Frequently asked questions

Should I incorporate my business?

There’s no simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, the most important issues to consider are limiting personal liability, achieving tax savings and income splitting opportunities (which can also lead to tax savings). If the nature of your business involves the risk of liability to customers or the public, that’s likely reason enough to incorporate.

When is the best time to prepare a shareholder agreement?

This one tends to be simple. The best time is when you’re forming the business, and before you actually start operating. By then, the owners are generally so involved in running the business, they don’t have time to pay attention to negotiating and settling a Shareholder Agreement. And you’ll never be more on the same page, more willing to agree to reasonable provisions that are fair to everyone, than at the outset when you’re forming and implementing your plans. You’ll never regret getting the Shareholder Agreement done before you open the doors or get your first order.

Why do I need a will?

Most people want their assets to go to their spouse, and if the spouse is predeceased, then to their children. However, under Ontario law, if a deceased person doesn’t have a will, the assets are divided among the spouse and children according to a formula. That doesn’t usually benefit the family effectively, and almost certainly isn’t what the deceased would have wanted or expected. Having a proper will, and ensuring it is kept up to date, is the only way to be certain your wishes will be met on your death.

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