Considerations When Leasing Commercial Property

Deciding to move your business to a different locationInside A Modern Office can not only cause a disruption to your business but it can also be a huge expense that cuts into your bottom line.

However, if the current location of your business is not up to par or it may be too small, moving your business can help to increase your employee’s productivity, raise their morale and make your business more profitable. Before you decide to move your business, there are some factors that you should consider.

What Are Your Needs From A Commercial Lease Property?       

One of the first things that you will need to think about is your needs when you are considering leasing a new property for your business. Someone who is experienced with commercial leasing will be able to provide you with helpful insight with the entire process. A reputable commercial leasing agent will ask you a series of questions before he or she begins to show you commercial properties for lease. These questions will help you with issues that you may have not considered before.

Some of the questions they may ask are:

  • Does the space you currently occupy project a positive image to client?
  • Is your current location easy to access?
  • Could amenities such as a conference room, a loading area or additional car-parking help to make your business more productive and profitable?
  • Does your business need more exposure or a better location?
  • Are you using your current space efficiently or are you losing money on unused space?
  • What method do you use to determine how much space you need for your business?

When Is The Right Time To Move?

If it has been determined that you need to relocate your business, you should decide on the best time to do so. For most businesses, it is best that the owner begins searching for a new location six months before the current lease is set to expire. This will provide the owner enough time to scout various options, find a suitable location and complete the improvements that are necessary. Six months is also enough time to give notice to the landlord.

If your business has somewhat unusual requirements then you might want to allow more than six months for the job.

What Is The Current Commercial Leasing Market Like?

The next thing that a business owner will need to do is take a look at the market. Although you can do this on your own, it is best to hire a commercial leasing agent who can help with this process. You should also be aware that many of the best properties that are on the market are not listed, nor do they have a “for lease” sign hanging outside of the property. However, a leasing agent who has knowledge of the market will know the properties that will be available before the information becomes public knowledge.

Another advantage that a leasing agent provides is that they can level the playing field in your favor. They will be able to give you information that is not known by the general public.

Finally, you will have a main contact person who you will work on your behalf while you are busy focusing on other areas of your business.

Negotiate the Leasing Deal

The final step is not the move, but the negotiation process. It would be in your best interest to be focused on at least two properties. This way if negotiations fall through with one property, you can start working on the other property. This strategy will prevent you from placing all of your eggs in one basket.

When a tenant is represented by a reliable commercial leasing agent, the tenant will gain significant information about the market. This will allow the tenant to secure a space that will provide them with favorable market conditions.

Talk To Your Lawyer Before You Sign the Lease

For most people, negotiating a commercial lease is a rare activity and Senior Business Manso they do not fully understand the legal requirements or commitments they might be making. It is vital to remember that a lease is a legal binding agreement and so they landlord can enforce the terms of that lease. A lease will often have personal claims against the business owner or the Directors of a business if the tenant fails to make payments. A commercial lease is generally much stronger and more punitive than a residential lease on a home. So, to prevent any shocks and to fully understand what you are committing to with the new lease for your office, warehouse, retail outlet or any other commercial premises, you must get advice from your lawyer first.

Often a contract or commercial lawyer will be able to point out areas that you can negotiate with the landlord or through the letting agent. Some lawyers will even carry out the negotiation on your behalf.

There is more information here about commercial lawyers on the North Shore. They are McVeagh Fleming lawyers for private and commercial work.

Advice on the Best Ways to Resolve Boundary Disputes

When an individual has a problem with his or her neighbour in regards to the property line between their houses it is best to try and solve the problem with a mutual agreement before the problem lands up in court. Property owners can resolve boundary disputes by agreeing on a type of common marker.

Boundary dispute lawyer

Is their fence too big? – image SWNS

These types of markers can include items such as a tree or a fence in order to conclude where the land that belongs to each property owner will begin and where it will end. Once these lines have been agreed on the two parties should put this agreement in writing by signing a deed in order to formalize the “agreed upon” perimeters of their land.

In cases when property owners are unable to resolve boundary disputes informally, they are able to obtain a survey that determines the actual legal boundaries. These surveys are put into place when sub dividing pieces of land for the purpose of property use.

