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This chapter will introduce the idea of ‘ethics’, and then the subset of ‘business ethics’. You will read real-world examples of (often poor) behaviour from companies, and understand how that behaviour can be considered through the lenses of business ethics, the ethical director, corporate governance with a focus on corporate social responsibility, and ethical marketing and advertising. By the end of this chapter, you will have a broad understanding of how these concepts fit together, and how they interact with the legal regulations around companies and businesses discussed in other parts of this text.
Australian businesses operate within a complex legal environment, so it's important students and professionals understand their legal obligations. Contemporary Australian Business Law is an authoritative text that makes key legal concepts accessible to business students, while maintaining academic rigour. Written for business students new to studying business law, this text introduces the fundamental legal topics encountered in business, including contracts, business structures, taxation, property and employment. Discussion in each chapter strikes a balance between accessibility and detail to assist understanding of these complex legal issues. A hypothetical scenario running through each chapter scaffolds learning and provides relevant real-world examples of the law in practice. Each chapter includes margin definitions, case boxes that guide students through landmark business law cases, and practice problems that test students' ability to apply their knowledge to realistic situations. Written by experts, Contemporary Australian Business Law is an essential introduction to the Australian legal system for business students.
In the 21st century, it doesnt necessarily take much to start a business – you can set up on your own, with just an idea and a website or social media account. However, as most aspects of business today are highly regulated, either at the state or federal level, advice as to which business structure is most appropriate for a new or existing business venture will be fundamental to its success or failure. This chapter examines potential business structures in relation to a number of key factors and provides examples for you to consider the impact of each business structure in practice. In this chapter, seven business structures will be examined in detail: sole trader, partnership, joint venture, franchise, trust, unincorporated association and incorporated association. The chapter will also briefly introduce the corporation, which is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 14.
The company form of business structure is one of the most common in the world today. As discussed in the previous chapter, there are a variety of benefits that make the corporate form the most appealing for many business operators, and also for investors and other stakeholders. This chapter examines this dominant business structure in detail, and explains the regulations in place around it. It identifies the legislation and other regulatory tools that enable the formation of companies in Australia, the process of incorporation and its legal consequences, what it means to be a member of a company, how companies are managed and the duties that are owed by the persons in control, companies financial reporting obligations, and the processes involved when a company becomes insolvent or otherwise needs to be wound up. You will follow a practical example across the course of this chapter, identifying how the company business structure would affect this startup business, and the impact that the legal regulation in this area will have on the individuals within and associated with this business.
Corporate law, like all law, has a context; indeed, it has many contexts. To understand corporate law today, we need to appreciate the forces—social, political, economic, global and local—which shape that law. Modern corporations and contemporary Australian corporate law should be understood as a product of, and a compromise between, various social, economic and legal ideas and philosophies. This is the focus of the first two chapters of this book.
We began Chapter 1 by emphasising the need to be aware of the different contexts within which corporations and corporate law are created and operate. We considered the historical and regulatory contexts of contemporary Australian corporate law. This chapter considers the importance of the different theoretical and ideological perspectives that assist in understanding the nature of the corporation, the role and purpose of corporations in contemporary society, and the rationales for and against the regulation of corporate activity.