Unfair contract terms – is your business compliant?

Unfair contract terms – is your business compliant?

In the space of a fortnight, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced two sets of proceedings in the Federal Court against large Australian businesses, claiming breaches of the unfair contract provisions applicable to standard form small business contracts contained in the Australian Consumer Law.

Income from incidental activity is part of entity’s annual turnover and might bar CGT concessions

Income from incidental activity is part of entity’s annual turnover and might bar CGT concessions

The Federal Court of Australia denied the application of the CGT small business concession on the basis that an unusual activity carried on by an associated entity to the taxpayer contributed to the aggregated annual turnover of that entity to be more than $2,000,000.

Sladen Snippet - ATO releases discussion paper on new GST rules for digital supplies

Sladen Snippet - ATO releases discussion paper on new GST rules for digital supplies

On 06 December 2016, the Commissioner of Taxation issued the Discussion Paper TDP 2016/1 on issues concerning electronic distribution platforms (EDPs). The discussion paper seeks feedback in relation to the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules for digital suppliers and services affecting EDPs from 1 July 2017.

An updated Franchising Code of Conduct

An updated Franchising Code of Conduct

The Franchising Code of Conduct will be repealed and replaced with a new Code (Code) on 1 January 2015. The Code applies to all franchise agreements that are entered into, renewed or transferred after 1 January 2015 and will affect all businesses that are franchised.

Sladen Snippet – Power to correct errors on the PPSR

Sladen Snippet – Power to correct errors on the PPSR

Justice Gleeson of the Federal Court of Australia has provided further clarification surrounding the power of the Registrar to correct errors on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) in the case of SFS Projects Australia Pty Ltd v Registrar of Personal Property Securities [2014] FCA 846.

In this case, SFS Projects Australia Pty Ltd (SFS Projects) was assigned three security interests that were already registered on the PPSR. A mistake was made by the assignor who incorrectly changed the end date of the registrations, instead of changing the name of the secured party, to SFS Projects. If the error was not corrected, SFS Projects would be deprived of the benefits of a continuously perfected security interest under the Personal Property Securities Act 2010 (PPSA).

Sladen Snippet - Supreme Court grants an injunction against a sham registration on the Personal Property Securities Register

Sladen Snippet - Supreme Court grants an injunction against a sham registration on the Personal Property Securities Register

There is no requirement to file the underlying agreement that gives rise to a security interest on the Personal Property Securities Register (Register).  This has the potential to give rise to fake or sham registrations because the Register cannot determine if a registration is in fact a genuine security interest. This creates a situation where the Register can be compromised by the lodgement of sham registrations.

Sladen Snippet – Changes to the PPSA definition of motor vehicle

Sladen Snippet – Changes to the PPSA definition of motor vehicle

Effective from 1 July 2014, the definition of “motor vehicle” under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (PPSA) has been amended to include a motor vehicle that:

- is capable of travelling at more than 10km/hr; and
- has a total motor power greater than 200W.

Sladen Snippet – Extending unfair contract term protections to small businesses

Sladen Snippet – Extending unfair contract term protections to small businesses

The Australian Government has released a consultation paper which seeks to protect small businesses from the burden of unfair contract terms in standard form contracts. 

Unfair contract terms go beyond what is necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the party seeking to include the terms in the contract (for example a large corporate business). These terms create a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract. Similar provisions currently exist to protect consumers in dealing with businesses.

Sladen Snippet - Employee Share Schemes and Startups

Sladen Snippet - Employee Share Schemes and Startups

The consultation period with interested stakeholders in relation to Employee Shares Schemes (ESS) after the issue of the Employee Share Schemes and Start-up Companies: Administration and Taxation Arrangement discussion paper reported on in August last year has now ended.  

Sladen Snippet: Possible changes in the test for the declaration or payment of dividends

Sladen Snippet: Possible changes in the test for the declaration or payment of dividends

Treasury has released the draft Corporations Legislation Amendments (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014 for public comment which proposes, amongst other things, to alter the test for the circumstances in which companies can declare or pay dividends.

Sladen Snippet - Review of the PPSA

Sladen Snippet - Review of the PPSA

Just as everyone has gotten their heads around the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Act) and implemented the necessary policies and procedures, the Act is now being reviewed by the Australian Government to assess its operation and effect on businesses with particular attention being paid to how the Act has impacted small businesses.