Setting Up a Business

So you’ve decided to make the big leap and go into business for yourself. Meeting with a qualified business lawyer will be highly helpful in setting up the business and setting off on the right foot.

Before Meeting With a Lawyer:

  • Research legal aspects and requirements that pertain to your particular type of business. Look into as many issues as possible.
  • You should have key questions answered. How much initial financing will be required for your business? Who will supply the funds? What financial institution will handle your accounts? Who will oversee your accounting needs? Will your business involve partners?
  • Collect as many official documents as possible related to your business venture, such as applications or registration forms, agreements, certificates, or statements.
  • Create a comprehensive file with detailed notes outlining essential information. The more details you have in place, the better off you’ll be when discussing legal matters.
  • Make sure you have a clear understanding of all the major legal issues that you will need to discuss, and write a list of specific questions to ask your lawyer. This will ensure your meeting time is effective and that fees are kept to a minimum.

A Lawyer Trained in Business Law Can:

  • Explain differences between business formats, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited company, or corporation, and help you decide what set-up would best meet your needs
  • Help you define strategies that will put your venture on a solid footing
  • Provide advice about respective tax implications as well as insurance requirements and other legal responsibilities
  • Draft or evaluate essential business contracts and agreements (such as employment contracts, lease, partnership, or loan agreements)
  • Conduct name searches and guide you through registration and licensing procedures
  • Assist you with issues related to intellectual property, such as trademarks, patents and copyrights
  • Give legal advice regarding eventual expansion or sale of the business
  • Give legal advice about equipment that may be necessary to operate your business
  • Help determine the type of location that would be most appropriate and effective for operating your business
  • Deal with possible regulatory concerns such as import or export laws, permits, licenses, software or other IT issues
  • Inform you about zoning by-laws that could impact business operations