Cough Twice for Me: A Legal Health Check-Up for Your Business

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Cough Twice for Me: A Legal Health Check-Up for Your Business

Many of us try to see our family physician at least once a year for an annual health check up. It’s a good idea to do some preventative maintenance on our bodies so we have the best opportunity for good health. We treat our bodies with good care, why not our businesses too?

Clients often get help from their lawyer when they are starting their business. We help you establish the legal structure of your company, draft your company’s articles of incorporation, by-laws, and register your company with Alberta Corporate Registry. Aside from filing the corporate annual returns, once the incorporation process is complete, many business owners think the lawyer’s job is done. It’s now time to start making money!

Companies need legal health check-ups, just like people need health care check-ups. Whether you have a small family business or a large, multi-shareholder corporation, the fact of the matter is companies change and people change. When a company is first incorporated there are feelings of accomplishment, prosperity, and excitement. Needless to say, it’s easy to overlook possible future hardships your company may experience. This is where your lawyer can provide you additional advice, information, and support.

Lawyers are planners by nature and have many diverse tools in their kit to help you plan for the future, avoid costly disputes, and operate in an efficient and effective way.

Here are just a few other ways your lawyer can help:

1. Shareholder Planning

Lawyers can help you strategize for the future. What happens if a shareholder retires? Leaves? Declares bankruptcy? Dies? Gets divorced? What happens to his or her shares upon these events? A Unanimous Shareholders Agreement (USA) is just one tool your lawyer can help prepare to address some of these different scenarios.

2. Succession Planning

Most business owners probably want to retire someday. Whether you choose to sell your business or transition it to a family member, planning ahead can save you many headaches. Protect your corporate legacy by making a plan for the future. Lawyers can help you make the transition smoothly by creating an estate plan for your business.

3. Employment Agreements

Whenever you have employees, it’s always a good idea to put the relationship between employer and employee in writing. Employment agreements are commonly used to avoid misunderstandings and disagreements between you and your employees. An effective employment agreement will set out the nature of the relationship, the rights and responsibilities of each of you and avenues for appropriate dispute resolution.

Without proper planning, disputes within a corporation can be devastating. The 3 costs associated with litigation – fighting in court – are money, time, and emotions and alone or together, they are bad for business. Don’t wait until a problem arises to contact your lawyer. Damage control will cost you more than regular preventative maintenance. Why not perform some preventative maintenance on your business, so it continues to run smoothly, efficiently, and successfully.

At Pritchard & Co. Law Firm, we want to learn about you and your business in order to provide you with the best legal advice. Our goal is to help you prepare and plan for the future so your business can thrive.

Hilary Pritchard
Hilary Pritchard helps you navigate the turning points of life. She is a Student-at-Law with Pritchard & Co. Law Firm, LLP. Contact Hilary at (403) 527-4411 or at