Most successful businesses have structures where their assets are distributed in such a way that if some unforeseeable and detrimental event takes place, the business does not necessarily lose all its assets.
In some instances, a business may operate various aspects of its operation by using subsidiary companies. For example, if a construction company, for the sake of the example, operates as a subcontractor as well as a developer. The developer may separate the two where the operation of the subcontractor may be carried out using a separate or a new entity by registering a new company with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
The purpose of such structure is to separate the two operations and in the event the subcontractor company becomes insolvent or liable for some major aspect, the parent company may separate itself from that liability.
Separation for tax purposes
A parent company may operate various aspects of its operation using various subsidiary companies in order to also affectively distribute its income for tax purposes. We always recommend for businesses to consult their tax accountant or a tax lawyer to advise them with respect to effective distribution of profit and income for tax purposes.
Protection of assets under a trust
Another method of protecting the assets of the business is by registering a business as trustee under a trust. The assets of the business will be placed into the trust which may allow the business additional protections.
This does not necessarily mean that the assets are completely off the hands off debtors or creditors or orders made by a Court, with respect to the assets under the trust. However, those assets may still be protected so long as the directors or authorised offices of the company did not act in accordance with the trust, or the operation of the business, which attracts the liability, is beyond the authorised operation under the trust.
Therefore, the creation of a trust must always be considered as soon as possible, and preferably at the commencement of the business. the reason is, if that trust is created after the business has been in operation for some time, and the business has accumulated some assets, the transfer of those assets from the business and into the trust may attract stamp duty obligations. In some instances, it may be necessary to transfer those assets into a trust due to a certain circumstance. In this case, the payment of stamp duty may be burdensome, but is a better alternative to what could take place as an alternative. However, whenever it is possible, the creation of a trust should always be considered as soon as possible.
How can we assist you?
If you require the protection of your business assets, or have any questions, contact our office for a consultation.