Tag Archives: Farming

When do I need legal advice on my business structures?

young_woman_farmer_shutterstock_113947729
So you’ve seen your accountant and developed strategies to manage your income and future planning. Recommendations often include trusts, companies and self-managed superannuation. Before implementing any strategy it’s important that you understand your legal obligations.

At Wright Clarke Solicitors, business structures are what we do. When we are talking to you about any aspect of your farming or rural business, four of the things that we will constantly be thinking about are:

  • How can we protect your assets?
  • How can we save you tax?
  • How can this be organised for business succession?
  • How will this fit in to your estate plan?

We offer plain English advice and practical solutions tailored to your needs. Early knowledge is always the most cost effective way to manage your legal affairs.

Don’t leave your business to chance – contact Wright Clarke Solicitors to ensure your business is protected.

 

Transactions with family entities under greater ATO scrutiny than ever

Farming, Structures, EntitiesDo you have several different taxation entities such as companies trusts and family partnerships? The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is investigating these relationships more and more. ATO rulings indicate that informal arrangements will not be accepted.

If your entities are reviewed and the ATO does not consider the arrangements appropriate, any taxation advantages can be lost and interest and penalties can be imposed.

Ensuring that all related party transactions are drafted as though you are entering those relationships with strangers (arm’s length transactions in the legal lingo) reflecting normal commercial terms and rates will reduce the risk of financial penalties.

We work with our clients to put together arrangements that meet their financial outcomes but provide legal protection for the unforeseeable. We have flexible solutions for all budgets and a vast understanding of business structures helps to ensure contingencies are identified and considered.

Don’t leave your business to chance – contact Wright Clarke Solicitors to ensure your business is protected.

 

Deferred Livestock Sales – Lease buy arrangements

Livestock on farm

Exiting the primary production game or trying to establish a herd with cash flow restrictions? Leasing and Sale Purchase Options can be a fabulous way to manage the needs of people buying and selling livestock and properties.

Each offers its own benefits and flexibility and can offer certainty of price and timing of payments when put together with expert advice.

We work with our clients to put together arrangements that meet their financial outcomes but provide legal protection for the unforeseeable. We have flexible solutions for all budgets and a vast understanding of livestock operations helps to ensure contingencies are identified and considered.

Don’t leave your business to chance – contact Wright Clarke Solicitors today to ensure your business is protected.

Livestock away on agistment? Are you properly protected?

Lifestock on agistment

Since 2009 a new regime has been implemented creating a new one stop register for all securities on assets that are not land or fixtures of the land. The impact on owners of livestock agisted on another person’s land is significant. A hand shake deal will not assist you if the bank takes control of the land.

If the landowner fails to meet its mortgage terms and its bank is entitled to possession of the land then your livestock on that land can be taken by the bank in satisfaction of the debt owed to it by the landowner IF you do not have your title to the livestock secured by registration on the PPSR (Personal Property Security Register).

Even when you are in a family arrangement or you have different family members or structures owning the land to the members who own the livestock this documentation is vital to protect the ownership of your livestock.

This registration is a complex procedure and must be supported by correctly prepared documentation evidencing the agistment (or similar arrangement ie backgrounding schemes) terms and particularly noting the way that this transaction is able to be protected under the PPSR scheme.

At Wright Clarke we can offer a range of services tailored to your needs and budget from a thorough review of all transactions and complete advice on the best way to structure these arrangements to a simple agistment agreement covering the very basic terms and covering the PPSR issues but leaving many of the small details to you and the landowner to negotiate from time to time.

Talk to us today to ensure your business is protected.

What to include in a Conduct and Compensation Agreement

Conduct and Compensation Agreements or CCAs are the most important document a landholder will sign. Without a CCA, a CSG company cannot enter your land and undertake ‘advanced’ activities unless the matter has been referred to Court. A CCA will set the basis for access to your land, the activities that can be undertaken and the process to compensate you for your loss. These documents often seem harmless and often initial agreements are one page! However you need to beware of what you are signing away!

Preparing and knowing what to include in an agreement is important to a successful negotiation, and we work with you to ensure you get the best from your negotiations.

We will help you to identify any goals or issues you want included in your agreement. These may include setting fair, reasonable and workable solutions to:

  • ensure your safety and the safety of your family, employees and animals
  • preserve the amenity of your home
  • minimise or avoid the impact of resource activities on you, your activities and land
  • set out acceptable standards of conduct for anyone coming onto your land
  • identify anything the company may be able to do to assist or benefit you
  • ensure you don’t incur unreasonable out-of-pocket expenses from negotiating agreements
  • ensure you receive adequate compensation for impacts to you and your family, animals, crops, business and land
  • ensure your rights and those of your family are respected
  • reach an agreement that you and the company can live with and will abide by.

We use a wide range of experts to assist us with the assessment of issues and the verification of impacts. Experts that we brief include agronomists, hydrologists, valuers, noise consultants and animal production specialists. We find that the use of expert evidence is a critical component of assessing the compensatable effects of a development and ultimately proving that claim.

If you are faced with CSG or coal mining activities on your land please contact the team at Wright Clarke Solicitors – we’re here to help.

Your rights and obligations when faced with Mining activities on your land

New land laws came in to effect in October 2010 and these laws set out requirements of both the resource company and the landholder, in relation to access to the private land and the need for compensation. While a company with the required authority is allowed to explore and produce resources from private land the affected landholders are entitled to know what activities are being under taken and also receive compensation for those activities.

If a company has met all its legal obligations it is an offence for anyone, without a reasonable excuse, to obstruct a resource company from:

  • entering or crossing land to carry out authorised activities or
  • carrying out authorised activities.

For example, you cannot obstruct a resource company just because you don’t agree with the activities being carried out on your land.

As it’s likely you will be working with the company over an extended period of time, it’s in both parties interests to share a good working relationship. The negotiated conduct and compensation agreement is the foundation of that relationship and may assist in determining the quality of future interaction you have with the company.

In our next article we will be looking at what is included in a Conduct and Compensation Agreement and how you can best prepare for negotiations and ensure you come to an agreeable outcome.

If you are faced with CSG or coal mining activities on your land please contact the team at Wright Clarke Solicitors – we’re here to help.

Are you faced with mining activities on your land?

It is an antagonising and often worrying experience when first faced with exploration or development on your land especially when dealing with the uncertainty of unknown impacts to your land, business, family and your future.

It is important that prior to any entry to your property that you know your rights and know the right questions to ask. It is also important that you get the right legal advice from people with expertise in gas and mining negotiations, but also lawyers that understand you and your business.

Anna Radel prides herself on providing landholders with the highly technical advice they need in practical terms they can understand.

Our approach is simple:

  1. Negotiate an agreement which protects your rights – now and for any future impacts;
  2. Ensure you the landowner really understands the potential risks as opposed to the compensation amount offered;
  3. Clearly define and explain the activities that will be undertaken on your land and how those activities will be undertaken; and
  4. Include compensation which adequately covers your loss, the impact to your land, your business and your time.

If you are faced with CSG or coal mining activities on your land please contact the team at Wright Clarke Solicitors – we’re here to help.