381 – Navigating Legal Challenges for Tradies: Contracts, Joint Ventures, and Getting Paid on Commercial Jobs

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In the construction and trade industry, legal challenges can often become a roadblock to success. Understanding contracts, terms and conditions, and the intricacies of joint ventures can help tradies navigate these challenges and ensure they get paid on commercial jobs. This blog post explores key insights from legal experts on how tradies can protect themselves and grow their businesses.

Understanding Contracts and Terms & Conditions

The Importance of Clear Terms and Conditions

Clear terms and conditions are essential for tradies to protect themselves when taking on new jobs. Whether working on residential or commercial projects, defining safe access to the site, payment terms, delay clauses, and specific job requirements can prevent misunderstandings and disputes.

Reviewing Contracts

When presented with a contract, it’s crucial for tradies to take the time to review it thoroughly. If necessary, seeking legal advice can help identify potential risks and ensure that the contract is fair. Fixed fee lawyers can provide efficient and transparent pricing for this service.

Personal Guarantees

Obtaining personal guarantees from directors can provide financial security when engaging with a company. If the company defaults, the personal guarantee allows the tradie to pursue payment from the individual directors, offering an additional layer of protection.

Joint Ventures and Growth Opportunities

The Power of Joining Forces

With the current shortage of materials and labour, many tradies are exploring joint ventures as a way to grow and expand their businesses. By pooling resources, equipment, skills, and labour, tradies can create successful partnerships that enhance their capabilities.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Some businesses are pursuing growth through acquisition, buying existing businesses with established teams. This strategy can quickly scale a business and overcome labour shortages.

The Role of Legal and Business Coaching

When considering a joint venture or merger, engaging a good lawyer, accountant, and business coach is essential. They can guide the process, handle the legal and tax aspects, and provide strategic coaching to ensure success.

Key Takeaways

  • Contracts and Terms & Conditions: Tradies must understand and clearly define their terms and conditions. Reviewing contracts with legal assistance can prevent potential risks.
  • Personal Guarantees: Obtaining personal guarantees can provide additional financial security when dealing with commercial clients.
  • Joint Ventures and Mergers: Exploring joint ventures and mergers can offer growth opportunities for tradies. Professional guidance is essential for success.
  • Getting Paid on Commercial Jobs: Implementing clear payment terms and understanding legal rights can ensure that tradies get paid on commercial jobs.


Navigating the legal landscape can be complex for tradies, but understanding contracts, exploring joint ventures, and ensuring clear terms and conditions can lead to success. By seeking professional guidance and being proactive in legal matters, tradies can protect themselves and find new opportunities for growth.

Ready to dive deeper into these topics? Don’t miss out on our full podcast episode with Helen Kay. Click the button below to start listening!

Video Discussion Points: 

01:10 – Getting paid on commercial jobs, protecting yourself.
05:38 – Different types of commercial lawyers, some litigious, some proactive.
10:02 – People need a lawyer to prevent problems.
14:56 – Effective contracts ensure clear payment terms, protections.
17:00 – Ensure contract includes necessary terms for payment and protection.
21:00 – Ensure clauses protect your interests completely.
23:33 – Skim contracts, identify risks, provide fixed fee.
26:30 – Allow time for review, seek legal advice.
31:08 – Colleague grows business through smart acquisitions.
33:44 – Pooling resources to offer dry hire.


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The Site Shed is one of the best online communities and podcasts for tradies out there. The free content provided to members is unbelievable - offering invaluable advice to run a successful business, and the community of tradies is truly awesome. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

Peter Cox Business Man

Great work Matt with all the podcasts and the site shed facebook community group. The amount of information that you can learn for free in this space is unbelieveable. It's great to see like minded contractors and trades trying to improve their businesses and also share ideas and help others. Highly recommend. Thanks!

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I have been listening to the pod casts for a few months now, I can't get enough of all the awesome content that you guys provide. Especially when you guys deliver it from a trade perspective which helps out a lot. Keep up the good work and hopefully one day I can afford one of the trade training trips.

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I own a construction company,and i love learning how to make my bussiness more competitive,profitable and how to better serve my clients. The site shed is a wonderful place to get invaluable knowledge no matter your trade .

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