As the uses of properties are known to change over time, it is a common occurrence for boundary disputes to crop up. The disputes can include the placement of a new wall or fencing, building additions or even a tree which may be encroaching onto one of the property owners land. The dispute is easily resolved when one of the neighbours can deed a small portion of his land to the other property owner in response to the other neighbour uprooting the tree or tearing down the building in question.

One of the more common methods in resolving these types of issues is known as “granting an easement” onto the one of the neighbours of a property in regards to solving a boundary issue. In regards to property law there is a provision known as “adverse possession” that is in existence in a few regions in order to resolve boundary disputes between two next door properties.

Adverse possession refers to when one neighbour has used the other person’s land over an extended time, without any complaints. In this particular situation the part of the property that is used may be transferred into the name of the neighbour using it. These types of laws usually pertain to roads or driveways.

One of the only true methods in determining the actual boundaries between each property will be a survey. Before land is utilized for property use, surveyors make use of stakes that are embedded into the ground at each corner of a land lot when subdividing or dividing the land. These metal stakes are more than often buried over time and can become covered by paving, buildings or fences.

When a dispute arises of the actual boundary line between two properties the use of a metal detector can determine the actual location of the survey stakes. This is one of the fastest and easiest methods in resolving a boundary issue between neighbouring properties.


In certain areas, mediators are offered from the government in order to work with the two property owners who have a dispute of the exact location of their property lines. Departments will provide maps in order to depict dimensions relating to a lot. Depending on the region will determine whether there is a cost involved for these mediation services.


Sometimes it is necessary to consult a law firm to deal with a boundary dispute. Most lawyers will be able to help. Here’s one and here’s an Albany law firm for people who live on the North Shore. McVeagh Fleming is certainly one of the bigger lawyers on the North Shore and they can help you with your boundary dispute.

imagerymajesticIf you feel like you’re being victimised at work, you need some help to figure out what to do about it. Here you’ll get the help you need with this because you’ll get some tips to help you out. It can be hard to deal with, but with the right information you’ll do just fine.

You need to figure out who you can talk to about this kind of behaviour at work. If someone is victimising you and they are report to a manager, then you need to tell the manager around their behaviour and they need to put a stop to it right away. If the person victimizing you is the manager or someone higher up and you can’t get to a higher up person to tell on them, then you need to take it to someone like a lawyer. Don’t allow this to keep happening and find someone that can help you right away.

stockimagesDon’t be afraid of losing your job even if the person doing bad things to you is your boss. You shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of thing where you work or anywhere you go in life. This is something you need to take your time with to get things taken care of so that you don’t have to be bullied around all the time when you’re at your work place or anywhere else you go. If you lose your job then you can get the company taken to court where you can get your lost wages back if you win.

Tell the person that’s messing with you to stop or that you will go to someone higher up to report their behaviour. Sometimes all people need is a reminder that their behaviour is bothering you so that they can change the way they do things when you’re around. This is something you really need to work with people on because otherwise they may not ever know that the way they act is not appropriate. See if you can tell a manager to set up a meeting where they go over what’s not appropriate when it comes to actions in the workplace.

Keep a record of when you get victimised and use that as evidence if you have to take the employer to court or you need to show a manager what’s going on. The more detailed you can be, the better of a chance you have at getting things to stop. You need to be honest and not lie about anything that’s going on so that you don’t have to make things up. Never try to exaggerate because if you do that then it’s going to be very hard for you to keep lying when you have to tell your story to multiple people.

Stay patient when dealing with this kind of thing at your job because it may take some time for you to get someone to take action. Keep on top of things and make sure you’re keeping track of everything that’s going on when it comes to the behaviour of others in the workplace. You’ll want to make sure you bring everything up that bothers you with someone quickly, and you’ll need to stay patient as they deal with things for you. No person should feel victimized for long, so try to get help as soon as it happens.

Now you’re aware of what you can do when you’re dealing with victimisation at work. This is going to be a little tough to deal with, but in the end you can be sure that things will get better.

Often the hardest step is accepting that you are being victimized. Once you have come to terms with that then you can take steps to overcome it.

Contacting a law firm in your area is a good step. They will be able to provide you with some good advice to start with. And if necessary, they will be able to contact your employer on your behalf.

