January Newsletter

 In Uncategorised

Welcome to the first edition of the Osborn Jensen Newsletter.

The purpose of this newsletter is to keep you, our valued clients and professional partners, up to date with relevant legal developments. This may include legislative amendments, recent cases or some practical advice to avoid pitfalls that others unfortunately find themselves in. The newsletter will give you a snap shot summary of the relevant topics and we invite you to click onto our website for further information on topics that may be of relevance to you.

Recent articles that have been placed on the website include the following:

GST Going Concern Exemption in Property Sales – The treatment of GST in a property transaction can materially add to (or subtract from) the bottom line. An exemption for liability for GST in a property transactions arises where the sale is deemed to be a “going concern” for the purpose of Section 38-325 of the A New Tax System (Good and Services Tax Imposition – General) Act 1999. In order for this exemption to apply, certain criteria must be satisfied.

Liquor Licensing – Three Strikes and You’re Out Legislation – The Bill seeks to implement the final form of the Government’s proposed “Three Strikes and You’re Out” policy for licensed venues. The effect of the scheme is that “strikes” can be imposed when a licensed venue is convicted (including payment of a penalty notice) of one of a range of the most serious offences under the Liquor Act.

Is it a Contract? – Contracts can come in many shapes and sizes and not all of them look like legally binding documents. Accordingly, not all of them are given the consideration they deserve. Documents like purchase orders with no actual “contract” attached, but which refer to “purchase order terms” or some other terms and conditions which can be found at a website, can be just as effective in binding you to an enforceable contract as any formal, written and signed agreement.

National Employment Standards – Many employers do not understand what the National Employment Standards (NES) are and who they apply to. The NES apply to all employees in the federal workplace relations system. In general terms, this means all employees, except those employed by state government agencies and local government authorities.In summary, the NES provide for a number of minimum entitlements that all employees in the federal workplace relations system are entitled to receive.

New Year Housekeeping

The quiet period immediately after the Christmas break is always a good time to look at your business and ask yourself a few vital questions about certain matters that if adequately covered may make life easier for you in the new year when the business gears up and is busy again. Consideration can be given to things like:

1. Is there a shareholders agreement in place in the business? This can be still as relevant for family businesses as it is for non related business owners.

2. Does the business have valid terms of trade that it can issue to customers? Have these terms been reviewed in light of the new Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) scheme which is due to commence early in the new year?

3. Are your employees being paid correctly? Do you know which Awards apply to the workforce? Do all employees have current employment contracts?

4. Do you have debtors that require legal letters of demand? A reminder that we will issue basic letters of demand for our existing clients at no charge.

5. Do you have current and up to date wills, powers of attorney and enduring guardian documents in place?

These are just a few topics for consideration at this time to transition you into the new year. We can help put any or all of the above in place for you.

May we take this opportunity to thank you for your support during 2011 and wish you and your family a happy and safe New Year. We look forward to working with you in 2012.

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