EasyCompanies Blog


What is a shareholders agreement?

Published on Feb 18, 2017 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

Some say that 9/10 businesses fail in the first year. Others suggest that it is really just 50% that struggle to reach their first anniversary. In any case, the reason most often cited for business breakdown is a general inability to turnover a profit or at minimum, to meet outgoing expenses. A lesser discussed, albeit very real cause for winding up or deregistering a venture is similar to that of celebrity divorce, ‘irreconcilable differences’. It is common for businesses to have a complaints handling or dispute resolution process for customers but it can be easily overlooked as a necessity among company members or business partners. The creation of a shareholders’ agreement, in a company context, can tangibly assist to prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

What is it?

A shareholders’ agreement is a contract between members that falls outside of the governance of the company constitution and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). It is a private legal arrangement that details the rights, obligations and specific business relationships between the shareholders. As an example, it may outline a specific process for the sale of a member’s shares and an acceptable person or entity to purchase them.

Why should we have one?

It is not a legal requirement to have a shareholders’ agreement in place. That said, it is a valuable resource and is advised by many legal practitioners and corporate advisers. It may set out the precise roles of each shareholders, the timing of directors’ and general meetings, retirement provisions, profit distribution and the liability of each shareholder when debt is incurred. Importantly, it can also provide a framework for issue management and conflict resolution. Should there be a future disagreement among shareholders, one can turn to this agreement to dictate how this must be broached, handled and hopefully resolved.

When should it be drafted?

A shareholders’ agreement is ideally prepared by a specialist legal practitioner prior to company registration or in the early stages of business operation. It is best practice for each shareholder to seek independent legal advice before signing and agreeing to the terms of the shareholders’ agreement.

Read More →

5 Common Causes for ABN Delay

Published on Feb 15, 2017 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

The jubilation that follows a successful company registration can quickly sour if the ABN application is refused or delayed for any length of time. Absence of an active ABN can affect your ability to open a company bank account and to effectively commence trading. We’ve identified five common causes for these frustrating delays and we’re keen to share this wisdom...

Read More →

4 Reasons You Should Have a Professional Email

Published on Feb 10, 2017 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

It's 8am.

Coffee in hand, you conduct your usual morning scan of the inbox and notice that catering quotes have arrived for the work Christmas party.

Read More →

Do I need a business name?

Published on Feb 7, 2017 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

A business name is a name under which an entity, such as an individual, partnership or company, can trade. In times past, it was known widely as a 'trading name', however in the more modern vernacular, or at least since May 2012, the term 'business name' is most appropriate.

Read More →

How do I set up a Not-for-Profit or Charity

Published on Feb 1, 2017 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

So you want to start a not-for-profit or charity and you’ve been told to incorporate...but what does that really mean?

Read More →

How to Avoid Business Name Rejection

Published on Dec 6, 2016 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

Developing a business name is hard. It is made all the more complex and frustrating when you have come up with the perfect name for your venture only to fall down at the final hurdle...registration.

Read More →

Starting a Business: What's Stopping You?

Published on Jul 11, 2016 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

Have you been toying with the idea of 'going out on your own' for a while? Is the allure of being your own boss growing stronger each day? Well, according to a recent NAB study of 1000 small business owners, your entrepreneurial spirit has company, with 1 in 3 Australians aspiring to run their own show.

Read More →

How does the 2016-17 Federal Budget Affect Your Small Business?

Published on May 3, 2016 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

With an election looming large the Coalition’s Federal budget for 2016-17 is naturally a fairly tame yet highly politicised instrument. Small-Medium Enterprises (SME) enjoyed a central focus in the Treasury’s 2015-16 offering and whilst not rising as the hero of Morrison’s first budget, there is a clear future trajectory for the decrease in corporate tax that cannot be overlooked...

Read More →

How do you avoid fraud in your business?

Published on Mar 24, 2016 by Michelle Gregory

Image title


An employee ‘borrows’ $100 from petty cash…FRAUD

You ‘witness’ the signing of a document two days after it has been signed…FRAUD

An employee asks for money in exchange for lying about a service or keeping silent about a transgression…FRAUD

You had a slow month and recorded that revenue was higher than reality…FRAUD

Read More →

What's the business about Business Names?

Published on Mar 16, 2016 by Elizabeth Ryan

Image title


What’s that business about Business Names?

There is often a lot of confusion surrounding business name registration. What is it? Do I need to register? Why do I need to register? What does registration give me?

Read More →

Am I An Employee Or Independent Contractor?

Published on Dec 28, 2015 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

Has the boss asked you to register a company or obtain an ABN in order to ‘get paid’?

If this is the case then you may be wondering whether you are technically classified an employee or an independent contractor.

It is crucial to be aware of this distinction as it dictates your legal, regulatory and even ethical rights and responsibilities.

Read More →

7 Timely Lessons To Protecting Your Businesses Reputation

Published on Dec 11, 2015 by Elizabeth Ryan

Image title

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently” -Warren Buffett, Businessman (Chairman & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway)

When you go shopping, it is not just the product’s price and quality that will guide your purchasing decision. In reality, your decision is normally largely influenced by your feelings about the companies behind the product or service.

For example, what prompts you to buy the latest Apple phone over Samsung?

Read More →

5 Key Things to Consider Before Choosing Your Company Name

Published on Dec 6, 2015 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

Naming is serious business - a name that will keep your child on the straight and narrow, a winning name for your racehorse, a company name that captures the essence of “success”.

Read More →

What should you consider when entering or signing contracts for your company?

