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Dealing firstly with whether it is possible to franchise your business.

If your business:

  • was only established in recent years,
  • has not been tested over time in a range of economic conditions,
  • is not a respected and recognizable brand in your local area,
  • does not utilize  operational documentation relating to the processes employed in that business,
  • is not strongly supported by employed managers who are fans of the business,
  • does not utilize a patent or other assets that other potential business owners would value and
  • does not produce a healthy profit after factoring in the franchisors anticipated administration and promotions costs

then you are probably not ready to franchise.

When a retailer purchases from a wholesaler or a manufacturer the retailer must ensure that they know the limitations of the goods purchased.  If the goods are faulty then the retailer may be liable to any subsequent buyer.

Whenever a retailer sells goods to a consumer there is a sale agreement and conditions are implied into that agreement.  Consumers may make use of these conditions to successfully claim against a retailer.

The stakes can be high!  If a product is not fit for a purpose it may cause damage and necessitate rectification works the cost of which may go well beyond the cost of the goods supplied.

In our last article we described how it is necessary for a Queensland landlord to issue a form 124 notice before taking any steps to retake possession of premises from a tenant who holds those premises under a Queensland Commercial Lease. A commercial tenant will always have the right to apply to the courts for something called "relief against forfeiture".   The relief may be given even if the tenant is in default of the lease and even though the lease specifically provides that the landlord has the right to terminate. Courts have a wide and unfettered discretionary power to take into account all of the circumstances before deciding if the Court will allow a landlord to retake possession from a tenant.  Therefore a landlord may not have the ability to terminate a lease even if the tenant is in default. A tenant cannot claim relief against forfeiture before the landlord has commenced proceedings for possession or has taken possession. If the tenant anticipates that the landlord is making preparation to take possession then the tenant may apply for an injunction.  The tenant may do this once the section 124 notice is served. So how does the court decide if it will grant this "relief against forfeiture"?

If your Tenant has failed to pay rent or is in breach of some other essential term of the Lease, you may decide that terminating the Lease and searching for a new Tenant is the best way for you to limit your losses.   It may be, for instance, that the tenant is impecunious.

Before you will be able to “change the locks” and re-enter your property, Section 124(1) of the Property Law Act provides that you must first serve on your Tenant a notice which states the breach complained of and what the Tenant has to do to remedy the breach.

It is in your best interests that any breach notice is issued correctly the first time.  You must ensure that the breach notice is factually accurate and complies with the technical requirements imposed by law.

Providing a defective notice can be costly.

Firstly, a defective notice may give the Tenant the ability to have the notice set aside. This would force you to re-issue the notice thus delaying your efforts to terminate the Lease. This may allow the Tenant to continue to occupy the Premises while in breach until such time as the notice is re-issued correctly.

Since the commencement of the PPSR, retention of title clauses are ineffective against the interests of a registered creditor or a liquidator, unless the supplier’s continuing interest in goods supplied is registered. If the supplier fails to register their interest then they will at best be considered an unsecured creditor in the event that the purchaser goes into liquidation or bankruptcy.

Security interests under retention of title and leasing agreements are capable of being registered (and should be) as ‘Purchase Money Security Interests’ (PMSIs). The major benefit of a PMSI is that, if registered correctly, the PMSI takes priority over all other security interests (registered and unregistered) in the same collateral notwithstanding that some of the other registrations may be earlier in time. This priority survives the purchaser going into liquidation or becoming insolvent. It therefore makes it easier for the supplier to prove their interest as against any liquidator or trustee.

You cannot own a business name!

Before you even commence business you must understand the difference between each of these very different business tools  - Business Names, Trade Marks and Company Names. Anyone considering the sale of their business  should also consider these things carefully. If trade marks, domain names, business names and business structures are not all in order, then seek legal advice as early as possible.  We have seen business sales fall over because intellectual property including the business name is not registered. The registration of the name is a process, nothing more, and that process does not guarantee exclusivity. The business owner having registered the business name has no legal right to prevent others from using that name, nor does completing the registration process provide any entitlement to compensation if the name is used by someone else without authority.

So what do you own after registration of your business name?  It may surprise you that, you own nothing.