However, employment law is one of the most difficult areas of law in NZ and is something that few local law firms are able to handle. Your local lawyer will be able to refer you to a specialist or otherwise you can go to a firm which does have employment lawyers on their staff.

On the North Shore, McVeagh Fleming & Co is one of the best firm of lawyers in the area. They also have employment lawyers who deal in employment law matters and so they can help you with your problem. Their website is here.

imagerymajesticBullying is traditionally associated with high school and the teenagers’ behaviours. However, bullying is still present in the workplace. Bullying in the workplace takes many different forms but it should be recognised for what it is. And more importantly, it should not be tolerated.

You need to take action right away if you are a victim of bullying at work or feel that some of your colleagues are being bullied. The best thing to do is to go to a supervisor to inform them of the situation. If your superiors are responsible for the bullying or choose to look the other way, there are a few cases in which you can take legal action against them. For instance, you could report harassment or violence but you are not protected by law against a generally hostile work environment.

Did you know that New Zealand is one of the worst countries in the developed world for people being bullied in the workplace? According to a research finding in 2010 over 20% of Kiwis claimed they were bullied at work. Legal action is not taken in most cases and most employers simply do not know how to deal with bullies. You should know that you are not alone if you are dealing with bullying. You should also know that the bullying is not your fault. A lot of bullied people tend to think that they deserve to be treated that way and decide not to take action.

If you cannot do anything from a legal point of view against your bullies, the best thing you can do is get some help from people in the same situation. If there are a few bullies in your workplace, chances are you are not the only one who is mistreated by them. Pay attention to the way employees interact with each other. If someone does not seem to fit in or always look depressed, they are probably encountering bullying as well. Talk to them and let them know you are dealing with the same thing.

You should also talk to your supervisor, HR representative or to a SONY DSCworkplace counselor if you have one. HR representatives and supervisors do not always respond to workplace bullying in an efficient manner but it does not hurt to draw their attention to this issue. A workplace counselor can help you adopt the right attitude to face your bullies.

If you cannot get any help from your colleagues or supervisors, you should know there are plenty of resources available to you online. Connecting with people in a similar situation through message boards will give you an opportunity to share your experience. Knowing that you are not the only one dealing with bullying should make things easier and give you the courage you need to stand up to your bullies.

Confronting your bullies is not easy but it is your best option if your supervisors are looking the other way. You should not confront your bullies in a violent manner. Refuse to comply the next time they bully you into doing something or let them know you are not scared of their threats. Most bullies back out very quickly when faced with someone who is ready to stand up to them. If you are not comfortable with facing your bullies alone, ask some of the other bullied employees to help you.

Being bullied in the workplace is a very unpleasant experience and makes work a lot more stressful than it should be. You should speak up about your situation and stand up to your bullies.

In New Zealand people are protected by law under The Human Rights Act. This means that companies must create a secure workplace for their staff. This includes not only physical hazards as a result of the type of work but also reducing exposure to psychological harm.

If you are being bullied or someone you know is suffering, then talk to your HR people in the first instance. If that does not provide a solution for you then you are at liberty to seek legal redress. Employment law is strong in NZ so you may have some powerful legal support on your side. Look for an employment lawyer in Albany and they will be able to give you advice on the merits of your case. McVeagh Fleming is one of the most respected law firms in the area. You can find out more about them here.




JTWhen you are building a home or modifying it, it is almost certain that you will need to hire contractors to carry out the required work. This is not a difficult thing to do as such services are always available in most towns and cities. But, at times, disputes do arise with contractors which can delay the work and even increase the cost. Such building disputes are avoidable if sufficient steps are taken to safeguard against legal construction disputes.

As a home owner, one essential step you can take before taking on ddpavumbasuch work is to ensure that you hire a contractor who is licensed. Such licensed contractors are more than likely to be well organized and therefore will have insurance, worker’s compensation policies, bonds and other things that make it easier for them to operate. Do some researches on their licenses to make sure that they have been obtained from the right statutory authorities of the area that you live in.

To lessen the chances of a dispute, first of all you need to be very clear about the structure that you want to put up or the modifications that you want to make. Have these properly listed or incorporated into drawings so that the contractor is very clear about the scope of the work. Make sure that contractor has based his quotations on your requirements. It can do no harm to even decide on the brand of the fittings or other materials to be used. Quite often disputes do arise when this is not clear.

