Answers to some of the most common legal questions for growing companies.
Below is a list of some of the most common legal questions we receive regarding building and growing companies in Canada and the answers to these questions. If you have a specific question that is not answered here then please feel free to contact us today.
The decision of whether to register a Trade-mark belongs solely to the owner of the trademark. However, should you decline to register your Trade-mark, it could cost your company thousands of dollars. By registering your Trade-mark you protect the value of it in Canada, as registration provides proof of ownership and enables you to challenge an infringement under the Trade-marks Act.
Once registered, you will have the exclusive rights to use the logo, name, etc. across Canada for 15 years, with the possibility of indefinite renewal. You are protected both from infringement and from another entity using a similar or comparable Trade-mark, which may confuse the public. Having a clearly defined Trade-mark ensures that you may license your Trade-mark without hassle.
If you are considering licensing, speaking with Sheena first will ensure that the licensing agreement can be structured and examined in such a way that it protects your Trade-mark from losing its individuality.
Sheena is a Registered Trade-mark Agent with the experience and knowledge to assist you with all your Trade-marking needs. Whether you are ready to register your Trade-mark or you have questions regarding documentation, contact Sheena to discuss your options.
Adding a business partner is a considerable decision that can have either a positive or negative impact on your business. It is sometimes a necessary step in growing a business, but it must be done properly. It which requires knowledge, guidance and experience to ensure a positive and lasting outcome.
There are several points to reflect on when considering adding a partner to your business. It’s important to be clear about the role each partner will play in the business. Assigning titles and being clear about job descriptions can ease the transition from sole decision-making to shared responsibility.
The legal aspects must be carefully addressed. Adding a partner will require analyzing the legal details in order to safeguard the company’s future. An exit strategy should also be addressed, taking special consideration to ensure a smooth transition should a partner no longer wish to be involved in the business. It is essential to outline a shareholder’s agreement, which details how the company would be divided amongst the partners and, should a partner decide to leave the company in the future, what changes would occur to the shareholder’s agreement.
Allowing someone to share in what you have worked diligently to grow is not an easy or lightly-made decision. If you are considering adding a partner to your business, contact Sheena today to discuss your specific business needs and unique circumstances.
Copyright refers to the legal rights to produce or reproduce a specific work. This applies to all original, dramatic, musical, artistic and literary works (including computer programs). Copyright It also applies to performances, communication signals, and sound recordings. In general, only the copyright owner, often the creator of the work, holds the copyright – the right to dictate who and under what circumstances a work can be reproduced.
While copyright exists automatically when an original work is created, by registering your copyright, you gain proof of your ownership via a Certificate of Registration. This will allow you to give evidence of ownership in court, should your copyright ever be challenged. There are three considerations to the length of time that a copyright lasts:
- The lifetime of the author;
- The remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies;
- 50 years following the end of the calendar year in which the author dies.
A Trade-mark is an original, distinct and unique visual or written representation of the owner of the Trade-mark. They are commonly a word (or words), a design, or a combination of these, which are utilized to identify the goods or services of one person or organization. Your Trade-mark empowers your company to stand out, differentiating your products and services from others in the marketplace. A Trade-mark registration provides prima facie evidence of ownership. With a registered Trade-mark, the onus is on the challenger to prove lack of infringement, rather than on the owner to prove such ownership.
Your Trade-mark registration also gives you the exclusive right to use the mark across Canada for 15 years. Your registration is renewable every 15 years after that.
Both Trade-marks and copyrights require precise documentation, which can easily be done incorrectly due to the convoluted nature of the process. Contact Sheena today to discuss the best protection for your company or to ensure that your intellectual property is fully protected.
Contracts are legally binding agreements; as such it is important to consider the following to ensure that you are protected:
- Read all the fine print before signing your name to the contract;
- Ensure that the services or goods that the supplier is required to deliver are completely and accurately described;
- Confirm that all dates and deadlines for delivery are described accurately;
- If your business is required to indemnify, you may want to consider limiting the dollar amount of indemnity.
Reviewing the full contract and all its parts before signing will make certain that you are protected, and it is a good business practice. Schedule an appointment with Sheena to have your contracts reviewed for legal concerns and accuracy before you sign.
Incorporating can be a sensible next step in growing your business, as it can maximize the success of your business. It allows you to take advantage of benefits that are only available to corporations.
The most important consideration is that incorporating limits your personal liability as the business owner. By incorporating, your business is also placed into a different tax bracket, which can save your business money. Planning for your business’s future by incorporating will also enable your business to continue to grow through strategic business arrangements.
Incorporating may be the right step for the continued growth of your business. Sheena can assess your business and assist you in deciding if incorporating is the right step for you. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about how incorporating may benefit you and your business.