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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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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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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Police, cameras and public accountability

Police, cameras and public accountability

There is no question police have a difficult and at times dangerous job. I think police do their best and try hard to be reasonable and helpful. But police do have a tremendous amount of power and that is why there is so much news coverage when things go wrong and they don’t act responsibly. Cameras worn by police as well as CCTV cameras seem to be working to make police more accountable.

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How long does it take to get a Divorce?

How long does it take to get a Divorce?

Ask almost anyone who has been through it and they will say “too long!” Joking aside, it can feel like a long process, and the justice system is not exactly known for its speed, even at the best of times. The hardest part of a divorce is coming up with the terms of divorce, especially as it relates to custody, property division and support payments. This can be done through negotiation, or a judge can make the decision.  A negotiated settlement is almost always faster than waiting for the court to order the terms of your divorce. So, what exactly takes so long with court?

 

The hardest part of a divorce is coming up with the terms of divorce, especially as it relates to custody, property division and support payments. This can be done through negotiation, or a judge can make the decision.

 

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Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout?

Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout?

Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout from the business owner where the fall happened, but some people, and sometimes those hurt far worse, don’t get anything? 

Most often these situations are governed by the Occupiers Liability Act, although the common law rule of negligence may also apply. Under the Act, the ‘occupier’, defined as the person who essentially has control over the premises (whether because they own it, rent it or for any other reason have physical control over the premises), has a duty to ensure that any person who legally enters the premises will be reasonably safe.  The key word there is ‘reasonably’.  Obviously no owner/occupier of a property can prevent every potential accident from happening, so the law draws a line between injuries that are as a result of unavoidable, unfortunate accident and which injuries should have been prevented by some action by the owner/occupier. 

 

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Buying or Selling? Why you really DO need an agent.

Buying or Selling? Why you really DO need an agent.

Thinking of buying or selling your home? This is one of the largest transactions you will complete in your lifetime, it’s important to get it "right".  A real estate agent can help you do this. These are some of the reasons why:

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Should I Adopt my Step Child?

Should I Adopt my Step Child?

Non-traditional or “blended” families are becoming more and more common in Canadian society. One aspect of this movement is step-child adoption. Before deciding to adopt, it is a good idea to consider meeting with a therapist or a counsellor. In the rush of happiness about your new family it may appear there is no downside to adoption, but this is a big step to take with permanent effects. A counsellor can help you decide if adoption is right for you and the child.

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Making it worse – why you shouldn’t use social media to complain about your ex

Making it worse – why you shouldn’t use social media to complain about your ex

During a meeting last week, a senior family lawyer with over 25 years of experience told me that he tells clients involved in high conflict cases to delete all their social media accounts.  There can be a strong temptation to let the world know just how awful your ex is. This same senior lawyer also said, “people think if they post negative comments about their ex that everyone will agree and take their side.” It is a good idea not to post  anything to social media when you are upset. There is plenty of good research that says we do not make good decisions when we are emotionally charged, and once a post has been sent, there is no taking it back.

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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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How to Save Money during a Divorce

How to Save Money during a Divorce

Divorces and separations can be very expensive. During a separation, families may face new expenses for custody and access visits, outfitting a new apartment with furniture. Now add to that legal fees and court costs and it can be a very challenging time financially. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reduce you expenses.

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Navigating the Unchartered Waters of Modern Families

Navigating the Unchartered Waters of Modern Families

 

A couple of recent news stories have highlighted the way that science, society, and the legal system are changing the definition of what it means to be a family. Just ask Natasha Bakht and Lynda Collins. Ms. Bakht and gave birth to her son, Elaan, seven years ago after using a sperm donor to get pregnant. From the moment Elaan was born, Ms. Collins was there for the family, eating meals, attending appointments, even joining them on holidays. Both women felt Ms. Collins had become a second momma to Elaan. But since they were not a romantic couple, it was not easy to for Ms. Collins to become Elaan’s adoptive parent.

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Having Problems Collecting From Clients?

Having Problems Collecting From Clients?

One of the biggest challenges for small business owners is managing cash flow. Running a business is expensive, and while none of your creditors want to wait to be paid, sometimes collecting from your customers can be a real challenge. So what can a business owner do when they are having a problem collecting the money owed by their clients?

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When all is not Merry & Bright

When all is not Merry & Bright

There is a stereotype in our North American Society that everyone should be happy and joyous during the Holiday Season.  Unfortunately, this is often not the case for many people. The extra stresses during this time of year can often bring negative emotions to the forefront.  If you are feeling extra stressed or depressed during this holiday season; step back and ask yourself why.  Are the stresses coming from inside you, or are they external to you and beyond your control. The Public Health Agency of Canada has published a helpful article entitled Managing Holiday Stress http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/stress-eng.php which lists signs of depression and suggestions to cope with these holiday stresses.

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Remembrance Day: Remembering the Rights We Enjoy as Canadians.

Remembrance Day: Remembering the Rights We Enjoy as Canadians.

Remembrance Day is almost upon us. The “We Remember” ads are on the radio and tv. It occurred to me that in a small way, my work as a lawyer continues to carry on the work of our veterans by standing up for and enforcing Canadian’s rights that they sacrificed so much to protect.

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Sorry Trump-dodgers but you can’t just “move to Canada”.

Sorry Trump-dodgers but you can’t just “move to Canada”.

But here is some basic information on your options if you are interested

Tired of the “land of the free and the home of the brave” and more interested in “Peace, Order and Good Government”? Bonus points if you know the significance of that second phrase (hint: we had a somewhat easier time leaving British rule). Canada may be the place for you and many of you have recently expressed a desire to move here. Although your passport provides you with a relatively easy means to visit us, you are generally not allowed to stay for more than 6 months and you are certainly not allowed to work here during that time. With a Trump presidency lasting at least 4 years, this may not be enough.

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Children’s Art Show A Success

Children’s Art Show A Success

Last month, the offices of Highlander Law Group got a little brighter when they turned part of their office into an art gallery.  Local children were given an opportunity to not only showcase their artistic talents, but also to raise money for Fort McMurray. (50% of the proceeded from each piece of art sold was donated to an art center that was impacted by the wildfires)

The theme of the show was ‘Looking for Beauty in the Strength of Nature.’   We received almost 40 original submissions including paintings, drawings and multi-media pieces.  The youngest artist was only 16 months old and the oldest was 12 years old.

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What you Wish You Knew About Overtime Wages.

What you Wish You Knew About Overtime Wages.

With school now officially out for the summer, seasonal jobs are in full swing.  For many, particularly in the hospitality/tourism industry this means lots of overtime.  Everyone understands the concept of overtime – working more than the standard 40 hours a week, or is it 35 hours, or does it depend on the job?  The NS Labour Standards Code outlines the rules that pertain to overtime and holiday wages for most hourly employees.

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What You Wish You Knew Before Letting the Customer Keep YOUR money.

What You Wish You Knew Before Letting the Customer Keep YOUR money.

Why do you allow customers to keep your hard earned money?  CBC News recently reported ‘Industry estimates put the cost of unpaid wages and materials for the construction trades at $300 million a year in Canada’.  I quote this statistic because a common answer is the contractor is essentially embarrassed that they aren’t getting paid.  In my experience, it isn’t typically the contractor who’s at fault – the customer has ‘invented’ reasons why they won’t pay.  So, what can you do about it?

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