Insist on a written contract that clearly spells out all the work that needs to be carried out. This contract must include clear specifications for the work, likely quantities, time required to carry out the work and payment schedules. On your part, you must make sure that any payment schedules are strictly adhered to so that there is no dispute that arises because of lack of payment or delay in making them. Also be very prompt in replying to any queries from the contractor, as quite often when there is delay in decisions, contractors will ask for idle time payment or require time lines to be extended.

Consulting a construction lawyer can be a good idea, before you sign on the dotted line. It may even be more sensible to get the entire contract drawn up by a contract solicitor as they will be able to avoid all chances of disputes. Ask them to advice you correctly on your own obligations in the contract, so that you never fall foul of the clauses and leave yourself vulnerable to legal action.

Most construction disputes enter the legal area when there is a lack of communication with the contractor. You can reduce the chances of this by regularly scheduling meetings at the site and in the office where, both you as the owner and the contractor as the agency carrying out the work can meet, and settle any likely bones of contention. Include mediation in the contract, as a means to solve disputes, as this can go a long way to reduce the disputes turning into a legal quagmire.

It is always in the interest of the homeowner to settle any legal construction disputes at the earliest. When you get into such a situation, it is more than likely that the work will get delayed. This can mean additional costs, as well as the inconvenience of not being able to use your home, as contractors will almost definitely get themselves legally protected to prevent your occupation. Legal disputes in construction can be avoided if contracts are clear and efforts are made to stick to all the obligations in the contract by both the interested parties.

If you have a building project that has gone wrong and find yourself in dispute with the building company you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Often a letter from a lawyer will smooth things over and can save a lot of time. However, you may need to find a lawyer who specialises in dispute resolution as the legal industry calls it. If you find yourself in this situation here is a good dispute resolution lawyer on The North Shore. You can get more details at their site.

Making a will may seem like a morbid thing to do, but actually, it’s a wise thing to do. If you do want your precious belongings or your money to go to someone specific, you need to have a will. If you don’t have a will, a judge will be the one to decide who gets what in your estate.


If you have any money or valuable belongings and you don’t have a will, your relatives may well be arguing over who gets what. It’s easy to think that Uncle Ralph wanted you to have that collection of paintings, but maybe he wanted to give you and each of your siblings one instead. Don’t set your relatives up to squabble over your belongings. Make a will today, before it’s too late. Death is enough of a difficult time in a family, don’t leave them to argue over your belongings as well. Even if they don’t get what they want from you, at least you’ll know that you made it a bit easier for them to not have more to argue over.topstep07

Court Ruling

Anyone who doesn’t have a will leaves their belongings to chance. A court of law will have to decide who gets what, including all precious mementos, bank accounts, property and anything else that is left. If you want something specific to go to someone then you need to have a will that states this. Don’t just tell the person that you’re leaving the boat to them, make sure many others know as well. If you die and don’t have it in the will, it’s their word against a lot of other people who may have wanted the same thing.


imagerymajesticFor many, a will ensures that their specific wishes will indeed be carried out as they want them to be. Perhaps you wish to be buried in a certain manner in a specific cemetery. Maybe you want to be dressed in specific clothing. Maybe you prefer to be cremated. Whatever your preferences are, a will is an opportunity to state them concisely and clearly so that your loved ones will know exactly what you want at the time of your death.

Minor Children

Anyone who has minor children must have a will. It’s only natural for family members to want what is best for minor children if you die. Unfortunately, their definition of “what is best” and your definition of “what is best” may be entirely different. Aunt Edna may have the very best of intentions but you’d never leave the children for her to raise. Give it some thought, who do you want to raise the minor children should something happen? Have you talked with them about it? Do you want the children kept together, or separated? This part of a will is the most important thing to consider if you have any children under the age of 18 at the time of your death.


If you owe any debt you’ll want to arrange for it to be paid first. Then any monies that you have left over you’ll want to disperse to friends or family accordingly. Perhaps you wish to leave a specific amount to a charity, if so, be sure to specify it in your will. Without a will you’re leaving all of this to chance. Make provisions for minor children, make provisions for your home if it is owned. Do you want your heirs to sell your home and divide the money? Do you wish to leave it to your surviving spouse or to a child of yours? Whatever the case may be, make sure it’s loud and clear in your will.

