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A legal toolkit for the life cycle of your business

Navigating the legalities of owning and running a business can be tricky, especially as there are so many different aspects to consider.  To assist with this, every couple of weeks over the course of 2020 we shall be producing articles to help guide business owners through the life cycle of a business.

The aim is to provide business owners with easy to read bitesize information on a number of key areas that are likely to affect their business. The articles are a free resource. 

Your first points of contact for any questions:

Phoebe Davies  |  Partner
Phoebe Davies  |  Partner
T: +64 27 414 9825 
Charlene Sell  |  Partner
Charlene Sell  |  Partner
T: +64 27 685 5653

Use the button below to subscribe to these particular articles. 

Published Articles

Stage 1 - Incorporating the Business

What are the options available and what does each one mean from a legal and financial perspective?
Trade marks: how do they differ from other types of intellectual property? What can you register as a trade mark? The registration process and how you can enforce your rights.
Establishing your business is an exciting time, but it is also fraught with potential risk.  Consequently, it is prudent to ensure that you have adequately protected your personal assets from business risks.

Stage 2 - Trading Commences
Setting out good terms and conditions for the business is crucial to ensuring healthy cashflow and reducing the risk of uncertainty and misunderstandings with customers.
Once your business has grown to a point where working out of your home is no longer viable, you will need to consider leasing premises.  Once you have found premises you like, you will need to sign a contract with the landlord outlining the terms of the lease.  This article explores some of the key lease terms to be aware of.
Business Lifecycle edition 6 Employment This article outlines the key differences between employees and contractors that all business operators should be aware of.  We also set out important considerations to keep in mind when recruiting staff, particularly during the application process and when consulting an applicant’s referees (specifically, an employer’s privacy and human rights obligations).  This article also covers important matters to keep in mind in relation to intellectual property when employing people and, especially, when engaging contractors.

Stage 3 - Funding Options
Funding Options This article discusses the different funding options available to privately held businesses. It covers loans, capital raising, friends and family investment and crowdfunding. 
Article 8 Capital Raise Jargon Buster Whether you're a startup yet to generate revenue or a business looking to grow, companies will often look to investors for funding. This article unpacks the complex jargon associated with a capital raise.  

You can watch the presentation here:

or, watch an interview with Sidekick Accounting here:

Stage 4 - Maturity of the business
A director has certain duties and obligations to fulfil - most of which are set out in the Companies Act 1993.  These duties include good faith, responsibliity for the management of business, exercising due care and skill, record keeping and being aware of the Privacy legislation. 
Article 10 Debt Recovery Unfortunately, chasing unpaid invoices or debt is a reality for most businesses.  There are several tools that can be used to recover debt, however the most effective and cost-efficient strategy is for a business to have a plan in place from the beginning. 
If your business involves providing goods or services, it is a good idea to get to grips with the basics of New Zealand's consumer protection laws which your business must comply with. 
One of the realities of running a business is navigating our employment law framework, which sets out the rights and obligations of employers and employees.  The key pieces of this framework are the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA), Holidays Act 2003 (HA), and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).  These cover everything from employee entitlements and record keeping obligations to dealing with problematic employees.
Employees are a significant asset to a business; employers naturally want to retain their top talent and have them truly invested in the success of the organisation.  This is where employee incentive schemes are useful. 
Stage 5 - Successfully Exiting the Business 

​Nobody ever starts a business expecting it to fail. Owners of start-up businesses
and purchasers of existing businesses typically believe that their business
will flourish and succeed. However, factors such as a product offering that
consumers do not want, external circumstances (e.g. market downturn) and/
or business owners lacking the required skillset needed to operate a successful
business, can result in the failure of some businesses.


If selling your business is part of your exit strategy, you need to be aware of the options for structuring the sale. There are two key methods to consider when you sell a business, being an asset sale or a share sale. The best option for you will depend on a range of factors.

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