Nova Scotia’s “Statute of Limitations” – the time limit for filing a claim in court

Nova Scotia’s “Statute of Limitations” – the time limit for filing a claim in court

Did you know there were time limits to file a claim in court? Well, there is! Depending on the type of claim you have, the amount of time you have to file can vary substantially. This period of time is called a “limitation period”. In Nova Scotia, the limitation period is determined by the type of legislation that your claim falls under. If the legislation does not set out a time period, then the Limitations of Actions Act will outline the time limits to follow.

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What Do Happens at my Nova Scotia Corporation's Annual General Meeting

What Do Happens at my Nova Scotia Corporation's Annual General Meeting

Incorporation is only the beginning of the process, corporations in truth require continuous attention. One important order of business a corporation is required to conduct is an Annual General Meeting or an “AGM”. A corporations governing legislation will set out the time frame within which an AGM is required to be held. According to both the Canada Business Corporations Act and the Nova Scotia Companies Act, an AGM is mandated to take place at minimum once a year

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Grammar Matters: Why Precision Writing Is so Important in Legal Documents

Grammar Matters: Why Precision Writing Is so Important in Legal Documents

A dairy company in Maine loses a multi-million-dollar case over a missing comma in the state’s employment legislation that would have otherwise prevented drivers from receiving overtime pay. Rogers loses a million dollar case against Bell over a comma only to have the decision overturned based on comma placement in the French version of their contract.

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Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease Part II – Leasehold Improvements

Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease Part II – Leasehold Improvements

Leasehold improvements include anything that needs to be done to the space that you are going to lease in order to make it fit for your purposes. Your lease should outline who is responsible for making the changes, who is paying for the changes, and what the timeline is for getting it done. It should also make clear who is the decision maker with respect to the leasehold improvements. For example, if new flooring is to be laid do you get to decide the specific type or does the landlord.

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What's the difference between Federal and Provincial Incorporation?

What's the difference between Federal and Provincial Incorporation?

Incorporation is the act of making your business a corporation and is one of several forms of business ownership you can have in Nova Scotia and across Canada. When you incorporate and separate the owners from the company itself, your company is considered a person under the law. It will have the ability to have its own money, take out a loan, sue or be sued, contract with other persons and even be convicted of crimes. There are two different ways you can incorporate, federally or provincially. There are advantages and disadvantages to both federal and provincial incorporation, and you need to consider the type of business you have now, and what you would like it to look like in the future in order to make the best choice for your company.

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What Does a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths Do?

What Does a Notary or Commissioner of Oaths Do?

Quite simply put, Notary Publics and Commissioner of Oaths are people who have been authorized by law to serve as an official witness to the signing of various legal documents. Notarizing a means that a Notary or Commissioner has taken the proper steps to verify your identity and then has witnessed your signing of a particular document. Afterwards they seal and sign the document to certify their witnessing of the signature. 

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How to Register a Builder’s Lien

How to Register a Builder’s Lien

Placing a Builder’s Lien in Nova Scotia is an option available to contractors like roofers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers and carpenters who have done work to improve a property and are concerned that they are not going to get paid. A Builders’ Lien is not available in all circumstances, but the definition is pretty broad. You do not even have to have completed the work you contracted to do to place a Lien.

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Shareholder Agreement

Shareholder Agreement

A business run by multiple partners through a corporation in which you are all shareholders should have a shareholder’s agreement. Yes, even if you are all friends or family. In fact, it is perhaps even more important in that case! Business ventures sometimes fail and even the closest of friends can fight over how a business is being run. A shareholder’s agreement allows you and your partners to agree on many contentious points in advance of any problems arising while cooler heads still prevail.

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Why Should My Contracts Be in Writing?

Why Should My Contracts Be in Writing?

