Small businesses need an attorney almost before they need anything else — before hiring staff, before leasing an office, sometimes even before finding financing or developing a product. Having an expert who knows Canadian business law on the team from day one can help you avoid making the common mistakes early on that can derail your small business later. Even before you register your business, a lawyer can help you decide what form it should take by explaining the tax and regulatory consequences of each option available to you. An attorney can also help you fill out and file paperwork, invest your seed capital in a way that shelters it from taxation, and pore over your first contracts for leasing or buying real estate and equipment.
After you’ve been in business for a while, this legal expert only becomes more valuable to you. If your business has an attorney on retainer, you have an ally who can advise you on the legality of business decisions, such as the acquisition of a competitor, and represent you before government regulators. In the event you have a contract dispute with a vendor or supplier, a sternly-worded letter from your attorney can go a long way toward resolving the problem. If an issue arises between your business and a customer where you are suing or being sued, an attorney’s services are crucial.
Whatever your business development plan, it pays to hire an expert in business law before you go further. Business attorneys help you make better moves than going it alone.