Asset finance is a broad category which includes raising funding, obtaining loans, and business equipment itself. An asset is defined as a possession which forms part of your business and contributes to its value. Hard assets are defined as assets which can be replaced or used second-hand. Soft assets are assets which tend to depreciate in value over time. Due to this, it is easier to obtain asset financing for hard assets.
Some examples of common business assets include:
- Office technology such as computers and printers
- Vehicles (if required for your business)
- Furniture and fit-outs
Asset financing can be a great way to get the equipment you need to get your business off the ground without having to pay the full price to purchase the equipment outright. When a business obtains an asset under an asset finance arrangement, the business pays a regular charge for a certain period of time (this can be anywhere from a few months to a few years).
Obtaining assets for your business carries with it tax and reporting obligations. Further, it is pivotal that the appropriate insurance policies are in place in the event that anything happens.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is the national corporate regulator. Its role is to enforce the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). It is important to ensure that you, as a business owner, are complying with the rules set out in the Corporations Act. There are serious penalties for individuals and businesses who do not.
What is an Asset Finance Lawyer?
Asset finance lawyers assist individuals and businesses who wish to raise funding, obtain working capital or make investments. It is recommended you consult with an asset finance lawyer if you require advice on legal and commercial issues or tax and accounting. Asset finance lawyers will anticipate and mitigate issues that arise from changing laws and regulations and competition in the industry your business is apart of.
It is prudent to contact asset finance lawyers who offer services and advice on the following:
- Debt and insurance
- Information about regulatory issues
- Asset financing
- Finance facilities
- Transactional funding
Why do I need an Asset Finance Lawyer?
Asset finance lawyers should always be your first point of contact if you and your business intend to enter the asset finance market for business financing. Expert asset finance lawyers will advise you on asset-based lending transactions no matter what industry sector your business operates in. Moreover, Australia’s business laws are complex and not straightforward. Further, Australian corporate law is constantly changing. An Asset Finance lawyer is up-to-date with current business laws and can help ensure that your practices are compliant.
It is important to contact a qualified professional who can read, interpret and apply the laws to your business’ situation. Otherwise, if you fail to obtain quality advice, serious implications may arise that can have a detrimental impact on your business’ finances.
What will an Asset Finance Lawyer provide?
Asset finance lawyers will instruct and guide individuals and business throughout the asset transaction process while keeping their clients’ best interests in mind. You can rely on asset finance lawyers to help you along the way.
How much will an Asset Finance Lawyer charge?
Usually, asset finance lawyers, and lawyers in general charge either a fixed amount or an hourly rate. Also, fees are calculated based on the solicitor’s expertise, seniority, location and whether the work is urgent.
We work with business lawyers in our lawyer network who specialise in asset finance and can provide assistance. Our aim at LawPath is to provide you with legal options that are efficient, affordable and tailored to your needs.
Hourly rates and Court fees
The cost of an Asset Finance Lawyer will vary based on the scope of the work. Small issues likely to be addressed quickly will cost less. For matters that will need to go to the relevant Court or Tribunal, there may be additional fees involved, particularly as this work takes time. These types of matters may also involve obtaining documents and negotiating with the other party.
What can an Asset Finance Lawyer legally charge?
Legal costs can rise very quickly, especially in litigation. However, this is sometimes hard to avoid when work is being done by a lawyer on an hourly basis. Where fixed-fees are not offered by the lawyer, you should expect to be invoiced on a monthly basis with a time period within which you are required to make payment. Lawyers are required to adhere to the rules outlined in the relevant acts. For example, in NSW and Victoria, this is the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014. Lawyers who do not comply with these rules can face disciplinary action from the law society of their State.
Lawyers are required to provide to their clients a document called a ‘costs disclosure’ if your costs will be higher than $750.00. This document will outline how costs will be calculated in relation to your case. Also be mindful that costs are divided into ‘professional costs’ and ‘disbursements’, and you will be expected to pay for both. Professional costs are the costs of the actual work done by the lawyer, whilst disbursements cover incidentals such as court filing fees, telephone calls, photocopying charges – amongst other things.
What if I don’t agree with the costs?
You have the right to request an itemised bill that will outline how much time was spent on each task in relation to your matter, and how this adds up to the fee you’re requested to pay. If you wish to dispute the cost, you can make a complaint to the The Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC) and they will investigate the matter and may allocate a costs assessor. You can also take further legal action in the Courts if you feel you have been unfairly charged.