Business lawyers and attorneys can advise you on how to properly structure your business, (be it through a sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation), on how to deal with disputes that may have arisen during the course of your business operations, or on how to dissolve the business. With respect to the latter, it is worth mentioning that I have and am dealing with a number of business dissolution here in Toronto (it may be the poor economic times?). There are a number of issues which come up which you may not realize (i.e. unless you're a lawyer and you are trained on and deal with these things regularly). Typically, these issues include:
* Division of business assets.
* Responsibility for business liabilities - particularly the lease, supplier agreements, employment agreements, and tax obligations.
* Preparing the necessary paperwork (e.g. bookkeeping, taxes, government forms) to dissolve the business.
* Ensuring compliance with the business' internal documents (e.g. partnership agreement, corporate by-laws and resolutions, shareholder agreements, and articles of incorporation, etc.).
* Informing customers (both past and present), employees, and other stakeholders of what is happening with the business.
At the end of the day, you will likely need a number of documents and agreements prepared by a business lawyer in order to help oversee the business dissolution. For example, you should have a lawyer explain the various options and then draft some type of dissolution agreement for all the parties to sign off on. Next, you may need your lawyer to draft and/or negotiate terminate and release of liability agreements for landlords and suppliers, etc. Finally, your lawyer may be called upon to prepare the government forms to submit in order to dissolve the corporation. Finally, if business partners take issue with and dispute the steps along the way towards dissolution, then lawyers may be also called upon to try to negotiate a settlement or resolve the issues through litigation.
In any event, you should definitely consult a business lawyer before trying to do any of these things yourself. Doing so will save you time, money and aggravation in the long run and make sure that your rights are protected and your interests
Business lawyers and attorneys can also help you understand your legal rights and obligations with respect to your business. They can tell you if a particular course of action could be challenged by (1) breaching a private contract, (2) giving rise to a possible tort liability, and/or (3) violating a statute or regulation established by the government.