Frequently Asked Questions

Business / Corporate

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the legal entity of your business. There are many different business structures, but the three most common are sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Each has advantages and disadvantages that can seriously impact your business. We recommend that you get financial advice as well as our legal advice before deciding which option would be most beneficial for your business.
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Shareholders are people or other corporations that have shares in a company. They are the owners of the company.
Yes. Similar to a partnership agreement, a shareholders’ agreement is an agreement between the shareholders of a corporation and may deal with many areas, including but not limited to voting rights and granting rights based on the shares held. The most common type of shareholder agreement is a unanimous shareholder agreement (USA) and every one contains clauses dealing with the parties, the running of the corporation, the financing of the corporation, shares, disability/death/insolvency of shareholders, and obligations with regards to shares under the Family Law Act. Our firm will help you draft Shareholders’ Agreements so that everyone understands their role and obligations as a shareholder.
There are many steps involved in incorporating a business and we can counsel you through them from start to finish. We will begin by conducting a NUANS name search to ensure your business name meets all requirement. Then, we will complete and articles, certificates, or other required documentation for your minute book. Finally, we will draft, negotiate, and review shareholders’ agreements. We will also give you legal recommendations, such as what should be in the shareholder’s agreement, throughout the entire process.
A minute book is a folder or binder that contains all required and important information of a business. A minute book is recommended because it houses vital business information like licenses, by-laws, and articles of incorporation, in an organized format. Our firm can not only create a minute book for your business, we can also ensure that certificates, resolutions, and all necessary requirements for your business are completed and that documents are filed correctly and efficiently.
By-laws are the rules a corporation sets out on how to run the business. They are signed by the officers of a corporation and set out how a business will function. Once established, by-laws can be amended through a majority of votes by the Board of Directors. In Canada, a corporation’s bylaws must minimally include who is allowed to be a member and notice of meetings to voting members.
A franchise is a contractual relationship between two parties: the franchisor, the owner of a business, and the franchisee, someone carrying on the franchisor’s business at one or more locations. A licence, on the other hand, grants a person (the licensee) access to an idea, design, formula or other thing owned by another person (licensor).
Yes, you should have a written agreement with anyone you hire. At our firm, we can explain you the legal differences and implications of hiring a contractor or employee. We can then draft specific agreements between you and the person or company you hire or contract with. These agreements will include clauses that will clarify terms of work, compensation, termination of work, and other needed information between you and the other party.
Copyright law protects your valuable literary, artistic, dramatic, and musical innovations from theft and unauthorized replication. At our firm, we can send an application to the Canadian Copyright Office to have your creations registered A patent is legal protection for your new inventions (machine or process). We can register your patents internationally or nationally and ensure that it follows the Patent Act and Rules legislation.Trademarks are words, sounds, or slogans which individualize your business from other businesses. Our firm will file your trademarks and ensure that the law is followed.
For starters, you will need all sorts of agreements: from employee or contractor agreements to agreements with sharps disposal or suppliers. You may also need council on whether or not your business entity is the best for you and your business. Should you be in a partnership, sole ownership, or establish a corporation? Will you be buying or leasing a commercial building for your practice? Each of these options has legal considerations that we can discuss and advise you on. We can also aid you by submitting all legal documentation required to further establish your business.

A business license is any permit or license that a government body requires businesses to have to perform their business. The purpose of licenses is for municipalities to produce revenue and ensure that companies comply with zoning requirements. Typically, the businesses that require licenses are those operating brick-and-mortar, those selling goods, and those providing specialized services or services regulated by the government. Of course, every business is unique, so it’s important to do thorough research and receive assistance if you aren’t sure what licenses you might need.

Not having the proper business licenses could easily risk significant fines, fees, and damage to your reputation. Furthermore, not having a mandatory license may lead to a forced closure of your business. You also open yourself up to lawsuits from customers who may see your lack of a license and any displeasure from your business as fraudulent.

There is no centralized platform to acquire a license for any business. Because of the nature of licenses and how they uniquely fit different businesses, the process for obtaining one can vary depending on which license you need. Generally, when you are looking to acquire a license, you should start by determining what kind of license you need through research and contact with any relevant agencies. Checking your municipality’s or region’s official website could be a starting point for your due diligence search. The next step is to ensure that you prepare any documents required to obtain your licenses. Once you have gathered your necessary documents and done your research, you can fill out and submit your application for your license. After the application is submitted, you wait to receive the application and then ensure that you’re keeping on top of license renewals so that your licenses don’t go out of date. While this process is seemingly simple, it’s a process that has lots of steps and can be tedious and irritating. For that reason, it’s optimal to ensure that you have assistance when getting a license for your business.

