The Importance of Hiring a Corporate Lawyer for Your Business

Paine Edmonds - Friday, September 01, 2017

Making the decision to take the entrepreneurial route and start your own business can be exciting and rewarding. However, it is also accompanied by a tremendous amount of responsibility, and requires you to ensure that you are protecting your company from risk. This includes taking all measures to ensure that you run your company in accord with the law, while ensuring that your business remains profitable and functional.

Consulting with a lawyer who understands corporate law is a wise step to take to ensure that you have considering all legal risks, and are adequately protecting your company. Below are a few of the ways in which a corporate or business lawyer in Vancouver can help your business.

Choosing the Right Type of Business Organization for Your Company

The business structure you choose, such as a limited partnership, limited liability partnership, professional corporation or sole proprietor, will depend on your unique business. Factors that will influence your decision include the type of industry that your business operates in, how your competitors operate, whether you hire employees, among other considerations.

If you are just starting out, it is wise to seek the advice of a corporate lawyer in determining what the best type of business organization is best for your company, given the unique characteristics of your company, and your business goals.

Helping You Understand the Rules and Regulations that Apply to Your Company

Depending what type of business your run, and what industry you operate in, different sets of regulations may apply to your company. For example, if you are operating in the food services industry, strict regulations made under the Food Safety Act and Public Health Act must be complied with.

If your company operates with a physical office location, insurance considerations will be different than those where you only operate a virtual office.

Further, if you are operating in financial services, ensuring that you are abiding by the relevant regulations can be quite complex, and the repercussions can be severe if your company fails to comply.

A corporate lawyer will help map out the regulations that apply to your company, and how to achieve compliance. If your business is sufficiently complex, a generalist corporate lawyer will be able to recommend specialists from whom to seek advisory on certain matters.

Drafting and Reviewing Contracts and Agreements

Running a business inevitably involves signing a variety of contracts. For example, you may need to lease or purchase space to operate in and you will likely have technology needs that require you to have service agreements. If you are hiring employees, you will also need employment contracts that comply with employment regulations while protecting your business interests.

When you provide a good or service, whether for the purchase of food or clothing, or for investment advisory services, the sale constitutes a contract you have made with the customer or client. You will want to ensure that the terms of sale prevent a customer or client from taking advantage of your business, that refund or return policies serve your business interests, and that the scope of the services you are providing are clearly outlined, in the case of a service agreement.

You may need a lawyer to draft the contracts you need and to prepare the general closing where it is applicable. Your will want your lawyer to ensure that the terminology used in the contract best serves the business outcome you wish to achieve, as the legal effect of certain words and their placement can be of the utmost importance. Something as seemingly innocuous as a comma, for example, can change the legal meaning of a sentence, and could affect the outcome of litigation in the event or a dispute relating to the provision of your goods or services, or a dispute with one of your employees.

Merging with Another Business and Entering Financing Agreements

As your business progresses, you may or may not end up selling your business or joining forces with another company. Carrying out the necessary due diligence to ensure that your interests are protected when merging with another company, and that risks are effectively managed and mitigated, will generally require the advice an experienced corporate lawyer.

Whether entering a merger or not, your company may need a financing agreement. A corporate lawyer in Vancouver can help you assess the legal implications of various types of financing agreements and help you negotiate the terms of the agreement, if possible.

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights

Depending on the type of business you run, you will want to make sure that your company’s goodwill, brand, and creative products are protected. If you have created a unique logo to represent your business, for example, you will want to consult with a lawyer about registering a trademark. If your company has created a unique product or process, whether an algorithm or an original recipe for a food product, your business lawyer in Vancouver can advise you on how to either take out a patent, or the steps necessary to legally protect trade secrets and proprietary information.

When Your Business Runs into Trouble

Unfortunately, conflicts can arise even when a contract is carefully drafted. The law is not always as unambiguously black and white as we would like it to be.

A corporate lawyer who is also experienced as a litigation lawyer in Vancouver can advise you if a dispute arises. As a business owner, you could have disputes related to employees, vendors, suppliers, or even clients or customers who have not paid for products or services. The time to hire a business lawyer is well before receiving notice that you are party to a court proceeding.

Speak to Paine Edmonds LLP for a Corporate Lawyer in Vancouver

If you are starting your business, or are realizing that you haven’t sought sufficient legal advice to protect your existing business interests, or you wish to expand your business and ensure you follow the legal requirements, our law firm can assist you. Paine Edmonds has broad experience in corporate, business law and litigation in Vancouver. Contact us at 604-683-1211.