Small Business Legal Advice

Ontario facilitates several options for the procedure of a business. The three main options are exclusive proprietorships, corporations, and partnerships. In fact, there are six types of business entities because partnerships comprise three subcategories: general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships. Similarly, corporations in Ontario have two primary subcategories: “regular” corporations and professional companies. Generally, exclusive proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations signify the common forms for business today. We will look at each of these types of business entities in just a moment.

There are other styles of business entities which exist such as “S-Corporations” or “Limited Liability Companies”. The last mentioned two entities are mainly hybrids of two of the major types — usually being a hybrid of the relationship and a corporation. However, for the moment, these kinds of business entities do not exist in Ontario or federally (although Nova Scotia and Alberta have created entities which somewhat resemble the American cross-types models).

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Thus, any time you are reading business journals, etc., especially those which are from the United States, care should be studied to ensure that personal references to LLCs are not confused with the corporation style of business entity. Also, today one should remember that while LLCs are not known or permitted in Ontario, this does not preclude their launch in Ontario tomorrow. Joint ventures are also similar to partnerships but the form can be taken by them of a corporation. A short debate about joint endeavors is defined out below also.

A single proprietorship is the standard form of business entity which is available. For example, imagine Timmy is out to the sidewalk with a desk, a chair, some lemonade, paper mugs, and an indicator saying “Lemonade — 5¢”. Timmy obviously is in business and has set up a sole proprietorship. Timmy is the only real owner of the business, even though he might have employees working with him (such as Lassie as a security guard). For all legal intents and purposes, Timmy is the business and the business is Timmy.

Put yet another way, Timmy will enjoy all the benefits of the business, such as income from lemonade sales. However, Timmy is also personally responsible for all the debts and obligations of the business. You can find few formal legal requirements to make or operate a sole proprietorship. In some instances it can be quite as simple as Timmy establishing shop privately of the street.

However, some legal requirements may exist depending upon the kind of business. Timmy the young child selling lemonade privately of the street will not likely be bothered by legal regulations. However, Timmy the adult operating a hot dog cart in the downtown core on a sidewalk will probably need at least a municipal permit to transport on business at that location.

Beyond conformity with municipal by-laws, certain types of businesses have attracted special legislation from the province to keep up standards, etc. Types of such legislation include the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, or the true Estate and Business Brokers Act. A common legal requirement is that imposed under the Business Names Act. This Act requires that no person may conduct business utilizing a name apart from his own unless he could be registered under the Act.