 

Starting a business in Ontario requires several steps:

  1. Choose a business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.)
  2. Choose a business name and register it with the government
  3. Obtain any necessary licenses and permits
  4. Register for taxes (such as HST, income tax, etc.)
  5. Set up a bookkeeping and accounting system

It is recommended to consult with a lawyer or accountant to ensure compliance with all legal and financial regulations. Additionally, the Government of Ontario provides resources and services to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses through the Ontario government’s Small Business Enterprise Centres.

The specific licenses and permits required for a business in Ontario will depend on the type of business and industry. However, some commonly required licenses and permits include:

  1. Business license: required for most businesses operating within a municipality.
  2. Health permit: required for businesses involved in the food industry.
  3. Sales tax permit: required for businesses that collect and remit Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
  4. Alcohol license: required for businesses that sell or serve alcohol.
  5. Building permit: may be required for businesses that are making changes to a commercial space.
  6. Sign permit: may be required for businesses that are installing or modifying signs.

It’s important to check with the local municipality or regional government for specific requirements for your type of business, as well as any industry-specific regulations that may apply.

In Ontario, any property can be used for business purposes, as long as it is zoned for commercial or industrial use and complies with local building and zoning regulations. Common types of properties used for business in Ontario include:

  • Retail spaces: such as storefronts, malls, and shopping centers.
  • Office spaces: such as standalone buildings, office parks, and co-working spaces.
  • Industrial spaces: such as warehouses, factories, and distribution centres.
  • Mixed-use spaces: such as buildings with a combination of residential, commercial, and/or industrial uses.   

It’s important to note that some properties may have specific zoning or usage restrictions, so it’s recommended to check with the local municipality or regional government for any regulations that may apply to your intended use of the property. Additionally, it’s important to consider location, accessibility, and parking when choosing a property for your business.

Real Estate

We can ensure that you have a purchase or sale agreement that will best suit your needs. We do title searches, register deeds, as well as transfer funds between parties, among other services. We can also check and ensure that the sellers have paid any overdue charges, taxes, or mortgage funds.
A purchase and sale transaction occurs when a seller and buyer enter into an agreement as set out by their contract. In real estate, a purchase and sale transaction occurs as the two parties agree to exchange the property at hand to one of the parties. This contract is legally binding for both parties and if one of the parties breaks the contract the other can sue them for damages and costs.
When selling your property, you should bring all mortgage and tax information associated with the property you are selling. Whether you are selling or purchasing, you should always provide us with a list of all of the financial advisors and institutions you used so that we can quickly access you financial portfolio for the needed documentation ahead. Any purchase, sale, or lease agreement should also be brought along with any evidence of payments produced. Ownership documents and photo ID is also requested so that our firm can authenticate documents and follow required procedures.
Many costs are incurred when purchasing a home. For instance, Land Transfer Tax is determined by the purchase price of your home and can range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars. Title searches tend to price around $200 while the registration of deeds and mortgages cost $71.30 each. There are also many specific certificates (e.g. tax certificate or water certificate) and each one has a price. In addition to all of the costs mentioned above, title insurance can range from $200 to $400.
Title insurance is insurance purchased through a lawyer that protects you against errors, fraud, and other defects that may arise as you gain ownership of your new home.
You may only receive your keys after the closing date agreed to in the purchase and sale agreement of the home. You can only receive the keys on this date because this is when the title of the new home is transferred to your name.

Various criteria will be considered for exclusive possession of the matrimonial home. Some of these criteria include the financial position of both spouses, the best interests of the children, and any written agreement between the spouses.

A couple can own more than one matrimonial home. Whether or not a couple’s property is considered a matrimonial home depends on whether the couple “ordinarily occupied” the home. As such, if a couple owned a cottage and a home and split time between the two, both would be considered matrimonial homes.

The spouse that moves out of the home still has the right to possession unless they vacate their rights or there is a court order stating otherwise. The spouse who remains in the home cannot change the locks to prevent the other spouse from returning to the home.