Be sure to tell several people where to find your will. If no one can find your will and you didn’t go through a lawyer that your family is aware of your will could be misplaced or lost. Make a few extra copies and ensure that each family member in the will has a copy or give it to a trusted person such as a lawyer or bank manager. This step is crucial if you want your wishes carried out.

Depending upon where you live a will may cost as much as $100 to $500, but it’s worth every penny if you have peace of mind.

To ensure your family is not ripped apart after your death due to infighting over your estate, contact an estate lawyer on the North Shore. Here is a good one if you need a will.

Young Couple Arguing - photostock

Young Couple Arguing – photostock

We live in a society where separation and ultimately divorce seems to be as natural as marriage. In every relationship there are bound to be ups and downs but it is important to weigh-up your options seriously before rushing into a separation. This post will shed some light but its not legal advice.

But it’s not just marriages since de-facto relationships and Civil Unions are subject to the same laws in New Zealand. A separation can be extremely stressful time both during and after the formal ending of the relationship so it is wise to look at other options first before taking those final steps.

A separation has specific legal implications in a number of aspects but in layman’s terms, it simply means that your formal relationship has ended. The modern-day term for a divorce in New Zealand is the dissolution of a relationship. To bring this about the two people need to have lived apart for two years. At that point one of them can apply to the Family Court to dissolve their relationship.

Unlike many other countries where courts decide or a divorce lawyer negotiates the allocation of assets and ongoing financial support for children, that is not the case in New Zealand. These issues are clearly stated in the legislation.

Care of the children

If there are any children involved in the marriage, child custody and access need to be agreed. In strict legal terms, custody is known as day-to-day care and often the children live most of the time with one parent, typically the mother. But this is not always the case.

For example, the parents may agree on a different care regime such as a 50/50 arrangement with the children spending equal amounts of time with both parents.Scales of Justice

The second aspect regarding children is access or more formally, contact, and again this can be by mutual agreement.

However, if the parents cannot agree about either day-to-day care or appropriate times for contact with the children, then the Family Court will make the decision for them.

Child support

In times gone by, often the mother bore the financial burden of child-rearing on her own but these days the parent who does not have day-to-day care of the children should make a financial contribution. The parents can negotiate an arrangement if they wish but the amount of child support is set out by the IRD and is determined by the parent’s income.

On the topic of regular financial payments, in New Zealand, unlike other countries, one party is not expected to pay ongoing maintenance for the other party after the dissolution of their relationship.

Joint assets or relationship property

Often the most contentious aspect of a break-up is who claims to own various assets. However, the law in NZ says that there is an equal ownership and therefore allocation of joint property gained during the time of the relationship. While that seems clear, the emotions of both parties can still get in the way of reaching agreement. It is this aspect where couples need to seek legal advice.

The lawyer’s role in separation

There are a number of ways a lawyer can help with your separation. They have practical experience and training just for this purpose. However, one area that you definitely need to consult a family lawyer is about the relationship property.

Even though the law says that there will be an equal distribution of jointly-owned assets, sometimes one partner will try to force the other into a different arrangement. Further, there needs to be a formal legal document prepared by a divorce lawyer which clearly describes the specific allocation of resources. Without this document, there can be no allocation and therefore future ownership of any joint assets.

Even though both parties might reach agreement between themselves about who will own a particular asset, this will inevitably require legal work. For example, a house needs to have the ownership details changed on the Title and mortgage deeds. This can get complicated if there are multiple properties and assets involved such as a rental property therefore you are strongly advised to seek legal advice as soon as possible regarding the break-up and separation of a relationship. your property, investments and even businesses into a family or discretionary trust can be a good idea for asset protection. But this is only the start. You must ensure that the trust is properly managed and administered each year otherwise there is a good chance that the trust will fall foul of the current tax laws. The IRD in New Zealand is very active in paying attention to trusts that do not conform to the regulations and takes action against those Trustees. As a result many Trustees have received heavy financial penalties for failing to administer their trust correctly.

Why do you need to administer a trust?Family trust lawyer,Albany

Many people make mistakes with a trust because they still think that they own those assets that are now held by the trust. To be clear, they do not own those assets. Therefore they must be able to show interested parties what they have done on behalf of those parties.

