Business Law relates to the entire lifecycle from starting, running, growing to selling a business. Turner Hopkins has significant experience ensuring our clients receive sound commercial and practical advice to assist them in all legal matters relating to their business.

About Our Business & Commercial Services

Turner Hopkins' partners, Mike Newdick, John Stirling, Phil Shannon and Lizandra Bailey have combined experience of over 80 years advising clients on all aspects of business and commercial law. We understand how complex business and commercial law can be, so we offer a wide range of services, achieving cost effective solutions for our clients.

We offer comprehensive advice as a result of having developed relationships with other professionals such as Chartered Accountants and Valuers, who can be called upon to provide additional opinions and information. We pride ourselves on our prompt service and the need to achieve successful outcomes while working to aggressive timelines. We are highly experienced working with a wide variety of business structures – sole traders, partnerships, limited liability companies, joint ventures, trading trusts and public companies.

The Areas We Cover

Sales & Acquisition

We can assist our clients in drafting the initial Agreement for Sale and Purchase incorporating the various conditions such as due diligence, finance and resource consent, which may be applicable to the transaction.

Business structures

It is critical to choose the right business structure for your commercial requirements, as the structure will impact on many aspects such as start up costs, taxation matters, applicable tax rates and your legal obligations.  Limited Liability Companies are by far the most common vehicle operating in New Zealand for small to medium enterprises. They are cost effective to incorporate and provide a significant degree of limitation of liability in respect of business creditors.

Limited Liability Companies have a default set of governance rules that are embodied in the Companies Act 1993.

Purchase of a business

Commercially sound legal and accounting advice is vital when the decision is made to explore the concept of a business purchase. While the basic principles of purchasing a business are similar regardless of the type of business or the size of the transaction, an in-depth analysis of the fine print is essential to ensure that you receive what you thought you had bargained for. Post settlement disputes are messy and stressful when you are trying to get to grips with running the newly acquired business.

Business risk

It has become more prevalent in recent times to carefully assess business risks and from a borrower's perspective limit the risk to the immediate assets.
Proprietors are no longer willing to simply offer guarantees with supporting collateral securities over houses, investment properties and other similar assets. It has become more commonplace to provide a limitation of collateral securities to a specified sum that is only necessary to fulfil the lender's funding criteria.

We also advise clients that it is important, where a family trust or other entity is called upon, to offer security securing a trading entities funding. The family trust should receive security from the company as consideration for the securities it is offering.

Shareholder disputes

When embarking on any commercial enterprise it is important for the parties to turn their mind to the potential for disputes in the future and agree upon a fair and cost effective method for dealing with these disputes.  Mediation through a formal and qualified mediator has become significantly more popular over the last ten years. It offers the advantages of speed, privacy and cost effectiveness.

There are other options including arbitration and litigation. We have at Turner Hopkins, experience in mediation, arbitration and formal litigation should you be required to embark on any of these processes.

Due diligence

This is an issue which must be considered carefully from both the vendor and purchaser's perspective. We believe it is appropriate to form a team of professionals to assist a vendor or purchaser throughout the due diligence period of a transaction to ensure comprehensive advice is obtained on all aspects of a transaction; including assets values, trading history, resource management issues, leasing issues, marketing and competition.

Tax negotiations

Turner Hopkins' depth of knowledge of the IRD's policies and processes will assist you to successfully negotiate with the IRD should an issue arise. The team at Turner Hopkins will work alongside you to negotiate debt settlements with the IRD.

Financial structure

Turner Hopkins has in depth knowledge around financial structures, funding and finance. This is a complex area that we are only too happy to assist. There are both benefits, and, in some case disadvantages depending on the structure used which should be understood from the outset.

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