Guide to Commercial Law from our experienced commercial lawyers; find out how a business lawyer can help you navigate your business
In the world of business and commerce, disputes are common and competition is fierce. Experienced commercial lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of business and commercial law. Importantly, an expert business lawyer can also help you avoid disputes or manage and mitigate against losses where disagreements arise. If you are looking for a local Melbourne business lawyer, we can help.
How to choose a commercial or business lawyer for your business?
Commercial law firms often have expertise within specific industries or areas of business. But many issues are common to all these areas. This includes contracts, employment and intellectual property. It is important to choose a commercial lawyer with experience within your industry who can tailor advice or representation to your interests.
Most areas of commerce are subject to regulation and commercial law. A good commercial lawyer will take the time to understand your business and apply their knowledge in a meaningful way.
What makes a good commercial lawyer?
A good commercial lawyer has extensive experience in court, but their aim should always be to avoid court proceedings where possible. Our commercial lawyers can help you achieve this via clear communication with your stakeholders. Importantly a a good commercial lawyer will help draft effective documents and contracts to protect your interests. Such documents can be critical to the success of a business and its operations. A Melbourne business lawyer will be able to help you with Commonwealth laws as well as laws in Victoria and interstate.
A good commercial lawyer will be across the following areas of commercial law:
- Employment law contracts
- Fair Work legislation and industrial instruments
- Shareholder agreements and rights of minority shareholders
- Company law and director liability
- Franchising and licensing agreements or contracts
- Commercial leasing
- Distribution agreements
- Terms of trade, agreements with customers and suppliers
- Buying and selling businesses and effective due diligence
Success often depends on good communication. For this reason, it is important to choose a commercial lawyer who can be reached easily when you need them, and who understands the importance of clear communication. Some lawyers have a habit of using over-complicated jargon or legalese type language. This can confuse and prolong matters. Our commercial lawyers are trained to maintain solid rapport and clear communication with our clients.
More about Commercial Law and about our Commercial Lawyers
What is Commercial Law and how can one of our commercial lawyers help you?
Commercial law focuses on the laws that govern all business transactions. The law may focus on responsibility of conduct among businesses and their employees, intellectual property, business rights and behaviour, contractual obligations, and any other aspect of business and commerce. For this reason, you will often find overlap between business, common civil, and sometimes even criminal matters.
Due to complexities in the law, it is often useful to break commercial law down into smaller categories. A commercial lawyer knowledgeable in that specific area of law will be able to interpret these categories. Through careful communication, one of our experienced commercial lawyers will analyse your business requirements across these areas, which include:
• Employment Law: Rights of employment for an employee, and legal requirements of a business.
• Contract Law: All laws governing contracts; written, verbal, and hand-shake.
• Intellectual Property Law: Laws governing intellectual property of businesses and individuals.
• Dispute Resolution: Attempts to resolve legal matters outside of court. It is usually the requirement of the court to attempt dispute resolution prior to using the court system.
Employment Law and how a business lawyer can guide your business
An employer is responsible for the actions of the company, leadership and employees. For example, if a leader unlawfully dismisses an employee, the company will likely be directly responsible. It is the company’s responsibility to protect employees and respond to reports of unsafe work conditions and negative behaviour. This includes discrimination or harassment. An employer who does not react to a known situation is just as culpable as its employees. A commercial lawyer can help your business develop guidelines and policies to ensure that leadership is aware of compliance obligations.
Employers must comply with strict laws relating to dismissal and procedural fairness requirements. Laws of contracts are also relevant to employment arrangements. Contract law is often challenging due to the many types of contracts and agreements available. A well drafted contract can help protect your confidential information and intellectual property.
It is generally easier to enforce a written contract. However, due to the complexities of lengthy written contracts, many variables can affect the parties legal relationship. Verbal and hand-shake agreements are also common. However, the terms of these contracts are not always clear and are subject to change. Various materials, such as emails, text messages, completed work, and terms recognized as industry standard can form part of the agreement. It is preferable that a business lawyer draft an appropriate employment agreement suitable to your business.
Employment law protects employees from unlawful business practices conducted by the company, or the company’s failure to manage illegal and uncomfortable situations at work. The laws governing employment include:
Contract Law, a top priority for a business lawyer
It is important to understand the laws regarding contracts, as well as the laws demonstrating breach of contract. A contract is legal as long as the following are applied and understood by both parties:
• Two or more parties agree to create a legal agreement for services rendered.
• All parties must understand they are in the agreement
• An offer has been made by one party, and accepted by another
• Each party must have given and received something as part of the contract
• Each party is aware of the requirements of the agreement
Complications in poorly written, or unwritten contracts, can result in these contracts being difficult to enforce. In these situations the common law or equity may be relied on. A good commercial lawyer can explain your rights in common law or equity in such situations.
Intellectual Property, speak to a business lawyer to understand how to protect your vital assets
Intellectual property law protects ideas of the mind. For companies this can mean brand and trade secrets that define the company and their product.
For individuals such as artists, writers, and other creatives the law protects ownership of their work. This is so long as the work was not created during the course of employment.
The are different intellectual property laws depending on what the business wishes to protect. Some intellectual property requires registration, whereas other do not. Intellectual property can become highly valuable over time. It is worth protecting intellectual property through effective registration and agreements, including with employees, suppliers, and contractors. Our commercial lawyer experts can help you understand the options available to protect your intellectual property most effectively.
Shareholder agreements, how a business lawyer can help you safeguard one of your most important relationships
A shareholder’s agreement is recommended where there are two or more shareholders in a company. Such an agreement manages the relationship between shareholders in areas such as:
- Rights and obligations of shareholders, including minority shareholders
- Funding requirements and the value of shares
- Policy decisions
- Processes in place for shareholders selling their shares – exit strategies
- The incorporation of new shareholders
Shareholder disputes can be costly, so a shareholder agreement is essential for minimizing the risk of such a dispute occurring. One of our commercial lawyers will be able to assist in the drafting of a shareholder agreement.
A commercial lawyer will be able to advise you as to your obligations under company law, including fair trading, business conduct, and consumer affairs. Past cases often influence specific circumstances, so an experienced solicitor will understand the context in which your business is operating and offer advice accordingly.
Dispute Resolution and commercial litigation, protect your business with the help of a business lawyer
A commercial lawyer can represent you in employment, contract, and intellectual property law disputes, amongst others. A dispute can be resolved in court or through alternative means. Alternative dispute resolution can be preferable both in time and cost. Alternative dispute resolution can include arbitration, mediation, or collaborative law. These are all means of coming to an agreement without having to use the court system. For most disagreements, parties can find a resolution, agreement, or compromise that will save both parties time and money. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the parties can resolve their dispute in a court of law.
A commercial lawyer will be able to assess your claim, as well as the best path to manage your case. Commercial law is complex and if a dispute arises, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Contact our commercial lawyers to discuss your business
It is important to remember that assistance is available, even when the mountain of documents seems too large to conquer, or the threats from a competitor seem too daunting to challenge. A good commercial lawyer will be familiar with your circumstances and any relevant legislation so that they can give you appropriate advice or representation.
Contact the best Melbourne Commercial Lawyers, LGM Advisors, today on (03) 9832 0608 or by email at email@example.com. We are a trusted Melbourne commercial law firm offering differing fee structures and highly reviewed on google reviews.