The information provided below is general in nature and should not be relied upon legal advice. You should call 03 5445 1000 and speak to a lawyer at OFRM about your particular circumstances.

What's yours is yours, but only if you register it

What's yours is yours, but only if you register it

For many of you in small business it is difficult enough that you are required to run from A to B starting early in the morning to late at night, chase debtors and comply with all of the necessary regulations, requirements and codes in your industry.

But what if in the middle of this, one of your regular customers goes into liquidation and you are owed thousands of dollars?

I am sure in your trading terms and conditions you have a retention of title clause which provides that any items installed in a building are yours until they are paid for in full by your customer. However, beware. Your terms and conditions themselves are no longer enough to enforce these rights when something goes wrong. Unless registered on the Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR) your interest will be same as all other unsecured creditors and you will be left to fight with others for material that in your view is still yours.

The PPSR came into operation on 1 January 2012. It is a one stop noticeboard for the world to see who really owns business’ assets and who has an interest in those assets.

Like any new process the PPSR can take time to get your head around, but registration is inexpensive and the ramifications for not registering could be potentially crippling.

With the number of seemingly solid businesses failing in the past five years, you really need ask yourself, how much can my business afford to lose if someone you rely on “goes under”? The PPSR is one step to reducing the impact of that risk.