Small business loans: your unfair terms cheat sheet
This month ASIC released a report about how the unfair contract terms regime applies to loans made to small businesses.
Although the report focuses on the changes the big four banks have made to their standard small business loan terms as a result of ASIC’s recent reviews, the report is also critical reading for any non-bank lenders who provide finance to small businesses, as well as for small business borrowers.
Proposed changes to the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 - Will they affect your business?
Proposed changes to the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 (Act) could broaden the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority’s (APRA’s) powers to make rules for non-bank finance providers. This focus paper summarises the proposals and how the changes might affect your business.
Crowd-sourced Funding Platforms and Market Licensing - ASIC's New Approach
In our recent crowd-sourced funding (CSF) series, we outlined the implications of the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Act 2017 (CSF Act) for 3 types of CSF participants – fundraisers, intermediaries (i.e. crowdfunding platforms) and investors.
Branching out into binary options? You might have double trouble
If you are in the business of offering derivatives, you probably know that binary options are a form of derivative, and that you need a licence from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to offer them in Australia.
Digital currency and GST: no more double taxation
In good news for digital currency in Australia, the Commonwealth Government has announced its intention to treat digital currency in the same way as money for GST purposes from 1 July 2017.
Think you've found a loophole in the 'sophisticated investor' test? ASIC says think again!
There's no easy way around disclosure issues when raising money by issuing securities or other financial products to retail investors.
Australia's New Crowd-sourced Funding Regime – Key Points for Punters (Part 3: Investors)
In this final paper of our crowd-sourced funding (CSF) series, we set out some of the key points to be aware of if you’re thinking of participating in Australia’s new CSF regime as an investor.
Australia’s New Crowd-sourced Funding Regime – Key Points for Punters (Part 2: Intermediaries)
If you caught Part 1 of this series (which related to fundraisers), you’ll know that Australia’s crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime is set to come into force later this year.
In this paper, we set out some of the key points to be aware of if you’re thinking of participating in the CSF regime as an intermediary.
Australia’s New Crowd-sourced Funding Regime – Key Points for Punters (Part 1: Fundraisers)
At long last, Australia is set to have its own crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime. The Bill to establish the regime passed the House of Representatives on 8 February 2017 and the Senate on 22 March 2017, meaning that the regime should come into force in about 6 months.
It’s time to play: Australia’s world-first regulatory sandbox for fintech start-ups
If you’re a fintech start-up, it could be time to get your bucket and spade ready.
One step closer to crowd-sourced equity funding (at least for Australian public companies)
The public has been offered a tantalising glimpse of Australia’s future CSEF regime with the 4 August 2015 release of the Australian Government Treasury consultation paper on crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF).
Foreign Investment Regulation and Agricultural Land in Australia – the Landscape has Shifted
Recent changes to the Government’s foreign investment policy and imminent changes to the legislation will have a major impact on foreign investment regulation in Australia, particularly in relation to investments concerning agricultural land.
What does the 2015 Budget mean for crowd-sourced equity funding in Australia?
With the release of the 2015 Federal Budget on Tuesday sparking debate about who wins and who loses out, now is a great time to provide an update about the implications of the Budget for one of our favourite areas – crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF).
Bitcoin Regulation in Australia: A Bit of a Task to Coin
Digital currencies, and what they mean for Australia and Australian business, are high on the agenda after the Economics References Committee of the Australian Senate (the upper house of Australia’s federal Parliament) conducted the first hearing of its Digital Currency Inquiry on 26 November 2014.
New Franchising Code – Got Questions? We’ll Answer Them
On 1 January 2015, the existing Franchising Code of Conduct set out in the Trade Practices (Industry Codes — Franchising) Regulations 1998 (Old Code) will be replaced by the new code set out in the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes – Franchising) Regulation 2014 (New Code).
Australian companies ‘at risk’ of unwanted bidders? Deal protection measures: should we follow the English lead?
Australia – “Our land abounds in nature’s gifts”.
CAMAC's swan song - what does it mean for crowdfunding in Australia?