Published on Sep 14, 2015 by Michelle Gregory

Image title


A company director walks into a bar. He has just started his own wine distribution business, VINO VINO VINO PTY LTD. As the sole director and shareholder he has made an agreement to provide this bar with all its oenological needs for a very reasonable price. He didnt bother appointing a secretary because proprietary companies dont require one. Very chuffed with himself, he presents the signed contract to his accountant who says, “Mate, we may have a problem."

Read More →

Crowd-Sourced Equity Funding: A way of the future?

Published on Aug 28, 2015 by Michelle Gregory

Image title


2,188,000.

The number of proprietary companies registered with ASIC as at March 2015. It equates to 99% of all companies registered in Australia.

50.

The maximum number of shareholders permitted to contribute to the equity of a proprietary company.

1.

The minimum number of directors required to register a proprietary company.


Read More →

Starting a Business: Company vs. Unit Trust

Published on Aug 17, 2015 by Michelle Gregory

Image title


Traditionally, the formation and use of trusts has had the practical effect of providing an alternative or filling a gap in an otherwise functional yet imperfect arrangement. In medieval England the legal system operated under the common law on the basis of writs. If someone wanted to make a claim against another, it had to be achieved by invoking a writ, or more familiarly, a cause of action. If a proposed claim fell outside of the acknowledged writs, well, you were “s*** outta luck”.

Read More →

Have You Registered For The Right Taxes?

Published on Jul 14, 2015 by Michelle Gregory

Image title


Taxation is likely the most loathed of conversation topics. Far from the polarising matters of religion and political fervour, it appears to unite the wider population in collective disdain as ‘there is no such thing as a good tax’, right

Read More →

Government Crackdown: ABNs and GST for Uber X Drivers

Published on Jul 13, 2015 by Michelle Gregory

Image title

You’re fresh out of cash and you need to get home, who ya gonna call?

You need a second job to fit around your schedule, who ya gonna call?

Read More →

Capital Gains Tax for Small Businesses

Published on Jun 22, 2015 by Madeleine Boothe

Capital Gains Tax


To put it simply, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a form of tax that arises from any sale of property or investment, whereby the amount taxed is the difference between the purchase and sale price. If you make multiple transactions throughout the year, then your CGT is taxed off the different between your total capital gains and total capital losses. This is then included as part of your annual income tax.

Read More →

Working from Home vs. Working in a Co-Working space

Published on May 22, 2015 by Madeleine Boothe

Image title


The space in which you work can have a significant impact on your success when starting a business. A work environment “is an indicator positively associated with subsequent financial growth”. That’s why it is extremely important to compare alternative work environments to ensure the space you’re in is allowing you to reach optimum productivity and efficiency. For small businesses, the two most common work places are either the home or a co-working space. 

Read More →

Post-Budget Analysis for Startups

Published on May 18, 2015 by Michelle Gregory

Image title


“A good life is in reach for everyone who is willing to work and to do the right thing” – David Cameron, (8 May, 2015)

It appears our treasurer, Joe Hockey, has taken a leaf out of the British Prime Minister’s playbook, with increased support for start-ups and small businesses the crowning jewel of the conservative government’s proposed Federal Budget for 2015/16. If you’re thinking about ‘having a go’, the time is now!

Please Explain? Oh I will…

Read More →

Opening a Business Bank Account

Published on Apr 27, 2015 by Madeleine Boothe

Image title

One of the first things to think about when starting a business is the finances. Not only how the company is going to make money, but also how it will manage and store its funds. As a result, opening a business bank account becomes an essential part of starting a business. With important considerations of whether your business will need an account, what documentation you may need in order to open one and what type of account and bank is best suited for your business. Below we have outlined the major elements to think about when opening a business bank account, to help you decide what best suits your business.

Read More →

Business Insurance: What You Need to Know

Published on Apr 27, 2015 by Alex Whiteside

Image title

Choosing the type of payment method is extremely important when starting a company, as it is the gateway between the customer’s purchase and your ability to earn a profit.

The type of payment method may also influence your customer’s perception of the business and be the deciding factor in whether or not they make a purchase. For example, if you have a jewellery shop and your only method of payment for customers is cash, you may loose potential customers as majority of customers making large purchases would not carry around this amount of cash, and would prefer to pay by card. As a result, your business may not be as successful as customers are inconvenienced by the method of payment.

Read More →

Choosing a Payment Gateway (eWay vs. Stripe vs. PayPal)

Published on Dec 9, 2014 by Alex Whiteside

Image title

Choosing the type of payment method is extremely important when starting a company, as it is the gateway between the customer’s purchase and your ability to earn a profit.

The type of payment method may also influence your customer’s perception of the business and be the deciding factor in whether or not they make a purchase. For example, if you have a jewellery shop and your only method of payment for customers is cash, you may loose potential customers as majority of customers making large purchases would not carry around this amount of cash, and would prefer to pay by card. As a result, your business may not be as successful as customers are inconvenienced by the method of payment.

Read More →

How To Get Your First 100 Customers

Published on Nov 6, 2014 by Alex Whiteside

Image title


Getting paying customers is a critical goal in your new business. But is it the first thing you should start working on?

No.

Read More →

Starting a Business: Sole Trader vs Company

Published on Oct 23, 2014 by Alex Whiteside

Image title

Starting your own business is an exciting period where the freedom of being your boss becomes a reality. At the same time, there are certain practical things to keep in mind, such as what type of business structure will be best for your situation.

Read More →