employers and the employee

Employers do you have employees or contractors?

It can be time consuming and confusing for clients to try and understand the exact type of arrangement and obligations that go with it.  Also there have been many cases where a business owner thinks that a person has been engaged as a Contractor only to subsequently discover that they are deemed to be an employee and hence entitled to certain benefits and entitlements.

The Australian Taxation Office has set up a couple of online decision tools which are a series of questions and answers and resulting explanations.  The good thing is there is no requirement to enter the TFN so the results are confidential.

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personal properties and securities act

Are you ready for the PPSA?

New legislation called the Personal Property Securities Act (“PPSA”) came into effect recently.  It will dramatically alter the way we deal with personal property and the way in which security over personal property can be protected.

“Personal property” is any property (except real estate and fixtures to land) such as machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, book debts, stock, trademarks and patents etc.

The PPSA will regulate any “security interest” in personal property.  If you do not protect your rights you risk losing your interests in that property.

For example you could lose:

  • priority to another creditor; or
  • title to your property if it is left in the possession of someone else (eg. if they sell it or if they go into liquidation etc ).

How does the PPSA affect you?

If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you should contact us to discuss how the PPSA may affect you and what steps you should take to protect your interests.

  • Do you own personal property that could be in someone else’s possession for longer than 90 days ?
  • Do you consign goods to other people to sell ?
  • Do you manufacture and sell goods ?
  • Do your conditions of sale state that you retain ownership until you are paid (i.e.
    retention of title clause)
  • Have you granted “fixed and floating” charges or have they been granted to you ?
  • Do you include charging clauses in your standard documents to give you security for an obligation ?


A single national online register of Personal Property Securities interests called the PPS Register (“PPSR”) has been established.

It is essential to register your security interests in order to obtain priority. By registering your security interest you can prevent another person taking ownership of your goods.

Any delay in registering your security interest or inaccuracy in the registration could be disastrous.  New security interests created must be registered quickly and in some cases may be registered before the transaction is completed.



If you have any questions about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact McLaughlin & Associate Lawyers via call or email.

Alternatively, you may visit our office in Springwood.

Directors penalty notice
In recent months there has been an increase in activity by the ATO against businesses who are behind in the lodgement of their Business Activity Statements (BAS) and Returns.  This recent crackdown means that many companies and their Directors face the possibility of prosecution or fines if they do not comply with their statutory obligations.
Consequences for not lodging Activity Statements and Returns
If you are late in lodging your Returns or Activity Statements you will incur penalties and be charged a daily interest rate currently 9.59%  on any unpaid monies.
Once a company has received an ATO Compliance Notice and still fails to lodge their returns, they could face the following repercussions:-
• An audit and face further investigation from the ATO
• The ATO may estimate their net assessable amount or taxable income and the tax they owe without further warning
• A business or individual could be referred for prosecution without  further warning
• If prosecuted and convicted, an individual could be fined up to $8,500.00 or imprisoned for up to 12 months, for a company the maximum fine is $42,500.00.
Advice to clients
You should :-
• Ensure all outstanding BAS and PAYG returns are lodged as soon as possible
• Pay all PAYG superannuation charge amounts within the relevant time frames
• Keep all BAS and PAYG returns up to date and lodged within 3 months of the due date
If a BAS return is lodged or a PAYG is not paid, the ATO may issue a Director Penalty Notice.  At the expiry of the 21 day notice period, personal liability can apply.  Director’s personal liability for a company’s unpaid PAYG will be avoided if a company enters into voluntary administration or has a liquidator appointed before the expiry of the Director Penalty Notice.  If unpaid PAYG is not recorded within 3 months of the due date the Director will automatically be personally liable for any unpaid amounts even if the company is placed in voluntary administration or liquidation after this date.
If you have any overdue paid BAS and/or PAYG returns and/or overdue PAYG superannuation charge payments contact us immediately to discuss your options.

national business names register

Business names used to be registered in the state or territory where the business was located and each state and territory kept its own register. The national register of business names replaces the existing state and territory registers.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) now administers the new national business names register.

Benefits of the new national register

The national register offers Queensland businesses many advantages:

  • The national system eliminates the need for businesses who trade across state borders to register their name in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Businesses will be able to register and renew their national business name online.
    Online payment options will also be available.
  • Business name registration will be combined into a single online transaction with
    the registration of an Australian Business Number.
  • Queensland businesses will benefit from reduced registration fees (details below).

Transition to the new national register

The Queensland register ceased operation at 5pm on Friday 25 May.

As a business name holder in Queensland, you do not have to do anything during the transition. All existing Queensland business names automatically transition to the national register in preparation for its commencement on Monday 28 May.

All of your business name details transitioned to the national register, including your existing expiry date. So if your Queensland business name is due to expire on 1 December 2012, this is the date that ASIC will record as the expiry date of your new national business name.

Duplicate names

If you have registered the same business name in multiple jurisdictions, all of your business names will have transitioned to the national business names register, meaning that you may have multiple identical business names registered to you.

Under the new system, you can choose to keep one of your business names and let the rest expire. If you prefer, you can speed up this process by cancelling any business name that you no longer require. There is no fee to cancel a business name.

If the same business name has been registered by different businesses in different jurisdictions, all of the business names will still have been transitioned to the national business names register. An additional identifier (such as the word ‘Queensland’) will appear on the register to assist in differentiating between identical business names.

This additional identifier will not form part of your business name, meaning that you can continue to trade using the business name you have always had.

Renewing your business name

If your business name was due for renewal before 28 May 2012, you should already have received your business name renewal form from the Office of Fair Trading. You will need to renew your business name in Queensland, prior to the transition to the national register. If you haven’t already done so, please ensure that you lodge your form and appropriate fee as soon as possible.

If your business name is due for renewal on or after 28 May 2012, ASIC will send you a business name renewal form and you will renew on the national register.

If your business name is due for renewal between 28 May 2012 and mid to late June 2012, you may receive your renewal notice from ASIC a bit later than you would normally expect it. If you do, you will get an extension of time in which to renew, so that you are not disadvantaged.


Once the transition to the national register is complete, fees for Queensland businesses will be cheaper. Online payment options such as BPay and credit card payment will be available. Registering an ABN will remain free.

  • New application for registration of a business name for 1 year – $30
  • Application for renewal of a business name for 1 year – $30
  • New application for registration of a business name for 3 years – $70
  • Application for renewal of a business name for 3 years – $70

Note: Fees are current as at 23 June, 2012. They are subject to change at the start of each new financial year.