Wills & Estates

A will is a written document that highlights how one’s legal property will be managed or distributed after their death. A will can include specific information like how someone is to be buried and how property will be divided among heirs. A will can ensure that you have peace of mind in case of death. It also legally communicates your wishes on how your finances, property, and children are to be supported or divided after death.
If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy which may not reflect your wishes. Additionally, where there is not a Will someone will have to apply to court to be appointed as `Estate Trustee` in order to look after your estate. Hence, without a valid Will, you cannot determine who should inherit your estate and the involvement of the court is a lot more likely to occur.
A Will is an important document to have, especially for spouses with minor children. A Will allows you to determine who should look after your minor children, in the event of death. If you do not have a Will, the court will make this decision for you without knowing your wishes. Another feature of a properly drafted Will is that it allows you to determine how your money should be managed to support your children when they are young.
Common-law spouses do not have the same rights to an inheritance as married spouses under the law. Hence, if you wish to leave an inheritance for your common-law spouse, it is important that you consult with a lawyer and consider setting up a well-prepared Will.
Having a Will is important regardless of the size of your estate. Your estate, whether large or small, will be distributed according to the law if you do not have a valid Will. Generally, the law dictates that the first $200,000 is given to the deceased person’s spouse and anything over is shared between the spouse and the deceased’s children. If there is no spouse, then the estate is divided among the children and if the deceased did not have a spouse or children, the estate is shared according to specific rules.

Probate is a process by which the court confirms the validity of a Will and examines whether the executor named in the Will has legal authority to act.

The probate process can be lengthy and expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid it. A competent estate lawyer will be able to advise on how probate can be minimized.

In Ontario, if a Will is entirely handwritten by the testator and signed and dated by him or her, it is generally considered a valid Will. Witnesses are not required for the validity. However, handwritten Wills can be problematic for many reasons.Handwritten Wills are more likely to be challenged in court for example because the testator’s wishes stated in the will are either not clear enough or the capacity of the testator is at stake and cannot be proven. Disputes among family members and costs for the estate as a result of a poorly drafted Will can be avoided if a Will is drafted by an expert. At a minimum, it is a good idea to have an expert review your handwritten Will.

In general terms, a power of attorney is a document that authorizes another person to make decisions on the grantor’s behalf during the grantor’s lifetime in the event he or she is unable to make decisions regarding his/her assets or health-care.

A power of attorney is effective during lifetime, whereas a Will becomes relevant after death. Both are very important documents to have and will save your loved ones unnecessary costs and distress.

General

Definitely. We pride ourselves on maintaining an open line of communication with our clients, not only because it is our responsibility to do so in a professional stance, but also because it is a matter of common sense. Usually, we provide clients with status updates on their file during various stages in the process, and we consult with our client while confirming instructions prior to taking large steps in the matter. We do not make substantial decisions without the client’s input and instruction.

There are many differences between managing these types of corporations. For one, a for-profit corporation seeks funds from investors, while a not-for-profit generally seeks donations. The individuals who manage the for-profit corporation typically have a significant stake in the company. In contrast, the directors of the not-for-profit corporation do not make any profit from the company.

Due to the differences between the motives of these types of corporations, the culture within them is also different. Most meetings within the company are about how to reach financial goals. The culture of not-for-profit corporations is more community oriented. 

Without incorporating it, it is still possible to have a not-for-profit organization as an informal structure. If you decide to incorporate your not-for-profit under Ontario’s Non-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010, you must keep records, have annual meetings, and file annual returns.

Independent legal advice (ILA) in Ontario is advice provided by a lawyer to a client about a legal matter that does not involve any conflict of interest between the lawyer and the client. In other words, the lawyer is not representing any other party involved in the matter and is solely providing advice to the client. This type of legal advice is often required in situations such as real estate transactions, where one party may be required to seek ILA before signing a contract or agreement. The purpose of ILA is to ensure that the client fully understands the legal implications of the matter and is entering into it voluntarily and with full knowledge of the potential risks and benefits.


In the context of real estate law, independent legal advice (ILA) refers to the advice provided by a lawyer to a client about a legal matter related to the purchase, sale, or financing of real property. The purpose of ILA is to ensure that the client fully understands the legal implications of the transaction and is entering into it voluntarily and with full knowledge of the potential risks and benefits.

In Ontario, one of the most common situations where ILA is required is when a party is entering into a mortgage agreement. Before signing a mortgage agreement, the borrower is often required to seek ILA to ensure they understand the terms and conditions of the loan, including the interest rate, repayment schedule, and any penalties for default.

ILA is also often required when parties are entering into an agreement for the purchase or sale of real property. This can include advice on the terms of the purchase or sale, any contingencies that are included in the agreement, and the potential risks and benefits of the transaction.

In addition to the above, parties in a real estate transaction may also be required to seek ILA for other matters such as title issues, zoning and bylaws, environmental hazards and other potential risks associated with the property. The lawyer providing ILA will explain the client’s rights and obligations under the agreement and will ensure that the client fully understands the legal implications of the transaction.

In the context of family law in Ontario, independent legal advice (ILA) refers to the advice provided by a lawyer to one of the parties involved in a legal matter related to family law, such as a divorce, separation, or child custody dispute. The purpose of ILA is to ensure that the party fully understands the legal implications of any agreements or court orders that they may be entering into, and that they are doing so voluntarily and with full knowledge of the potential risks and benefits.

