Asset Sale Agreements
Business & Commercial
Newcastle's leading experts in legal advice
When running any form of business, it is extremely important that you ensure your assets are protected in the event that a dispute arises. Asset protection is usually a concern for persons who work in industries where they are at a high risk of a claim being brought against them, such as a builder, dentist, or doctor. One key consideration to remember when protecting your assets is who is the legal owner of the assets. For example, if you are the director of a company and you get sued, all the assets you own are at risk. However, if the assets are not owned in your name then they are better protected in the event a claim is made against you.
Protecting your assets can be complicated, and different strategies may be more or less suitable to your situation. Burgess Thomson have worked with clients in the past who have sought to transfer assets into the name of a spouse. For example, if your marital home is owned in the name of your partner who is at substantially less risk of being sued, then the asset may be safer than if it were owned by you, where you are in a position for susceptible to liability. Another strategy employed involves setting up a Family Discretionary Trust and owning the asset in the trust. The positives of doing such include the asset not being at risk if you are sued personally, however you must also consider the costs associated with setting up and maintaining a trust.
Protecting your assets is all about setting up a structure to manage risks. As with many aspects of life, it is better to be preventative rather than reactive. Burgess Thomson have worked with many different types of businesses and can assist you with structuring your business in a way that minimises risk and has established protocols in case things go wrong.
Arrange a consultation with our Small Business Lawyers for sensible small business-focused legal advice.
Won’t my insurance cover it?
It is important to understand the terms of your coverage to determine the risk you face. Insurance does not cover everything. Even if your insurance seems to cover it, there might be an exclusion in the fine print you were not aware of. Regardless of your insurance, protecting your assets is a must.
Will this cost a lot?
When viewed relative to the potential liability you could face under an action against you, it is a small price to pay. Changing the name on the Certificate of Title of your property will cost less than $200.00 to lodge the necessary documents, plus any associated legal costs. Setting up a Family Discretionary Trust is more costly, however does have notable tax benefits. In NSW the initial costs to set up the fund range from $2,000.00 – $3,000.00 plus stamp duty, maintenance costs and associated legal costs. This is a small investment to prevent you from losing everything you own.