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Commercial Law

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Business advice for the real world

Whether your business is large or small, you need exceptional legal advice. Partnering with a commercial lawyer will help your business get off the ground, and will set you up for success.

Our commercial lawyers in Melbourne and Victoria offer first-rate services, and they’re renowned for their pragmatic and cost-effective solutions. But commercial law isn’t only about understanding legislation or being able to draft effective legal documents (although we do that too). It’s about getting to know your business operations, goals, strategies and challenges.

We’re skilled at tackling the full range of commercial issues and transactions. Whatever the challenge, we can help your business.

Expertise

Our commercial lawyers are skilled in:

  • Joint ventures
  • E-commerce
  • Intellectual property and data protection
  • Franchising
  • Business disputes

Services

We provide advice in all areas of commercial law, for example:

  • Business structures including partnerships, joint ventures, companies, discretionary unit trusts and hybrid trusts
  • Business succession strategies, including shareholder and unitholder agreements as well as buy/sell agreements
  • Asset protection strategies
  • Purchase and sales of businesses or shares in a company
  • Common and uncommon commercial agreements
  • Trademarks, including registration and dealing with infringements
  • Liquor licensing, including transfers
  • Resolving business disputes, including the breakdown of a business partnership
  • Preparing and advising on franchise agreements

Hard-working legal solutions for long-term business success

Learn more about our commercial law services in Melbourne and Victoria.

Commercial Law FAQs

What do I need to know about starting a business?

For information about starting a business, visit our Corporate & Start-up Companies page.

When buying a business, should I buy the assets of the business or the shares in the company that owns the business?

The answer to this question is different in every situation. Whether you should buy the assets or the company shares will depend on the answers to two questions:

  1. What is the best tax outcome for your business?
  2. What is the best legal or risk liability outcome for your business?

Company assets may include plant, equipment, stock, goodwill and intellectual property. When compared with share purchase, asset sales are sometimes seen as lower risk because there are more unknowns about company liabilities when investing in shares.

On the other hand, when buying assets, some things can’t be transferred. For example, contracts with employees, suppliers and even customers. This may mean that a share purchase is more attractive in some circumstances. We’ll help you assess the extent to which you will be relying on those contracts before deciding whether to buy assets.

Buying the shares in a holding company usually leads to the purchaser assuming a higher risk. As a purchaser, you would be responsible for all past liabilities of the company. You’ll need a carefully drafted agreement to reduce your exposure.

Contact us for more information about business purchases.

What structure should I use for my new business?

The primary business structures used in Australia include:

  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Trust
  • Sole trader

Each has advantages and disadvantages. When choosing the correct form for your business, you should consider whether there are personal liability and tax implications.

We can help you work out the right structure for your business, and if there are tax implications, we’ll make sure you get the right help from tax experts.

Is there a way to save money on fees for creating legal business documents?

Yes. We now offer an online document service called MDW Express.

MDW Express allows you to give us instructions for the quick creation of customised legal documents, all at an affordable rate.

Documents include:

  • Privacy policies
  • Intellectual property assignment agreement
  • Shareholders agreement
  • Employment agreement
  • Terms and conditions
  • Services agreement

Visit our MDW Express website for more information.

Meet the team

Commercial Law Articles

What are ASIC’s powers of inspection and do I have to comply?
What are ASIC’s powers of inspection and do I have to comply?
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Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic: what are employers’ responsibilities?
Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic: what are employers’ responsibilities?
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How COVID-19 has impacted Australia’s foreign investment laws
How COVID-19 has impacted Australia’s foreign investment laws
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Force majeure: How to seek relief from your contractual obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Force majeure: How to seek relief from your contractual obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic
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