Whether starting or expanding a business, it’s important to choose the right business structure to maximize profit.

Smart business planning will help protect your business against potential problems and limit future losses. While incorporating does offer certain tax and liability benefits, what it right for your business depends upon your individual situation. Consulting with a corporate lawyer is the first step in identifying the most profitable structure for your business and securing future assistance in the setup, organization, and filing of appropriate documentation.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

An attorney can provide invaluable assistance when incorporating including

  • Having your name searched by a corporate registry and reserved
  • Creating and signing incorporation documents, such as the Articles of Incorporation, which outline important matters including the number of directors and types of shares
  • Writing corporation by-laws
  • Creating a shareholders agreement
  • Filing all appropriate government documents

What Will My Lawyer Need to Know?

  • Type of business and where you intend to operate: If you are planning to operate your business in more than one province or territory, you will need to register at the federal level. Your attorney can outline the advantages and disadvantages of both federal and provincial incorporation.
  • Business name
  • Who you want to participate in the corporation: It may or may not be a good idea to include relatives or loved ones as shareholders, directors or officers of a corporation. Consultation with an attorney and tax accountant will address your particular situation and offer sound advice.

Is Incorporating Expensive?

In the long run, a few hundred dollars for incorporation fees and legal assistance is minimal when you consider the long-term protection of your personal and corporate assets.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Incorporate?

While it is not necessary to seek legal advice regarding incorporation, it is wise, especially if the proposed corporate structure is complex, or the incorporator inexperienced. Since an attorney’s advice is typically needed with many other aspects of business start-up, relying on a lawyer to set up the corporation will make it far more likely the whole job is done right.