In Ontario, when parties are entering into a separation agreement, they are required by law to obtain independent legal advice before signing. This is to ensure that both parties have a full understanding of the legal ramifications of the agreement, and to prevent any allegations of duress or undue influence.

It is also common for a party to obtain independent legal advice when they are involved in a child custody dispute or any other family law related matter. This can include advice on child support, spousal support, and property division.

It is important to note that ILA is different from representation, where a lawyer represents the interests of a party and advocate on their behalf in a legal dispute. ILA is to provide the party with information and advice on their legal rights and obligations, and the potential risks and benefits of any agreements or court orders.

In the context of a separation agreement, independent legal advice (ILA) refers to the advice provided by a lawyer to one of the parties involved in the separation, about the legal implications of the agreement. The purpose of ILA is to ensure that the party fully understands the legal ramifications of the agreement and is entering into it voluntarily and with full knowledge of the potential risks and benefits.

A separation agreement is a legally binding contract that sets out the terms and conditions of the separation, including issues such as child custody and access, child support, spousal support, and property division. In Ontario, the Family Law Act requires that both parties to a separation agreement obtain independent legal advice before signing the agreement. This is to ensure that both parties have a full understanding of the legal ramifications of the agreement, and to prevent any allegations of duress or undue influence.

During ILA, the lawyer will review the agreement and explain the rights, obligations and legal implications to the party. They will also advise the party on any potential risks and benefits of the agreement, and any possible alternative options. The lawyer will also ensure that the party fully understands the terms of the agreement and that the agreement is fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the party.

It is important to note that ILA is different from representation, where a lawyer represents the interests of a party and advocate on their behalf in a legal dispute. ILA is to provide the party with information and advice on their legal rights and obligations, and the potential risks and benefits of the agreement.

In the context of a marriage agreement, independent legal advice (ILA) refers to the advice provided by a lawyer to one of the parties involved in the marriage about the legal implications of the agreement. The purpose of ILA is to ensure that the party fully understands the legal ramifications of the agreement and is entering into it voluntarily and with full knowledge of the potential risks and benefits.

A marriage agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement or a cohabitation agreement, is a legally binding contract that sets out the terms and conditions of the marriage, including issues such as property division, spousal support and other financial arrangements in the event of separation or divorce. In Ontario, the Family Law Act requires that both parties to a marriage agreement obtain independent legal advice before signing the agreement. This is to ensure that both parties have a full understanding of the legal ramifications of the agreement, and to prevent any allegations of duress or undue influence.

During ILA, the lawyer will review the agreement and explain the rights, obligations and legal implications to the party. They will also advise the party on any potential risks and benefits of the agreement, and any possible alternative options. The lawyer will also ensure that the party fully understands the terms of the agreement and that the agreement is fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the party.

It is important to note that ILA is different from representation, where a lawyer represents the interests of a party and advocates on their behalf in a legal dispute. ILA is to provide the party with information and advice on their legal rights and obligations and the potential risks and benefits of the agreement.

In the context of a marriage agreement, independent legal advice (ILA) refers to the advice provided by a lawyer to one of the parties involved in the marriage about the legal implications of the agreement. The purpose of ILA is to ensure that the party fully understands the legal ramifications of the agreement and is entering into it voluntarily and with full knowledge of the potential risks and benefits.

A marriage agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement or a cohabitation agreement, is a legally binding contract that sets out the terms and conditions of the marriage, including issues such as property division, spousal support and other financial arrangements in the event of separation or divorce. In Ontario, the Family Law Act requires that both parties to a marriage agreement obtain independent legal advice before signing the agreement. This is to ensure that both parties have a full understanding of the legal ramifications of the agreement, and to prevent any allegations of duress or undue influence.

During ILA, the lawyer will review the agreement and explain the rights, obligations and legal implications to the party. They will also advise the party on any potential risks and benefits of the agreement, and any possible alternative options. The lawyer will also ensure that the party fully understands the terms of the agreement and that the agreement is fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the party.

It is important to note that ILA is different from representation, where a lawyer represents the interests of a party and advocates on their behalf in a legal dispute. ILA is to provide the party with information and advice on their legal rights and obligations and the potential risks and benefits of the agreement.

Client identification and verification refers to the process of confirming the identity of a client or customer before allowing access to a service or transaction. This can include providing government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or passport, and verifying that the information provided matches public records. In addition, businesses may also use other methods of verification such as phone numbers, email addresses, or security questions to confirm a client’s identity. This process is often used to prevent fraud and protect sensitive information.

