Common Commercial Law Issues and How a Commercial Lawyer Can Help
A commercial lawyer specialises in all types of commercial disputes including debt collection, property and construction, partnership, contractual and franchising disputes.
Some of the more common commercial law issues we see include a range of different commercial disputes, litigation, reviewing and drafting commercial legal documents, issues around commercial property leases, mergers and acquisitions, and more.
In this article we cover our top four commercial law issues and describe how a commercial lawyer can assist you.
1 – Commercial Disputes
Commercial disputes are commonplace and can occur in a number of different areas, including contracts, intellectual property rights, employment issues, and competition law. The most common commercial disputes are:
- Breach of contract
- Unfair competition
- Trademark infringement
- Product liability
If you feel that your legal entitlements are being ignored by others, a commercial law firm like Randle & Taylor Barristers and Solicitors will offer you strong legal representation to fight for your legal rights and protect your interests and objectives.
2 – Commercial Legal Documents
Put simply, we explain complicated legal documents to you, without the jargon.
Commercial lawyers can help you with a range of commercial legal documents. The advantage of using tailor made legal documents, compared to generic online templates, is that if the matter ever goes to Court, you will have better legal protection. You can use a range of legal documents for protecting your interests, including:
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Commercial Lease Agreements
- Non-Disclosure Agreements
- Terms and Conditions
- Supplier Agreements
- Shareholder, Partnership and Joint Venture Agreements
- Letter of Demand
- Statement of Claim
Having these documents spelled out in black and white makes it easier to know each party’s rights and responsibilities. It is also good risk management to have your legal documents drafted by legal professionals who work to enforce your rights.
3 – Common Issues with Commercial Property Lease Agreements
In South Australia, retail shop leases are governed by the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995.
It is important to know what is written in your commercial lease before you sign on the dotted line. As a commercial lease is a legally binding document, it is recommended to obtain legal advice first, from a commercial lawyer. This will help to define the rights and responsibilities of each party.
Common issues that affect the tenant include:
- Lease term – how long is your lease term? Longer leases, such as five or ten years, are better suited to more established businesses. Shorter lease terms for newer businesses are lower risk options.
- Renewal clause – be sure to check there is an option to renew your lease. Otherwise, once the lease expires, there is no certainty that you’ll be allowed to continue operating your business on the premises.
- Fit-out contribution – this is the amount the landlord may contribute to the fit-out of your newly leased premises
- Rent – ensure you know how to pay rent, on what date, by what method, and if the amount is GST inclusive or exclusive
- Outgoings – who pays these? It is important to clarify who pays certain outgoings, such as council rates, water, building insurance, strata fees and more. Outgoings can be specified in a clause as part of your right of review.
- Permitted Use – it is important to ensure that the permitted use clause allows you to run your business as it needs to be run, without any unreasonable constraints.
Common issues that affect the landlord include:
- Security bond – it is important to protect yourself by seeking a security bond from the tenant in the case of a tenant default. A security bond may be requested in the form of a bank guarantee or a personal guarantee.
- Outgoings – It is common for a tenant to pay the outgoings, (both their own, such as electricity, gas and phone) and the landlord’s outgoings (including rates, taxes and levies).
- Payment of legal fees – during the preparation and negotiation of the lease, it is common for the tenant to pay the landlord’s legal fees.
- Disputes – ensuring a dispute resolution process is included in the lease agreement is important in the event the tenant does not comply with the terms of the commercial lease.
In terms of what should be included in a commercial lease, the commercial lease must always be tailored to specifically suit either the Landlord or the Tenant and the specific nature of the premises that is leased.
A commercial lease will look different, depending on whether we are acting for a Landlord or a Tenant.
Other common issues around commercial property include sales and acquisitions, and land development.
4 – Mergers and Acquisitions
When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, there are often many different legal issues that arise.
Mergers and acquisitions are the process of taking over a business. This usually happens when one business buys another business, and they operate under separate names, or where a business may merge their company with another company to operate under one brand.
Mergers and acquisitions are usually done for several reasons:
- To increase market share
- To gain access to new assets
- To diversify the company’s portfolio
- To reduce long term risk
- Gain a competitive edge in the market and reduce competitor threat
- Economies of scale
If you are involved in a merger or acquisition, it’s best to be informed about the different legal scenarios that may arise, and to know what your options are.
Commercial lawyers can assist with the transaction to help you achieve the best result. From restructuring, negotiation, due diligence, reviewing or drafting the terms of the agreement, through to settlement, it is definitely recommended to have an expert commercial lawyer on your side.
Do You Need Commercial Law Help?
Randle & Taylor Barristers & Solicitors was established in 1970. Our fees are competitive with other firms in South Australia.
Let us know what you would like from your legal firm and we will endeavour to tailor our advice and services to your specific requirements.
Please contact Randle & Taylor Barristers & Solicitors for assistance with your commercial law issues today.