As seen in the Men in Business feature in Port Macquarie Focus Magazine, August 2018.

If someone is planning to sell their business, what are some of the key legal considerations they should pay attention to?

When you are selling a business that you have worked hard to build, you want to ensure that you maximise your return.

Full disclosure and certainty about what you are selling and what your obligations are after completion is critical. Understand your restrictions on carrying on a similar business.

You certainly don't want to risk any benefits of selling by having your buyer successfully claim against you.

Make sure you do not have ongoing obligations under your lease. The last thing you want is for your old landlord to be chasing you for rent your buyer hasn't paid.

Above all, seek out good advice on this matter from someone you trust.

What are some of the legal complexities involved in commercial leasing that some people may not be aware of?

This depends on whether you are the Lessor ('Landlord') or Lessee ('Tenant') and whether the use of the property falls within or without the Retail Leases Act, 1994.

The Lesser as the property owner will want to be certain that there is a binding and legally enforceable Lease in place which clearly sets out the obligations of the Parties and provides certainty as to the relationship moving forward.

They will need to be clear on who maintains what, whether outgoings are payable in addition to the rent and what the condition the property needs to be left in at the end of the Lease.

The Lessee needs to clearly understand the obligations imposed on them, the rent review mechanism, whether the use of the property is legal, whether there is any demolition clause in place and who maintains essential services such as air conditioning, fire safety equipment and any grease trap.

One of the most important points to note is that there is no generic or standard template Lease document that can be used on a 'set and forget' basis. Each Lease needs individual drafting to cover its unique circumstances.

What is the difference between using a conveyancing lawyer versus a conveyancer in a residential property sale?

The role of a Solicitor or a Conveyancer in the sale or purchase of real estate is to ensure the correct legal transfer of the property from the vendor to the purchaser.

The major benefit of using a Solicitor for your conveyancing is that due to our legal training, we are able to assist you with a wider range of more complex issues that may arise around property law.

Establishing a good relationship with an experienced Solicitor who has a wide breadth of expertise and training means you'll have the benefit of our advice across a range of other legal issues as well.

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