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Company policies on file
The time to make sure you don't run into problems with employees not behaving the way you want them to, is before the trouble starts. Michael Smyth explains what you need in place to make managing employee behaviour much easier and more effective.

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Rights of consumers when purchasing goods are hopefully well known by now. A common mistake from retailers though is thinking that these consumer rights can be excluded in certain cases such as on sale items or samples. Incorrectly trying to exclude consumer rights can lead to a fine being imposed. Allister Doo sheds some light on what can be a confusing area of consumer law.

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A recent court ruling may have unintended consequences for New Zealand businesses whose brands may be considered to be making health claims - IP expert Theodore Ducas explains his concerns.

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Trustees and Guarantors need to be careful what they sign or else they may find themselves personally liable for the obligations of others, warns Allister Doo. He gives an example of how this might happen.

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It is important when selling a business to understand the Agreement for Sale and Purchase of a Business, which you will be signing as part of selling the business. This article explores one of the aspects of that Agreement.

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Pile of paperwork
The effect of the new Financial Reporting Act 2013 on your company depends largely on the size of your business– and if you are a small business owner, you may find it makes your life easier.

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Make sure your terms of trade are fair
This story, about a recent document reviewed for a client, provides an important reminder to businesses to review their contracts for 'unfair' terms - or face substantial penalties. Jo-Ella Sarich explains ...

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Are your contracts unfair?
New laws prohibiting ‘unfair’ terms in consumer contracts will affect all businesses dealing with the general public and require businesses to review their contracts.

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Directors buying and selling shares must be aware of the rules
We tend to think of insider trading as something that happens with regard to companies listed on the stock exchange - but Allister Doo warns that a director of even a very small company needs to be careful when buying or selling shares.

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Employee ownership is something that is being actively encouraged overseas, and is already seen in some major New Zealand companies as a way of rewarding employees and enhancing employee loyalty. However, it is important that company directors think very carefully about drawing up a shareholders' agreement before offering employees any such arrangement.

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An Australian businessman has recently been fined $95,000 for breaching New Zealand’s anti-spam laws. This shows it pays to ensure you are aware of the scope of the anti-spam laws in New Zealand.

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Compliance, legal issues, and good business management are about making sure all the small details are taken care of. This week's guaranteed-under-two-minute read has tips and tools to help avoid potentially serious pitfalls in this area.

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The usual position is that a lease of premises must be in writing and signed to be enforceable but an unsigned lease might be upheld under the doctrine of part performance.

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Good terms of trade are all too uncommon in the small business sector, but they can make the difference between whether you get paid in a timely fashion or not. Sue Hirst has some practical advice to help you tailor effective terms of trade for your business

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Alan Clark explains why you should not make your children executors in your will - and not powers of attorney and not trustees in your family trust either.

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A recent Employment Court case has found that employees are not able to act unlawfully against their employer’s interests in setting up a competing business while still being employed. This is even without a restraint of trade clause in their employment agreement.

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The Commerce Commission has recently issued a number of warnings to companies engaged in activities in breach of the Fair Trading Act 1986. The Commission has also indicated there will be greater investigation into complaints about breaches of the Act and closer scrutiny of companies. Allister Doo, a business lawyer from Hornabrook Macdonald Lawyers, discusses the recent work of the Commission and your obligations under the Act.

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Workplace Safety
No matter how large or small your business, it is highly recommended to set up a health and safety programme for more advantageous results and, obviously, for the health and safety of your employees. This does not have to be a costly expenditure and you will soon realise that it can be cost effective and beneficial to your business’ long term goals.

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Signing a contract
A general manager of a company who is not a director may still have authority to sign a contract and bind the company to perform a contract so companies must ensure they are aware of what their managers are doing and what contracts they are signing states Allister Doo.

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The use of trusts in New Zealand is widespread but many trustees are not aware that their personal assets may be at risk when they enter into contracts cautions Allister Doo.

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