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Legal guide for organic food exports to China

In 1973 on arrival in Beijing Gough Whitlam became the first Australian Prime Minister to visit China while in office.

The personal, political and trade relations that followed are extraordinary.

In 1978 Deng Xiao Ping introduced China's Open Door Policy for foreign businesses.

By 1980 four Special Economic Zones were up and running - Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou in Guangdong, and Xiamen in Fujian. China stands at the top in 2014, regarded by 31% of Australians as the nation's best friend in Asia, according to a Lowy Institute poll (see graphic at end of article).

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Doing business in Chinese the Zuckerberg way

Yesterday, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg spoke in Chinese to university students in China without any need for an interpreter.

 

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China-economic-activity-by-city

4 market entry options for trade in China

Choosing the right business structure for trade in China depends on many factors, including the nature of the product and the market in which it will be sold. There are four basic models.

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Cash-economy

7 questions avoid business tax penalties

The Australian Tax Office’s raids last month on 170 businesses in Chinatown were against suspected black market businesses. The Tax Office has the resources to check if raided businesses have been paying their share of tax.

Tax Office raids make it harder for dishonest operators to get away with tax evasion – making it fair for everyone. The Tax Office can catch black market practices with computer data matching for specific industries.

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Q&A on why we love coming to work

For its Smalltalk newsletter the Law Society of New South Wales this month asked Noric Dilanchian eight questions.

Answering them involved introspection, and an opportunity to profile why we collectively love working for clients in our firm. Employees and interns in the firm poked and proded draft answers to ensure they reflected our reality.

To also keep it real for colleagues in the legal profession, some answers touched on practical challenges today in running a firm to both deliver and derive value with clients.

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Crowdfunding-law

Tax and valuation of crowdfunding initiatives

This is a backgrounder, guide and checklist for crowdfunding from an Australian perspective. It ends with a list of 14 crowdfunding sites worldwide. Our related articles are Australian crowdfunding law, current and proposed and Start-up funding framework in Australia.

 

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Start-up-legal-guide

Start-up intellectual property survival guide

Start-ups often find themselves in a David vs Goliath situation after an initial taste of success. Corporate giants often seize every opportunity to maximise and secure their competitive advantage and market monopoly or power. The years of legal dispute between Telstra Corporation Limited (“Telstra”) and Phone Directories Company Pty Ltd (“Phone Directories”, now Local Directories Pty Ltd), demonstrate how relentless corporate giants can be. Start-ups need to be prepared to respond in kind.

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Copyright-fair-use-scales

Copyright use free of fees or permission

Copyright law has been designed so that only some uses of copyright work require permissions or fees paid.

The law balances the rights of copyright work owners or rights holders with copyright users. The balance is like a scale that has operated internationally and for centuries.

On one side of the scale, copyright owners or rights holders have exclusive legal rights to their work.

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Fair-use-exception

Applying U.S. fair use doctrine to academic research

How can the fair use doctrine in U.S. copyright law be used for academic research? We recently and successfully advised an Australian academic on this subject.

Our client had prepared a major, lengthy and heavily illustrated scholarly article for publication in a U.S. academic journal.

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Small-business-tax-benefits

Avoid losing small business tax concessions

There are several small business concessions in Australian tax law. They cover many types of tax - income tax, capital gains tax, GST, fringe benefit tax and payroll tax.

When business decisions are made many businesses lose the tax benefits of small business concessions without realising it at the time. They should have sought tax law advice.

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Dyson-competition-strategy

Competition strategy matters to contract lawyers

I've learned a great deal from competition strategy specialists as a contract drafter for now 30 years. This is because the best contracts I draft apply business model innovation, or other elements that build or at least support a client's competition strategy.

This is the case even in drafting simple confidentiality agreements (aka non-disclosure agreements).

In drafting more sophisticated contracts I often blend concepts I draw from separate industries and then re-model into clauses and other contract language. This creates novel contracts, that solve problems in a new ways. This feeds my healthy addiction to learning about drivers for competition.

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Isp-contracts

Plan to save on your ISP home service contract

Internet access is a basic necessity in business, perhaps even of existence in civilisation. So it is important to carefully consider your contract to receive internet access services.

A recent survey of ISP use by ISP Below, found that “Around 90% of respondents say they would be lost without the internet. The majority rely on it for directions and nearly 60% look for places to have dinner or take a date. Almost a third check health symptoms online, and 80% head there first for cooking advice.”

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Australian-crowdfunding

Australian crowdfunding law, current and proposed

The Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (“CAMAC”) has released its very useful though wordy final report titled “Crowd sourced equity funding”. This is probably its last before being abolished by the 2014-2015 federal budget.

The report follows CAMAC's discussion paper of September 2013 which received about 40 public submissions.

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Legal-practice-experts

Taking law out of legal practice

Throughout law school, law students are required to regurgitate case law and legislation in essays and exams. In a law exam, a problem is presented, and students only have to identify legal issues and apply relevant laws.

Law students graduate expecting work in a commercial law firm to involve tasks like this:

1. Client seeks advice on a particular area of law

2. Lawyer reads, listens and applies legal knowledge, avising and solving the client's problems.

3. Client follows that legal advice.

4. Lawyer bills, client pays, case closed.

Classic legal tasks one to four are only one dimension of what is required by clients, particularly start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses. These classic tasks were evolved in what has been called the purely bespoke or artisan era of legal practice.

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Tax-deductions-for-software-development

How to get tax deductions for in-house software development

Business priorities shift depending on where a business is in its lifecycle from start-up to early growth and maturity.

Seizing opportunities to deduct business expenditure is especially important for businesses in their start-up and early growth stages.

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