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Protect your business with contracts

By Gibson Sheat

Protect your business with contracts

Would you rather invest your time and money in your business, or in costly legal disputes? 

It’s a no brainer right? 

We help our clients to put in place agreements that avoid costly legal disputes and also ultimately increase the value of their business.  Here are some of the more common agreements that we help our clients with:

Employment agreements

It is a breach of the law not to have a written employment agreement.  Sometimes you may only get caught out if the employment relationship goes sour.  But when you’re standing in front of the Employment Relations Authority on a personal grievance claim and you can’t produce a written employment agreement, you’re on the back foot immediately.  And you can waive goodbye to any right to the protection that the 90 day trial period affords an employer.


There is no such thing as a standard lease.  Don’t trust anyone that tells you otherwise.  Did you know there is a provision in many customary commercial leases that allows the landlord to pass on some of their earthquake strengthening costs to the tenant each year? 

If we are acting for a tenant we change this and many other customary provisions, but we know from experience that there are a number of lawyers around town that do not.

Constitutions and shareholder agreements

Let’s face it, nothing lasts forever.   If you’re in business with others and trading through a company, at some point in the future someone is going to want out.  You want to have the first right of refusal to buy their shares when they do. Don’t you?  If you answered yes, then you either need a shareholders agreement or a constitution to achieve this.

Key customer contracts

Think you may sell your business one day?  Do you want to get the best price for your business?  Then get your biggest customers on contracts.  This will add certainty and therefore value to your business in the eyes of a prospective purchaser.

Terms of trade

Do you supply goods to your customers on credit?  Do you want to become a secured creditor?  Then get yourself a good set of terms of trade.


If you are a director of a limited liability company, your personal assets are not necessarily protected if the company gets into financial difficulty.  For example if your company trades when it is insolvent, you will lose the personal protection offered by a limited liability company.  Having a trust own your personal assets can help to protect them from creditors.

These are just some of the arrangements that your business should consider having in place. There are many others depending on the individual needs of your business.  If you want to know how we can help your business, contact Rhys Williams on +64 4 916 6452 or email rhys.williams@gibsonsheat.com.



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ninjadeden says ...
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