The client identification and verification process can vary depending on the specific requirements of the organization or service being provided. However, some common steps in the process may include:

  1. Gathering personal information from the client: This may include government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or passport, as well as other personal information such as name, address, and date of birth.
  2. Verifying the information provided: The organization will typically use third-party databases or other sources to verify that the information provided by the client matches public records.
  3. Conducting a background check: Some organizations may also conduct a background check to verify the client’s identity and to ensure they do not have a criminal history.
  4. Confirming identity through additional means: Organizations may also use additional methods of verification such as phone numbers, email addresses, or security questions to confirm the client’s identity.
  5. Retaining records: The organization should retain records of the client’s identification and verification process for a certain period of time according to their policy.
  6. Compliance with regulations: The process should be compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering(AML) laws and regulations.

Please note that the process may differ based on the type of service being provided or the level of risk involved. Some industries and services such as financial institutions may have stricter identification and verification requirements compared to other businesses.

Fraud involving the use of false or stolen identification is a serious issue that can have significant consequences for both individuals and organizations. There are several types of fraud that can be committed using false or stolen identification, including:

  1. Identity theft: This occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information, such as their name, Social Security number, or other identifying information, to open bank accounts, credit card accounts, or other types of accounts.
  2. Synthetic identity fraud: This occurs when a criminal combines real and fake information to create a new identity that appears legitimate.
  3. Document fraud: This occurs when someone alters, forges, or counterfeits government-issued identification documents such as driver’s licenses or passports.
  4. Account takeover: This occurs when a criminal uses stolen identification to gain access to someone else’s existing accounts.

Fraud involving false or stolen identification can have serious consequences for both individuals and organizations. For individuals, it can lead to financial losses, damage to credit scores, and difficulty obtaining loans or other services. For organizations, it can lead to financial losses from fraudulent transactions, as well as legal and reputational risks.

In order to prevent fraud involving false or stolen identification, organizations should have robust identification and verification processes in place and should be vigilant for signs of fraud. Additionally, individuals should be cautious about sharing personal information and should monitor their financial accounts and credit reports for signs of unauthorized activity.

Fraud involving false or stolen identification in the real estate industry in Ontario can take many forms, and can have serious consequences for both buyers and sellers. Some examples of real estate fraud involving false or stolen identification in Ontario include:

  1. Identity theft: Criminals may use stolen personal information to pose as legitimate buyers or sellers in real estate transactions.
  2. Mortgage fraud: Criminals may use false or stolen identification to obtain mortgages or other financing for properties they do not intend to purchase.
  3. Title fraud: Criminals may use false or stolen identification to assume ownership of properties, and then sell or borrow against them.
  4. Phishing: Criminals may use fake emails and websites to trick buyers and sellers into providing personal information, which can then be used for fraudulent transactions.

To prevent fraud involving false or stolen identification in the real estate industry in Ontario, it is important for real estate professionals to have robust identification and verification processes in place. This may include checking government-issued identification, verifying personal information against public records, and conducting background checks on buyers and sellers. Additionally, real estate professionals should be vigilant for signs of fraud, such as unusual or high-risk transactions, and should report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.

Also, it is important for individuals to protect their personal information, and to be cautious of unsolicited emails or phone calls related to real estate transactions. They should also consult with a lawyer before signing any legal documents related to real estate transactions.

Preventing identity fraud involves a combination of steps that can be taken by both individuals and organizations. Here are some ways to prevent identity fraud:

  1. Protect personal information: Keep personal information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and financial account numbers private. Shred sensitive documents before disposing of them, and be cautious about giving out personal information online or over the phone.
  2. Use strong passwords and security questions: Create strong, unique passwords for all online accounts, and use security questions that cannot be easily guessed or found online.
  3. Monitor financial accounts and credit reports: Check bank and credit card statements regularly, and monitor credit reports for unauthorized activity.
  4. Be vigilant for phishing scams: Be wary of unsolicited emails or phone calls that ask for personal information, and do not click on links or download attachments from unknown senders.
  5. Use security software: Use anti-virus and anti-malware software to protect your computer, and consider using a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing personal information over public Wi-Fi.
  6. Be careful with public Wi-Fi: Use public Wi-Fi networks with caution, and avoid accessing sensitive information such as online banking or shopping accounts.
  7. Keep an eye for unusual activity : Be aware of unusual activity on your accounts, such as unknown transactions or changes in your address.
  8. Compliance with regulations: Organizations should comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering(AML) laws and regulations.

It is important to note that identity fraud is a constantly evolving threat, and new methods of prevention should be regularly reviewed and updated.

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