While there is no legal requirement for you to seek help from a lawyer when incorporating a small business in Canada, it can prove helpful in terms of making sure everything goes smoothly, that all of the right boxes are ticked, and perhaps most importantly, that everything is done within the confines of relevant laws and regulations.
Below are some of the essential requirements for incorporating a business, along with how a lawyer can help you:
Reserving a company name
To begin the incorporation process, it’s essential to reserve a name for your company.
How can a lawyer help? A lawyer will check to see if the company name you’d like has been taken already, saving your valuable time.
Determining the structure of the business
You can opt to set up your business as a partnership, corporation or sole proprietorship, with each structure offering a range of different advantages and disadvantages. Each structure offers variations in terms of liability, taxation, and continuity, among others.
How can a lawyer help? A lawyer can assist you in choosing the business structure that best aligns with your goals and objectives, providing valuable guidance throughout the selection process.
When incorporating a small business, personal protection is often achieved by separating personal assets from business liabilities. This may have legal implications that are important to understand.
How can a lawyer help? A lawyer can provide clarity and offer advice tailored to your business’s specific needs, explaining the extent of protection you can gain through incorporation.
Determining share structure
Suppose you would like to issue your investors shares, but you wouldn’t want them to take part in any of your company’s operations.
How can a lawyer help? They can help establish non-voting shares specifically designed for investors. Without their guidance, you might not have been aware of this option.
A lot of documents are required when incorporating a business, no matter its size. Some of these documents include:
- Central securities register
- Share Certificates
- Register of Directors
- Minutes of Shareholders
- Minutes of Directors
How can a lawyer help? A lawyer will create something known as a ‘records book’ that will be used to keep all of the necessary documentation for the incorporation process. They will also guide you as to exactly what documents you need.
Additional contracts and agreements
There are a whole host of contracts and agreements you’re likely to encounter as the owner of a business, some of which include the following:
- Supplier agreements
- Employment contracts
- Client agreements
How can a lawyer help? Contracts become legally binding documents once signed, so it’s critical to understand and be content with their contents. Hiring a lawyer can help ensure your interests and rights are protected by having them review contracts and negotiate on your behalf.
Setting up a business isn’t always straightforward. There are many pitfalls that those new to the world of business might not be aware of and haplessly fall into. With a corporate lawyer to guide you through every step of the process, you can ensure that everything is dealt with properly and that your legal rights are protected, both now and in the future.
As your business gains a foothold within your chosen industry and starts to flourish and grow, you’ll have a professional by your side who knows your business inside out. This ensures they can iron out any issues and keep everything within the confines of the law.