Cooperate law:

The university policy on extensions of time will be strictly enforced. Extensions will usually only be
considered if made via the online system and based on medical or compassionate grounds. Any
extension application should be made before the due date for submission. Medical conditions should
be supported by a medical certificate, and, since students are expected to start the assignment early,
temporary or last-minute conditions are usually not grounds for an extension. Professionals are
expected to manage their time to meet their obligations, so work or personal commitments are
insufficient grounds for an extension.
Plagiarism:
The university’s plagiarism policy will also be strictly enforced. If plagiarism is found, a minimum
penalty is likely to be zero marks for the assessment. It could be worse.
Your Brief
Your overall task is to advise a client or clients on how to structure their business – either as a sole
trader, partnership, joint venture, or company. You do not have to consider all four of these in your
advice – which ones are relevant will depend on the clients’ circumstances. You should not consider
trusts, as they are used primarily to minimise tax, and tax law is not part of this course. (Assume that
the clients instruct you that they’ve had bad past experience with trusts, because of the extra
administration and accountancy fees that trusts create, and they don’t want to do that again). You
should generally avoid any substantial advice on tax, although you can make some basic comments.
The tax implications of business structures are a lot more complicated than websites (such as the
ATO) suggest, and since tax is not part of this course, it is best to avoid it.
In order to provide this advice you need to perform these 4 sub-tasks:-
1. Draw up a list of questions to ask your client so as to gather the information and instructions
necessary for you to advise.
2. Write down your clients’ answers to the questions, including any follow-up queries to clarify
the answers.
3. Research the law relevant to your advice.
4. Write an advice directed to the clients’ situation, including a recommendation on the best
form of business structure for their needs.
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The Client
The intention of the assignment is that you will obtain instructions from a real person who is in a
business, or is interested in setting up a business. The person is likely to be a friend or family
member, but in any event they need to be willing to answer your questions. It doesn’t have to be a
real existing business; it may be a business they dream about setting up. (Perhaps, by talking to them
about it, you will encourage them to fulfil their dream!) You should tell them that it is an imaginary
exercise for the purpose of your studies, but you would like real information if they don’t mind giving
it. You must make sure that they do NOT think that they are getting real legal advice from a qualified
person, or that the advice will be verified or approved by the university.
Preliminary
Probably the biggest mistake students make in doing assignments is that they do not study as they
would for an exam. Instead, they start by reading the assignment and then try to look up only the
parts of the course that look like they are relevant to the assignment. The trouble is, you cannot say
what the relevant parts of the course are without knowing the course first. In real life you need to
understand all the concepts so that you can identify the relevant issues when a client approaches you.
So the best preparation for the assignment is simply to study the course properly. Understanding of
the modules preceding the assignment due date will be sufficient, but you can go beyond that if you
wish. You will need a good conceptual understanding of the legal principles before you work out
what questions to ask your client. You will also need a good conceptual understanding to work out
what to research and, more importantly, what NOT to research. And you will need a good conceptual
understanding to formulate your advice. If you try to isolate your study to the areas raised directly by
the assignment, your advice is likely to be disjointed and omit some important aspects.
You also need to start work on your assignment early. This is not the sort of assignment that you can
do within a day or so of the due date.
The Questions
Before providing advice to a client, you need to get the necessary information or instructions. There
will be some information that is essential to your advice, and other information that is useful as
background. You should have a general understanding of a business before advising on it. You need
to think about what a client will want to know in this situation so that they can make their decision,
what law will be relevant to it, and what information you need in order to apply that law to the facts.
You will be assessed on the quality of the questions you ask, especially on their relevance to the
advice.
The Answers to the Questions
As stated above, the answers to the questions should be real, or at least realistic. That is why it is best
to use a real life situation with a real person, because they are likely to give sensible, consistent
information. If you start making things up, it is harder to make the information as a whole coherent.
The answers should be submitted along with the questions, but you will not be assessed on the
answers. However, clients often give incomplete answers, and as a professional you may have to ask
extra questions to get the information you need. If you fail to do this, leaving a hole in your
instructions, your marks for the questions may be reduced. Inevitably, clients are very wordy in their
answers, so you may have to summarise here to meet the word limit for this section.
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Legal Research
In practice, you would not give a lot of detail about technical law in your advice to a client, but for the
purposes of the course you should describe the law you regard as relevant to your advice, including
references to sections of statutes and relevant cases. You also need to explain WHY the law you are
describing is relevant to the issues in the assignment. Remember, you are advising a client on what
business structure to adopt. This does NOT mean that you simply write out all the law related to the
various business structures. Not all of it will be relevant to a decision about what business structure to
adopt. In marking your research component, the marker will be comparing it to a similar situation in
practice. In practice, unnecessary research is costly to your client and to your employer.
Recommendations to the Client
Having conducted the necessary research, you need to apply it to the facts of your clients’ situation.
You must present the client with the alternatives, analyse them and then make a recommendation
about the structure that the client should adopt. You need to consider the pros and cons of the
alternatives, firstly because the client will have to weigh up the alternatives (it’s their decision, not
yours), and secondly because they may not accept your first recommendation.
What you submit
You need to submit one file including:-
A Title Page – including your name, student number, and total word count
Part 1 – Questions with your clients’ answers. Each question should have its own answer
immediately following it: (maximum: 800 words, 10 marks)
Part 2 – Relevant law: (maximum: 1,000 words, 15 marks)
Part 3 – Reasoned recommendations to the client: (maximum: 600 words, 10 marks)
Presentation (5 marks)
A mark between 0 and 5 is available for the professional qualities of your work. This includes things
like: written presentation, structure and formatting with consistent headings, fonts and page
numbering; spell-checking; logical flow of explanations; conciseness and relevance; general
readability. The most important factors in making your assignment readable are logical flow and
relevance, not visual appearance. Your assignment must be expressed in your own words. You will
not receive marks for copying slabs of text (even if they are referenced) if there is no genuine attempt
to summarise. Generally, law in any part of your answer should be properly referenced in accordance
with the Guide to Legal Citation linked on the moodle site. Poor referencing will adversely affect
your presentation mark. Citations in footnotes or endnotes are not included in the word counts, but
substantial text in footnotes or endnotes is.