How Can a Corporate Lawyer Help Your Small Business Venture?
The services of a corporate lawyer can be multiple and invaluable. A corporate lawyer in Edmonton plays an important role in the practice of small businesses in many ways, including advising you about the laws pertaining to your existing or potential business and informing you of liability concerns or tax issues and/or financial requirements. A lawyer can help you to decide what legal structure is best for your business and what insurance you may need in order to minimize your legal and financial risks.
A lawyer in corporate law practice provides legal assistance in many other ways, such as providing legal information and advice, negotiating a commercial lease, drafting contracts and agreements, orders and legal documents, arranging bank or equity financing, resolving conflict, and facilitating commercial transactions and other organizational changes. Your lawyer can also act on behalf of the business to resolve a conflict or carry out corporate litigation.
Getting Started With Your Business
If you will be incorporating a new or existing business, your lawyer can prepare and submit the documents required for incorporation to the BC Registry Services or Corporations Canada and explain to you the internal regulations and procedures for the board of directors, shareholder resolutions, shareholder agreements and the need to update the corporation’s minute books.
If you are considering buying an existing business, your lawyer can help you to evaluate the merits of the potential acquisition and what a fair price would be. After a review, you may decide you only want to buy some assets or shares of the company or you may still want to buy the business in its entirety. Your lawyer will need to draft a buy and sell agreement or review an existing proposal which outlines the terms and obligations of each party and you may have specific clauses you want to include, such as a non-competition clause.
Legal Information and Advice
When you hire a corporate lawyer, you are entrusting him or her to advise you of the laws applicable to your business and help you to avoid any legal problems that may arise. If your lawyer oversees your accounting services, he or she can help you to avoid errors or omissions, for example, which could result in financial and tax penalties.
Negotiating a Commercial Lease
Because a lease is a large business expense and a commitment you make by signing a legal contract, it is important to seek legal assistance to ensure the lease and location are suitable for your business needs. A lawyer can advise you on pitfalls or costs that may be incurred before you sign the lease and help you to negotiate terms that work in your favour (e.g., on subletting). Also, your lawyer can advise you on what to expect in advance if you wish to break your lease because of a potential financial downturn or move to expand your business.
Drafting Legal Documentation
Your business can require legal documentation in a number of areas, such as licensing, franchising, employment, subcontracting, partnership, incorporation or shareholders, leasing, purchasing or potentially obtaining a mortgage. Your lawyer can draft the documentation you need, including documents that get filed publically and privately.
Seeking Bank or Equity Financing
A lawyer can help you to plan for and negotiate financing from a financial institution or a potential investor. He or she can help you to arrange a commercial loan or mortgage, draw up the terms in a shareholder agreement or review documentation provided by a potential investor. Your lawyer can also help you to assess if a new shareholder agreement would have an impact on existing contracts with employees, suppliers or financial institutions.
There may be other situations where you need to seek the advice of a lawyer in order to resolve problems, such as those related to product liability, errors and omissions, employee problems or conflicts, landlord/tenant issues, disagreements between business partners, intellectual property disputes from competitors (e.g., over company name, trademark, patents, copyright issues) or even environmental practices. A corporate lawyer at LA Law can help you to run your business in a way that reduces the risk of engaging in lengthy corporate litigation.
Facilitating Commercial Transactions and Other Organizational Changes
As the business grows, new opportunities and pitfalls may need to be addressed. Your lawyer will also exercise due diligence with respect to a merger, acquisition, liquidation and/or reorganization. A corporate lawyer also ensures that whatever contracts and financial transactions are decided upon run smoothly and are properly recorded in the books and corporate records of the company.
Other ways in which a lawyer with a corporate practice can assist is by advising you on the risks of developing new projects, hiring or downsizing staff, whether to outsource services or handle them in-house, and what legal procedures are needed to import or export goods. Your lawyer can also help you to assess the risks and benefits of considering a new major shareholder or the exit of a key party. He or she may be able to advise you on whether there is a market to sell your business or otherwise arrange for its dissolution. If your business is in financial difficulty, your lawyer can assist with whether to file for bankruptcy or if you can salvage the business through a proposal to creditors.
Contact LA Law for Corporate Law in Edmonton
At LA Law, our business lawyers handle corporate practice and litigation for small, medium and large businesses. Our clients have encountered numerous situations where legal advice and services were necessary, including questions about operating your business or if the legality of your business practices is questioned. Contact us at LA Law for corporate law in Edmonton at 780-962-9500.