Depending on the Government’s response to CAMAC’s long-awaited report on crowd sourced equity funding, Australian start-ups and entrepreneurs may be set to benefit from a legislative regime that, within limits, facilitates CSEF in a way Australian law does not currently allow.
1 Jauary 2015 - Franchisors and Franchisees - Save the Date!
The Federal Government has introduced a raft of changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct which are set to take effect from 1 January 2015. In this Focus Paper, we take a look at the main amendments.
Crowd Sourced Equity Funding – Australia Joins the Global Discussion
The Federal Government’s Corporation and Markets Advisory Committee recently released a discussion paper on crowd sourced equity funding as part of its brief to examine Australian regulation of CSEF. For start-ups and other possible stakeholders in CSEF, CAMAC’s discussion paper is a promising sign that Australia is heading for a possible change in its regulation of CSEF, keeping pace with the US and Europe.
The Big 6: Impending Amendments to the Franchising Code Following the Wein Review
On 24 July 2013, the Government released its response to Mr Alan Wein’s Review of the Franchising Code of Conduct. The Government has accepted the majority of the Review’s recommendations. In this Focus Paper, we take you through 6 key recommendations that have been accepted, and which should be of interest to franchise participants.
2013 Review of the Franchising Code – Your Guide to the Main Points
The Wein Review has made a number of recommendations that, if adopted, will have a significant impact on participants in the franchising industry. This Focus Paper discusses some of the key recommendations.
Whose Goodwill is it Anyway? – Goodwill and Franchise Relationships
The Federal Government recently announced a review of the Franchising Code of Conduct set for release in April 2013. In this Focus Paper, we take a look at just one of the issues the review is likely to touch on – the issue of goodwill in franchise relationships – and explain what franchise should look out for.
Crowd Funding in Australia - Funding Innovation or Shortcut to the Hot-Seat?
Crowd funding represents an untapped source of funding for projects and businesses trying to get off the ground, but regularly traps lurk for those who are not aware.
This article was first published in the Law Society Journal, October 2012, and is reproduced with permission.
Environmental Upgrade Agreements - Coming soon to a city near you…
Environmental Upgrade Agreements offer building owners a new and potentially attractive way of financing projects to improve their building’s ‘green’ credentials.
It's Official: Homer Simpson Should Not Advertise Managed Investment Schemes!
ASIC's new regulatory guide on advertising financial products and services focuses on balance, and provides unified guidance for issuer and promoter.
Raising the bar - new financial requirements for responsible entities
ASIC has released final details of the new financial requirements to be imposed on responsible entities (REs) of registered managed investment schemes (MISs).
Not buzzing at shadows Buzzle v Apple and the law of shadow directorship
In our previous FocusPaper, we reported on a NSW Supreme Court decision which provided further guidance on the law of shadow directorship.
Corporate Governance Principles for Unlisted Companies: the Why and How?
In November 2010, the Institute of Directors and the European Confederation of Directors' Association jointly published a paper entitled "Corporate Governance Guidance and Principles for Unlisted Companies in the UK" (Principles). While corporate governance guidelines and regulations have traditionally focused on listed entities, the Principles represent an attempt to tailor corporate governance theory to the needs of unlisted and smaller companies
Government Review of the Wholesale/Retail Client Distinction in the Wake of the GFC
As part of its "Future of Financial Advice" package of reforms, the Commonwealth Government has announced a review of the distinction between "wholesale clients" and "retail clients" for the purposes of financial services regulation.
New FIRB Guidance on the National Interest Test
The Foreign Investment Review Board has recently published new guidance on its assessment of foreign investment proposals under the "national interest" test.
ASIC Issues Insolvent Trading Refresher
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a new regulatory guide intended to help directors understand and comply with their duty to prevent insolvent trading.
Buzzle v Apple – Creditors take heart
A recent NSW Supreme Court decision provides further guidance and some comfort on the law of shadow directorship.
Changes to FIRB exemptions for sales of residential property
Recent changes to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulations (1989) (Cth) remove an exemption that applied to temporary residents buying residential land in Australia.