Business Startup Formation

Aspiring entrepreneurs and existing businesses in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta face the challenge of keeping up with an ever-changing business and legal marketplace.  Oftentimes, individuals rush through the initial formation process without much thought, thereby setting themselves up for failure either financially or through a lawsuit.  Existing corporations and partnerships similarly fail to adequately protect their assets through the use of a sound litigation avoidance or risk management plan.  We act as business advisors and advocates for a variety of clients-from small start-up corporations to those with hundreds of employees.  We can provide clients throughout British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta with knowledge and experience, and work with corporations, partnerships, nonprofits, and other business entities to develop realistic business plans and marketing strategies for success.  

The first decision is to choose the most appropriate form of business entity for your business.  If an entrepreneur is a sole proprietor then typically the sole proprietor has to register under the Alberta and Ontario Business Names Acts.  Such registration does not provide limited liability and the entrepreneur is personally liable for the debts of the sole proprietorship.  Many entrepreneurs instead decide to incorporate and receive limited liability.  In addition to limited liability there are other advantages to incorporation including benefiting from the small business deduction for Canadian Controlled Private Corporations; the $500,000 capital gains exemption on the sale of eligible shares; estate freezes and reduction in probate tax as well as income splitting.

Second, having chosen the corporation as the appropriate form of business entity, an entrepreneur must consider in which jurisdiction to incorporate.  Generally, an Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario solicitor will incorporate business provincially or federally.  Federal corporation has the capacity and the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person and may, subject to the licensing requirements of each province, carry on business anywhere in Canada. British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario corporations cannot carry on business in other provinces without either registering or obtaining an extra-provincial license.  Third, an entrepreneur has to decide how much money the new business will require to get going; allocate power and money within the new business should your business have multiple owners; and establish contracts with third parties.

Our goal in this process is to provide our clients in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario with  the broad range of legal and strategic services that are particularly important to entrepreneurs.  Starting a business from scratch is a daunting task.  We bring the expertise, experience and judgment necessary to guide fledgling businesses through the minefield of legal problems they face.  Whether your business is based upon the Internet, information technology or computer technology, we can help you organize, finance and operate it.  We can help design the right incentives to attract and retain employees in a competitive market.  We also have the expertise to help you both recognize and protect your intellectual property.  Most important, we can give you the benefit of our experience in advising emerging companies.  That experience can help you make your business more attractive to investors and best position it for acquisition or an initial public offering.