Social media is an inevitable and integral part of the lives of most individuals around the world seeking to communicate and share information. In terms of businesses and other organisations, social media is largely a marketing channel for reaching citizens, members, users and customers.
Business owners and executives worry when fortunes decline as competitors enter their former stable market. They worry over fewer calls from customers, lower sales and their best staff leaving one after another. The response is typically cost cutting.
What is it that nimble competitors are doing differently?
The introduction in 2003 of section 44C and related sections amended the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) to block the proliferation in parallel importation circumstances of silly claims to copyright in mere product labels.
Parallel importation is the importation of non-counterfeit goods into Australia by persons who are not licensed or otherwise authorised by the intellectual property owner. Typically the intellectual property in these goods is a trade mark or subject matter protected by copyright law. Parallel imports are sometimes called "grey" goods.
Online contracting today provides the opportunity to improve business with svelte business models. It builds on long term developments which will continue to change the way goods and services are traded.
Traditionally there were fewer suppliers and offerings (ie products and services), hence contract negotiations were often extended as the parties gathered information and then haggled. In pre-contract tasks they needed to communicate and record what was available, what price was sought, when goods could be supplied and so on. This involved in-person meetings, diary notes, telephone tag, faxes and more recently email threads and instant messaging.
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).
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.
Yesterday, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg spoke in Chinese to university students in China without any need for an interpreter.
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.
Tax Office work done in 2011 identified 1.9 million businesses and set benchmarks for 100 industries to check for tax law compliance. These are overviewed in the Tax Office publication “Small business, tax and the cash economy”.
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.
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.
In Australia there is no crowdfunding-specific law. This is probably a good thing at this time. It appears not to have been too great an obstacle over the last five years for the Australian Small Scale Offering Board (ASSOB) which raised $138 million for equity in about 300 small businesses.
The latest position on crowd sourced equity funding is set out in a 283 pages Crowd Sourced Equity Funding Report of May 2014, by Australia’s Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC). It proposes new rules to "overcome current legal impediments" for equity funding affecting issuers, platforms and investors.