Contemporary business culture valorizes entrepreneurialism. Our politicians routinely invoke the cherished title of the “small business owner;” we glorify CEOs who have built their global enterprises from the bottom up; and we launch even the smallest start-ups with a flurry of support, well wishes, and the kind of excitement that surrounds all of life’s major decisions. Beginnings all foreshadow their ends, though—if a business is started on solid ground, it has the capacity to become profitable, satisfying, and long lasting, ending in a sale, merger, or exciting transformation. If founded on a dream, a chance, or wishful thinking, we may find even the friendliest support and enthusiasm both poor substitutes for actual profits, and be forced to face the harsh realities of bankruptcy and debt.
In our rush to capture our dreams or make it on our own, we may speed through important choices while planning and budgeting our new business. That’s why all new business owners should consider consulting a lawyer from a firm that has a dedicated team of business law experts. Realistic advice and guidance from a lawyer can literally make the difference between failure and success, so if you’re not an expert in the law yourself, don’t trust Internet research or the advice of friends—seek out legitimate legal counsel!If you take the time, cover your liabilities, and seek the counsel of professional business lawyers in London Ontario, they may become your personal secret to business success in Western Ontario, Canada, and beyond
Many individuals seek to avoid heavy expenses during the launch phase of their business. It’s only natural to try to save as much money as possible before things take off. This is why serious thinking about the differences between sole proprietorship, partnership, incorporation, or co-operatives—which all have different costs and tax scenarios attached to them—are sometimes overlooked in favour of the simplest solution. A business law expert would help you make the right decision based on starting funds, your tax bracket (now and after your business turns a profit), your ability to raise capital, your ability to find a suitable representative to continue your interests if you are absent, your personal assets, your relationship with your partner (if any), and your overall ambitions. Having a lawyer on your side from the beginning gives you a battle plan going forward and can prevent you from making those early mistakes.
A business lawyer can help you review lease agreements for retail or office space, various types of licenses, registries, and zoning matters, and other matters associated with liability, contract, and entering and exiting partnerships. Importantly, a business law expert can also act as a kind of business plan manager—someone who reviews your financial plan, discusses expenses and sources of revenue, alerts you to hidden costs (or costs you may have overlooked), helps you plan for losses due to theft and disaster, and negotiates the tricky legalities of owning a business with a spouse, family member, or close friend. You may find that after meeting with a business lawyer, your entire business plan will have changed! If this happens, don’t despair—see it as an opportunity to retool and re-strategize, and see it as chance to avoid a major let down. Imagine I hadn’t consulted a lawyer, you’ll think to yourself, and shudder with the thought! Being open to changes to your capital plan is a sign that you are actually committed to business success, and that beyond your understandable enthusiasm, you’re approaching the venture in a mature, sophisticated way.