Some of those interested parties include other trustees, beneficiaries of the trust, family members and the tax department.

What admin is necessary for a family trust to be compliant?

The simplest way to think of the administration for a family trust in NZ is to document everything. You must be able to show a paper-trail for every transaction that the trust undertakes.

There are a number of different tasks that need to be carried out each year for the trust to run in accordance with the tax rules. These include:

  • Annual accounts
  • Gifting or forgiving the debt of the trust.
  • Minutes of any transactions
  • Annual General Meeting
  • Paying any tax that is due.

As the Trust is a financial entity which owns various assets, it is likely that there will be various transactions which need to be recorded.

However, the trustees cannot simply decide to buy or sell an asset. They must record a minute of that decision in the Minute Book. This shows that the transaction was agreed by the Trustees.

Again, since it is a financial entity, it is obvious that the trust needs to have a full set of accounts collating those transactions. The accounts must be verified by a qualified accountant.

The Trust also needs to have an AGM which reviews and accepts those accounts. The AGM also needs to follow a strict protocol including appointing trustees, advisers and making sure that the documentation for the year is correct.

There are other admin tasks too and of course paying bills and tax that might be due.

Trustee responsibilities

The trustees are responsible to make sure that all of those administrative tasks are carried out correctly. Even if they do not undertake the task themselves, it is their responsibility to ensure they are done.

The trustees should act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. This can sometimes be a challenge when family members so not agree with the decisions of the trustees.

If any of those trust management tasks are not carried out and the IRD decides that the trust is not compliant, it is the Trustees who will be held accountable and be personally liable for any penalties that are applied.

How to ensure trust management is correct

Trust law is complex and the management of a trust is intricate and very detailed. Most people do not understand the requirements nor do they have the skills and patience to follow through with all the necessary tasks.

The easiest way to ensure your family trust does not incur penalties from the tax office is to hire a trust administrator. Often your lawyer who set-up the trust will also have a trust administration department. These people will be fully aware of any changes in the law and will also know what task need to be carried out by what date to make sure the trust remains compliant.

If you have a family trust and want to avoid penalties then it makes sense to contact a North Shore family trust lawyer who has a dedicated trust administration department.




jscreationzsLots of Auckland, North Shore residents and business owner consider establishing a family trust. It is often believed that this is a good method for protecting assets and making some tax gains too. While this is correct, there are some rigid guidelines and obligations that a trust must adhere to. If the trust does not, then the status of the trust can be questioned by the IRD and the trustees might be liable to financial penalties. This post is not legal advice so before you go any further, consult a North Shore trust lawyer who will be able to help you avoid these pitfalls.

Is your trust set up with the correct intention?

A trust can be tested in court to establish if it was set up with the right intent or not and many trusts have been declared null and void for having the wrong intent. For example, if you think you can lower your income tax by placing assets in a trust, which is an illegal tax motive and will probably be successfully challenged in the courts. Also, if the owner of assets sets up a trust to prevent a spouse from gaining access to shared relationship property, then that is the wrong intent and is likely to fail in court.Trust lawyer, hands in pockets

In 2011, the IRD was awarded a landmark case in the NZ Supreme Court against two business owners artificially lowering their income to avoid paying the correct amount of tax. This case was against two surgeons, Drs Penny and Hooper who set up trusts and paid themselves lower salaries to avoid tax. Subsequently, the IRD offered a voluntary disclosure option to other trustees whereby they could pay tax arrears for two years. For those who did not come forward, there would be no leniency and they would have to repay all outstanding tax.

So it is plain to see that it is essential that your family trust is created in the right way for the right reasons. A trust lawyer on the North Shore will be able to help anyone interested.

Some other thoughts about forming a family trust

As long as your intention is right and you follow the advice of a competent trust lawyer, then you will be fine. However, you do need to bear in mind some other issues.

Control and ownership of assets

Once an asset is transferred to a family trust, the trust is now the actual owner. The previous individuals who owned that asset are not the owners from that date onwards. This can create some headaches for people especially if they have placed their main residence into a trust. It can be a challenge to remember that you cannot treat the home as you own it. For example, if you want to build an extension, then you have to get the approval of the Trustees. The issue of home ownership can become even more complex if the trustees decide to sell the dwelling and the family is still living in it.

