Business & Corporate Law

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Business & Corporate law

1. How do I choose what legal form my business should take?

There are different legal ‘structures’ or ‘forms’ your business could take, such as sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation. There are advantages and disadvantages to each structure. Before choosing a business structure, there are many things to consider, including the following:

  • The number of persons involved in the business;
  • The level of control each person is to have;

  • Costs of setting up and maintaining the business;

  • Legal issues specific to the form of business, such as whether you can be held personally liable for the business’ debts and torts;

  • Lender requirements;

  • Tax issues; and
  • Flexibility and adaptability for the future.

The above list is not exhaustive. We recommend you have a detailed, one-on-one discussion with your lawyer before you settle on the legal form of your business.

2. Who can incorporate and what do I need to do?

Any type of business can be incorporated, except for a few types like banking, non-profits, mortgage companies and insurance companies, which need to be ‘incorporated’ in a different manner than usual. In order to incorporate, you need to:

  • Decide whether you want to incorporate federally or provincially;

  • Decide on the composition of the board of directors;

  • Decide on the share structure;

  • Prepare Articles of Incorporation;

  • Pick an acceptable corporate name;

  • Register your corporation in the applicable corporate registry.