Verbal contracts are technically enforceable. You can go to court and obtain a judgement against someone who doesn’t respect a verbal agreement. So why bother getting it in writing? Here are a couple of basic reasons why everyone should use a written agreement instead of relying on a verbal agreement:

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Director's Liability: How Can a Director Ensure They Are Meeting Their Obligations?

Director's Liability: How Can a Director Ensure They Are Meeting Their Obligations?

The role of directors in a company and the liability they can incur by their actions is not often the subject of mainstream news reporting. It sometimes comes up when discussing corruption in large multinational companies. However, a recent local court decision has shone a light on this infrequently discussed topic. 

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Copyright Tips for Small Business

Copyright Tips for Small Business

One of the items on my ever growing “To-Do” list was to write a blog post outlining the copyrighting issues that the average small business owner should be aware of.  And like a gift, sent directly to my inbox, came this exceptionally well written guest blog post by my colleague Corinne Boudreau of Legal Essentials Inc. via my subscription to Linda Daley’s blog ‘Work better, not harder’. As the saying goes, there’s no point trying to re-invent the wheel so instead of attempting to write basically the same thing, I decided to share her post instead:

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Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease – The Rent Increase Control Clause

Prevent Heartache By Having a Lawyer Review Your Commercial Lease <em>– The Rent Increase Control Clause</em>

I recently came across a story in the news highlighting the unfortunately common situation where a small business owner is facing financial disaster as a result of terms in their commercial lease they didn’t fully understand when they signed.  Cash flow challenges are reality for most small business, particularly those in the start up phase.  As a result, many view spending money to have a lawyer review what appears to be a standard lease is a luxury they can’t afford.

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To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate, That Is the Question.

To Incorporate or Not to Incorporate, That Is the Question.

Whether it is time to incorporate is a question often pondered by business people. There are two primary reasons to incorporate a business:

1.       Your business can realize tax savings through utilizing a corporate structure; and

2.       Your business activities are risky and you would like to place this risk on the corporation’s shoulders instead of your own.

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What does "Accommodating" Breastfeeding Employees Really Mean?

What does "Accommodating" Breastfeeding Employees Really Mean?

One of your valued employees just announced that she is pregnant.  Undoubtedly this will have an impact on your business.  Among the other pregnancy related conversations you should have with your employee, you should also be discussing breastfeeding – specifically, that you are aware that, as an employer, you have an obligation (and are willing) to accommodate the employee’s choice to breastfeed.  Many employers don’t know what ‘accommodating’ involves or even why they should be forced to accommodate an employee who wishes to continue to breastfeed upon return to work (thinking, can’t they just give their baby some formula?) 

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Be King of the CASL

Be King of the CASL

Canada has some of the strongest anti-SPAM legislation in the world. Starting on July 1, 2017, it is going to get even tougher. In 2014 the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL pronounced “castle”) became law in Canada. The purpose of the law is to protect people from getting commercial messages they do not want. 

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Who's On Your Team?

Who's On Your Team?

If this past Super Bowl has taught us anything, it is that with the right team, anything is possible. The same is true in the business world and so one of the first questions I will ask a new business client is: who is on your team? The most common response I receive is something like “I am just a small business” or “it is just me”. Although I understand what you mean (certainly you run the day to day operations), I encourage my clients to think a little broader and to work at building a support network that will allow them to grow and protect their business in the long-term.

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A New Year's Resolution for your Business

A New Year's Resolution for your Business

Every January there are an infinite number of blog posts on how to make or stick to your personal New Years Resolutions.  But what if your business could write its own resolutions for 2017, what would they be?  I don’t think many businesses would be begging for more of your time – entrepreneurs are notorious for devoting all of their time to the business.  But is that precious time used effectively? 

As a litigator, I meet far too many small business owners who were so busy trying to move their business forward that they didn’t notice they never made time to stop and protect the business they were working so hard to build – until it was too late.  The potential points of failure for a small business are unfortunately many.  Leases, employees, personal situations, intellectual property, product malfunction, and weak (or absent) contracts to name a few.

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