A lawyer will help you understand the potential issues if you want to take this route.

Fees for forming a trust

Many people think they only fee they will incur when setting-up a trust is the charge from their lawyer. Certainly there will be a fee for creating the Trust Deed but you will probably face other charges from the lawyer and 3rd parties too.

To avoid any potential challenges from the IRD, assets have to be transferred at the current market value. So for a house or business that you may want to transfer, you will need to organise professional valuations that can be presented to the tax department. Obviously these will attract fees.

But your lawyer will also have to go through a formal sale and purchase process to legally transfer those assets. It’s just like selling a house in the normal way. So you will also be charged for that too.

Seeing as you are selling the property to a new owner, you may also be liable to mortgage-break costs depending on the terms of any property mortgages. Your lender may be a bit lenient of the trust is going to take out a similar mortgage with them but be prepared for that cost.

Ongoing fees

One of the other major requirements for a trust is that it is managed correctly. There are lots of minute details that absolutely must be followed for the trust to remain lawful. If these tasks are not carried out, the IRD can claim that it is a tax avoidance issue with appropriate penalties.

Given the intricate requirements for the administration of a trust, it is best practice to use a specialist trust administrator. This can be an accountant or a lawyer.

You should also remember that a trust is required to produce a set of Annual Accounts verified by an accountant.

Obviously, both of these will incur annual charges.

Forming a family trust – a summary

From the above it is clear that there are significant issues to take into account when forming a family trust. With the complex legal issues involved, it is best to talk a specialist family trust lawyer on the North Shore before you go very far down the track. This could save you a lot of money later on.

How a commercial lawyer can help people buying a business on Auckland’s North Shore

Buying a business is a complex matter and one which can take a number of months to complete.

There are a lot of different activities that need to be borne in mind before you become the legal owner. This article will be a short review of some of those; it is not legal advice so please consult a commercial lawyer on the North Shore before you commit to anything.Woman in suit

Firstly, there are two finance aspects to address – the funding of the purchase and more importantly, the due diligence to make sure you are buying a business at a fair price.

Funding the purchase

Clearly any buyer of a business must have suitable funds available for settlement date of the transaction. Without sufficient finance the deal will not go through.

This will often cost the potential purchase the loss of any deposit, significant legal and financing fees for work done to that date. It will also cause significant damage to your reputation.

That said, there are many ways to fund a business purchase. Using your own cash is one but that is often not a good use of your assets. You can raise finance using other assets as collateral. This is very common with a family home typically used as the collateral. This obviously has some risks for your family in case anything goes wrong with the business.

Another method is to use vendor-financing where the seller agrees stepped payments which you can fund from cash-flow in the business.

Whatever, arraignment you agree with the vendor, you must have it clearly recorded as part of the legal sale transfer. Your commercial lawyer will put this in place for you.

Due diligence

Your accountant will conduct the financial due diligence which verifies that the accounts are correct, that taxes are up-to-date and a range of other financial measures are correct.

A commercial lawyer will check that the vendor is legally able to sell the business, that they are the true owner.

Contracts for buying a business

For the sale of most small businesses in New Zealand, the standard real estate Sale and Purchase agreement is used. This means there are no nasty clauses in the main body of the contract plus it saves you money on having the contract drawn up.

However, you or the vendor will be at liberty to add other clauses which your commercial lawyer deems appropriate. A good North Shore commercial lawyer on the will advise adding these clauses dependent upon the type of business you are buying.

This can include a verified stock valuation, a list of goods and chattels plus details of any machinery you are buying.

Other tasks a commercial lawyer will perform

For many businesses leases may be involved. These can be for premises, vehicles and large pieces of plant or machinery. All of those leases will need to be formally transferred to you as the new owner of the business. Your lawyer will verify that the leases are correct and that you understand your commitments b agreeing to them.

Sometimes they may be able to renegotiate parts of your leases. This is quite common for leases for business premises.


This is a brief overview of a few of the major issues if you are considering buying a business on the North Shore. Commercial lawyers will be able to help you understand these issues as they affect you directly. And they will also be able to carry-out those transactions for you. So be sure to contact a commercial lawyer as soon as possible and definitely before you sign any documents.