchasing a business. Conveyancing is the transfer of a land title from the seller to the buyer and is the last chore in a long list of things to be done when purchasing real estate. Not everyone will need to purchase the land and buildings when buying a business because often these are leased and you just take over the lease in order to continue running the business.
However, in some cases it is necessary to also buy the real estate which consists of land and buildings, but is generally referred to as property. Sometimes you simply purchase the property with no business and you then have to have a suitable building erected and apply to startup your own business there. Since these proceedings can take many months, most people prefer the property lease option.
Legislation changes have been passed to allow public companies, which are unlisted, to use crowdfunding to raise money from small time investors (otherwise known as “mum and dad” investors). This legislation has been successfully passed in the lower house of parliament.
There was a lot of criticism of this bill from the opposing parties. The bill will allow companies to raise as much as $5 million, even if they are not listed, and have a combination of assets and turnover that is less than $5 million already. This can be done once per year, using the highly popular method of crowdfunding.
Those who are wondering what exactly crowdfunding is, might need to consult experienced commercial lawyers or do some research on the subject. But a basic explanation is, crowdfunding allows people and companies to ask for money from potential customers and investors, for products, services, and business ventures that have not actually come into fruition yet. This type of thing is commonplace in countries like the USA, so many people see no issue with bringing that kind of practice to small businesses in Australia. After all, small companies are typically in need of the most help from legislation. However, there are some deeper issues to look at.
Liability insurance for directors and officers has typically been viewed as a routine thing, in the past. It’s just one of tasks things that needs to be done, and many people give it little thought. However, it is important to understand what the implications of this “box ticking” activity really are.
Here are some of the most important aspects of these insurance policies, as well as the potential problems that might be encountered. These pitfalls should be carefully noted or get some expert advice from lawyers, to avoid falling to them.
Different policies will typically vary, regarding what will trigger a notification. That means directors and officers will not always be notified by the same events, depending on their company and the policy it holds. If an insurer is notified, it is important to be aware that proceeding events might not actually be covered. This will, of course, run the risk of exposing directors and officers to potential claims, even though they believed they were covered.
You really don’t need to be any sort of expert to know that Australian property prices are incredibly high, even compared to other affluent countries around the world. The dream of owning one’s own home seems to grow further and further for the average Australian citizen, but what if there were an alternative? Getting familiar with this little term might help: “adverse possession”.
While this type of talk might be little more than hyperbole for the typical person, it’s a rather interesting law and one can gain understanding of it, though not expertise of lawyers, which is worth learning more about.
What Is It?
Simply put, adverse possession relates to a person gaining title over a property that they have been living at for a certain length of time. The truly interesting thing about this law is, the “squatter’s” title to the property might actually grow greater than that of the real owner.
Have you ever been offered the sale of goods that were just “found” by the seller? Maybe when you asked about the origins of the goods, or how the person came into possession of them, you were answered with a sly smile and told they “fell off the back of a truck”. While it might seem like a stroke of luck to be there at the right time in order to take advantage of these “bargain” items—it’s more likely that the law is being broken. Many people will be surprised to learn that receiving these types of goods is in fact illegal.
It seems like a harmless thing, buying some cheap goods that mysteriously turned up. The lawyers opine that after all, you don’t know where they came from, so how can you be culpable if there was any crime committed? There are many different aspects to this offence, so there’s no need to become suspicious of every single item that you see for private sale.
Technically, it is an offence to receive stolen property if you are aware that they were actually stolen. There is absolutely no question about what this is, and no grey area to think about. If you’d like to get technical and see the actual offence guidelines, taken from the Criminal Code 1899 of Queensland, here they are:
The personal and often emotional issues that arise when people’s expectations are not met by the decisions of a will maker often give rise to thoughts and actions premised on entitlement and occasional avarice. However, the usual “pub talk” that follows can be a slippery slope of disaster and it is worthwhile occasionally reviewing what the Court’s attitude is towards the genesis of a family provision claim rather than just relying on commonly held beliefs.
Courts will frequently ask the wills lawyer to present the nature of the estate such as its size and the composition of its assets and liabilities as well as the financial position of the parties. In Darveniza the Queensland Supreme Court awarded $3m out of a $27m estate to a son who had performed significant amounts of work in the deceased’s business relying on certain promises of provision. Similarly, in Mead the Western Australian Supreme Court ordered $25m paid to the daughter of a relationship between the testator and his former wife, from whom he was divorced. The estate was agreed to have a value of at least $1Bn and the testator, who was in his third marriage at the time of death had some obvious issues with the daughter and left her approximately $3m inside a trust that made it almost impossible for her to actually receive the money. The case is currently on appeal.
Once the weapon of choice for wealthy land Baron to provide for a surviving spouse while keeping the land asset in check, a life interest is used by lawyers as a tool to balance different interests between beneficiaries. An example of a modern use of the tool is to counter the surviving spouse remarrying, where there is a competing need to provide for a spouse as well as a need to preserve or quarantine the asset for the benefit other beneficiaries.
In those circumstances the life interest is regarded as beneficial to secure the property so that the children can be raised in it; and subsequently it can also be passed to them once the interest of the surviving spouse has ceased.
The use of a life interest is also prone to some down-sides in the form of its inflexibility and are frequently the victim of inadequate drafting, particularly the life estate agreement.