The safe harbour reforms are a relative newcomer to the high seas of Australian corporations law. Commencing in September 2017 the reforms have the stated aim of encouraging entrepreneurship, and avoiding the stigma associated with insolvent trading.

The “safe harbour” is not a new or separate species of corporate insolvency regime: it is a carveout from a director’s duty to avoid insolvent trading and the potential personal liability of the director if she or he fails to do so. It is not a defence more widely in respect of other breaches of duties or statutory obligations of directors, and directors wanting to enter the safe harbour need to be mindful of complying with those other duties and obligations.

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