Business law can mean one of two things. It is a general term that includes many different types of law, such as Corporate Law, Franchise Law, Start-up Law, Tax Law, and even topics that do not appear like they should be included at all, such as Contract Law, Employment Law, Insurance Law, Intellectual Property Law, Trademark Law, and Wrongful Dismissal Law.
Lawyers or law firms that describe themselves as Business Lawyers are using the term in a slightly different, although related, way.
Business Lawyers focus on serving the needs of small to mid-size businesses, in other words, small to mid-size business owners. Business lawyers handle Corporate Law when they help small business owners set up companies when their businesses get big enough that it makes sense to do so. They are Franchise Lawyers when the business owner they are helping own and operates a franchise. They handle Start-up Law when somebody needs advice about the many things one has to do when starting a business. This includes government permits the start-up might need, understanding the various documents banks or other lenders might require the small business owner to sign. They are Tax Lawyers when they are advising about the taxes a start-up has to collect when selling its goods or services and the procedure (and paperwork) for remitting those taxes to Revenue Canada, or about the taxes the business has to pay on profits it makes, or how income taxes and other deductions have to be handled if and when the company starts hiring employees other than the owner.
Every business, whether it is just starting out or is already a thriving small to mid-size enterprise has to have a name and a logo to identify it in the marketplace. Business Lawyers acted as Intellectual Property or Trademark Lawyers when it is time to protect the business’s name and identifying marks by, for example, registering the company’s logo with Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).
Small to mid-size business people and people starting or thinking about starting a business need to find a Business Lawyer they are comfortable working with. They must ensure that their business plan (in the case of a start-up) includes an amount sufficient to cover their legal expenses until the company is generating enough revenue to pay their Business Lawyer. It is a foolish small business person who does not work with a Business Lawyer they trust. That advisor is just as important as a good accountant.
When you find the right Business Lawyer, he or she will be almost as happy as you to see your business grow into something you can be proud of.