Start-Up Law is an area of Business Law. Business Lawyers typically handle most if not all of the legal matters that small and mid-size business owners are required to deal with. This can include simple matters like annual corporate filings, obtaining required operating licenses, and reviewing contracts with suppliers and the like.
Business Lawyers can also usually handle Trademark registrations or straightforward disputes over companies’ names or issues with Revenue Canada or other government agencies. They can usually provide competent advice with less complex issues that may arise with employees.
As its name suggests, Start-Up Law concerns the various legal requirements of establishing a new business. That may be relatively simple or more complex depending upon the type of business. It is not wise to attempt to start up a business in even as business-friendly a place as Ontario or one of the other provinces without the assistance of a Start-Up Lawyer. There can be fines if you fail to acquire all the permits and things you need. If you are renting office or retail space, you will need advice negotiating the lease. If you are borrowing money from a financial institution or angel investor(s), there will be loan documents to sign. Particularly if you have investors, you will need to clearly understand their rights and responsibilities as well as your own.
There is also the very important matter of understanding thoroughly your obligations to collect and remit sales taxes. You will also have to file annual tax returns for your company. In both cases, it is likely that as soon as you can afford to after your business is up and running you will want to hire a bookkeeper to handle those matters on a day-to-day basis. But you will need to understand your legal obligations. “My bookkeeper screwed up!” will not impress Revenue Canada. The “taxman” is one fellow who can put you out of business in no time flat.
If you do not find a Start-Up Lawyer in this Directory who has knowledge of the economic sector in which you are setting up your business, you should also consult the Business Lawyer section.