Businesses are expected to follow the myriad laws set by the authorities. Therefore, whether small or big, businesses need an Lawyer to ensure they function properly and are compliant with the set laws. Issues such as property purchases and preparing taxes require legal help. Disputes and litigation require law expertise to prevent serious consequences, as well. This is where business Lawyers come in handy. They offer legal help to businesses. Below are other important benefits of hiring a business Lawyer Ottawa organizations can trust.
A Lawyer Will Provide Your Business with Advice
Business Lawyers help business owners to understand different legal issues, such as lawsuits and legal violations, that might impact their operations. They provide the required advice and legal guidance to help you come out of the legal situations or avoid breaking the law in the first place.
A Lawyer Can Facilitate Dispute Resolution
A business may fall into conflict with other establishments. In such instances, a business Lawyer will come up with legal options that are helpful to both parties. Note that litigation takes time and costs a lot of money. This is why it is vital to opt for mediation and arbitration. According to various reports, only 4% of cases of personal injuries are resolved through the court, while 96% are settled through negotiation. These private negotiations and conflict resolutions are preferable for a number of reasons -- and your Lawyer can help you achieve a favorable outcome.
A Lawyer Will Help Businesses Stay On Top of Legal Changes
With laws and regulations changing every day, it is quite hard to fully understand what is required of you as a business owner. This is where the business Lawyers come in handy. They help you to avoid violating the law. Business Lawyers also help to negotiate legally binding agreements such as partnerships agreements and leases. Essentially, a business Lawyer ensures that everything you do is in line with the law.
A Lawyer Can Navigate the Legal System
At some point, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law. A business Lawyer will help you deal with legal problems as they arise. If you're facing a lawsuit, a Lawyer can ensure your rights are protected. An adept Lawyer can even tilt the dispute to your advantage. A business owner should never try to handle any legal disputes on their own, as this can end very poorly.
A Lawyer Can Connect You With a Specialist
If you are in need of specialized assistance, business Lawyers can refer you to the right professionals. Some cases, such as complicated tax matters, may require extra help. Lawyers are well-connected can direct you to a specialist who can provide guidance and assistance for all your business needs.
A Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Mistakes
Running a business is associated with numerous legal pitfalls. You are susceptible to making legal mistakes, regardless of whether you’re a rookie or an experienced business person. A good business Lawyer is well versed with business knowledge and pitfalls that you may come across. A business Lawyer helps you avoid major problems, some of which you may not even be aware of. Employment lawsuits can put your business profitability at risk. It is much better to prevent lawsuits before they occur instead of dealing with them later.
A Lawyer Can Ensure Your Contracts Are Sound
One of the most important things for a business is to ensure they have solid contracts. Otherwise, other entities may take advantage of incomplete or vague agreements. Solving cases that come as a result of this sloppiness can be very costly. Business Lawyers help to draft airtight agreements, hence avoid future disagreements and potential losses.
A Lawyer Can Make It Easier To Get Paid
Dealing with some partners, clients, and business associates can be quite stressful. Some people are reluctant to pay for services or supplies. If someone owes you money and they do not show commitment to pay you, consider using your business Lawyer. Ask the Lawyer to send a request on your behalf. Business Lawyers will not only motivate debtors to pay you, but they also know the steps to take in case they totally refuse to pay.
Businesses both small and big needs to have a business Lawyer. Corporate Lawyers do not only deal with lawsuits but also can help you with drafting contracts and operating the business in line with the law. They may also allow you to avoid costly legal action. For more information, please contact our firm today.
My friend and I have an idea for a business and we are considering forming a partnership. How does a partnership work and how should one be setup?
Whether or not a partnership exists is a fundamentally a legal question. Ontario’s Partnerships Act says that a relationship between “persons carrying on a business in common with a view to profit” is a partnership within the meaning of the Act. This is important because it means that whether or not you declare yourself to be a partnership, legally speaking, you might be a partnership anyways, whether you intended to or not.
A partnership can exist between you and your friend personally, or even as between two corporations controlled by each of you. Unlike a corporation, however, a partnership has no separate legal existence from the partners themselves and each partner has the power to bind the partnership and each partner is jointly liable for any obligations incurred on behalf of the firm. This is why, when deciding to form a partnership, a partnership agreement can be very practical.
A partnership agreement sets out the rights and obligations for partners in the partnership and provides for what should happen in circumstances of partnership incapacity, retirement or death. Without one, the Partnerships Act will provide for what happens to the partnership in these circumstances, often with unintended results. A partnership agreement can also provide mechanisms for the distribution of partnership income and a process for bringing additional persons into the partnership. Creating a partnership agreement that meets your goals with the help of a commercial Lawyer ensures that your partnership will continue in a manner of your design.
I am negotiating to purchase a business and my business advisor has strongly suggested I structure the deal as an “asset purchase”. Why is this preferable?
There are two principal ways to structure the agreement of purchase and sale of a business: as an asset purchase or as a share purchase. An asset purchase is just that, a purchase of listed assets without taking on liabilities of the business. A share purchase, by contrast, is the purchase of the shares of the corporation that carries on the business and owns the assets. There are a number of considerations as to which form of purchase is preferable. In this article, we want to focus on why your advisor has strongly recommended an asset purchase.
A properly structured asset purchase agreement will allow you to purchase all of the desirable assets of the business you wish to acquire while leaving out the unwanted liabilities.
Your advisor has likely identified the business as one either by its nature or by the disclosure you’ve obtained in which there are significant potential liabilities that may be avoided through an asset purchase agreement. For example, if the owner of the business has been pocketing cash payments or using corporate assets for personal use, the business may be exposed to re-assessments and penalties by the Canada Revenue Agency. A purchase of shares would mean that you, through the purchased corporation, are exposed to those claims.
There are some exceptions to the avoidance of liability by an asset purchase. For instance, if the purchased business employed unionized labour, a collective agreement and any ongoing liabilities thereunder will follow the purchased business, even if structured as an asset purchase. Your legal counsel can assist you to identify and understand the relevant risks and how to avoid them where possible or otherwise obtain protection.
I have a corporation the shares of which are held only by me and members of my immediate family. Do I really need to have annual minutes?
If your corporation is audited by the CRA and matters, such as the declaration of dividends, have not been formally documented by a written resolution of the directors or in annual minutes, the consequence can be severe. There are other risks that may be avoided by having minutes prepared annually. This is analogous to your dentist who encourages you to have good dental hygiene and periodic check-ups so that small problems do not become big problems. Practicing good corporate hygiene just makes good sense.
The minimum legal obligation of a corporation is to hold an annual meeting of shareholders to consider the financial statements, elect directors and to appoint (or dispense with the appointment of) the auditor. In practice, and as permitted by statute, narrowly held corporations often dispense with an annual meeting in favor of signed resolution of all of the shareholders. The failure to hold annual resolutions, or obtain written resolutions in lieu, can lead to legal action from disgruntled shareholders.
The practice of holding annual meetings (or resolutions in lieu) also tends to ensure that corporate matters requiring attention are addressed, such as share transfers, changes to directors, and address changes, which if left unaddressed could become significant problems.
An effective method of ensuring good “corporate hygiene” is for the corporation to instruct its accounting advisors to provide legal counsel with an annual letter of instructions to document applicable financial matters.
It is not uncommon that a new client brings us a minute book that has not been properly organized, or that has not been updated for many years. It is not a cause for embarrassment. We strongly encourage that the minute books be updated before an issue arises, such as a CRA audit.