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Starting a Business

Starting something new is exciting, but it can also be daunting. Faced with a seemingly never-ending list of tasks, the last thing you want to worry about is a potential legal issue. Whether it’s that feeling of forgetting something or not knowing if it’s done right, we want to put your mind at ease. As a small business that has been around for more than four decades, we understand the responsibility that comes with owning and operating your own company. You might be wondering… how do I start? What am I liable for? Our team is here to help you navigate this exciting chapter, giving you the information and advice that you need to make crucial decisions with confidence.

Begin with longevity in mind

The biggest mistake many entrepreneurs make is forging ahead to get the business off the ground, without setting up the proper structure for long-term growth. Your future self will thank you if you make sure you are set up for success from the start. Protect your business by getting professional advice on:

  • Incorporating and determining the best structure for your business
  • Optimizing your company’s share structure
  • Registering your company to do business in other provinces
  • Creating a shareholders’ or partnership agreement
  • Maintaining your company’s corporate records

Let’s Start

Experiencing Change or Growth in a Business

As your business evolves, your business structure must adapt too. You may be thinking about branching out with subsidiaries, reorganizing your corporate structure, restructuring your asset ownership, or transitioning out of your business altogether. Changes to the structure of your business may result in unintended tax and liability implications, so it’s important to ensure nothing falls through the cracks during this transition. For example, what changes legally when you transition from operating as a sole proprietorship to a company? Or what happens if things don’t work out with a new business partner? A lawyer can help you answer these questions and provide you with legal support so you can focus on making critical decisions for your business.

Proactively plan for changes

From retail, to service-based industries, to industrial operations, we’ve guided clients in a range of industries. GBC Law can help you fully understand the risks, rewards, and potential challenges involved with every stage of your operation, including:

  • Changing your business structure
  • Adding, removing, or changing business partners
  • Transferring assets in or out of your business
  • Expanding or down-sizing your operations
  • Planning for succession or transition in the case of emergency
  • Ceasing business operations

Let’s Grow

Buying or Selling a Business

For many people, buying or selling a business is a life-changing decision. Work and life can start to meld together when your personal assets are on the line. As a buyer, you want to make sure you’re getting what you pay for, with no hidden strings attached. As a seller, you want to know that you can deliver on your promises and that your interests are maximally protected.

Before you sign on the dotted line

From start-ups to large corporations, a transaction of any size deserves high attention to detail. Once you’ve signed an agreement, it’s extremely difficult to change the terms after the fact. Getting professional advice from a lawyer at the beginning of the process will save you time and money in the long run. To reach the outcome you want, you’ll likely need legal support with:

  • Structuring the transaction to minimize costs and tax consequences
  • Preparing an agreement to capture the terms and conditions of the deal
  • Reviewing the business’ existing assets and liabilities
  • Reviewing existing agreements in place (i.e. property/equipment lease agreements,
    services agreements, etc.)
  • Obtaining required consents from third parties to transfer existing agreements
  • Understanding present and future liabilities
  • Changing the existing business structure
  • Discharging liens and encumbrances

Buying or selling a franchise

  • Preparing a Franchise Disclosure Document that complies with BC franchise
    legislation and regulations
  • Reviewing a Franchise Disclosure Document
  • Understanding your obligations under the Franchise Agreement

Commercial financing

  • Ensuring that your company’s corporate records are up to date
  • Reviewing the security/collateral required by your lender
  • Understanding terms and obligations regarding your loan
  • Meeting your lender’s loan conditions

Let’s Talk

Real Estate Development

The real estate market in British Columbia presents a number of exciting opportunities to developers. However, the real estate industry can be challenging and fraught with a number of legal intricacies. You likely have ambitious goals and may be entering new territory without a clear road map. We love to see these visions turn into reality and can provide the guidance to help you get there. Together, we’ll make sure your project is set up for success from the beginning.

Build the right foundation and the sky is the limit

We know – you’re used to moving quickly and want to avoid complications. We do, too. GBC Law will help you set the groundwork to develop your Metro Vancouver real estate with as few hiccups as possible. From start to finish, you may need legal support with:

  • Land acquisition
  • Land subdivision or consolidation
  • Rezoning applications and permits (while we do not complete these applications, we can help facilitate the process with the municipality)
  • Construction financing
  • Preparing a Disclosure Statement and supplementary documents that comply with BC real estate development legislation and regulations
  • Tracking and registering contract assignees on the Condo and Strata Assignment Integrity Register
  • Filing a strata plan

Let’s Build

Buying or Selling a Commercial Property

So you’ve found the perfect location for your business or you’re preparing for the sale of your existing premises. With the right advisors, buying and selling commercial property does not have to be difficult. There’s so much more to commercial property than the building alone, and as a result, property owners often find themselves lost in the fine print.

Spotting problems beyond the property

Let GBC Law help to orchestrate your commercial property transaction with confidence. With an eye for detail and experience in the complexities of commercial deals, we work closely with you to protect you from unforeseen issues and ensure your transaction is as seamless as possible. We can help you with:

  • Preparing an agreement to capture the terms and conditions of the deal
  • Determining if there are any outstanding work orders issued by the municipality
  • Reviewing your obligations under existing lease agreements
  • Reviewing your obligations under existing service contracts (i.e. janitorial services, elevator service agreements, etc.)
  • Obtaining third party consents for the transfer of service contracts from seller to buyer or terminating service contracts

Let’s Talk

Commercial Leases

For Landlords and Tenants alike, leases play an important role in determining the success of your landlord/tenant relationship. As a landlord, you want to ensure that you are personally protected against liability. As a tenant, you want the confidence to adopt a new location that will be the right home for your business to flourish. Although you may be eager to get started quickly, don’t let yourself overlook the little details.

Before you sign on the dotted line

Our goal is to set you up with a lease agreement that will protect your rights and eliminate surprises. The best way to achieve this is to speak to one of our experienced advisors from the outset to avoid being bound by terms and conditions that are not in your favour. Avoid these problems and save yourself time and money by seeking the professional advice of a lawyer. GBC Law will help you with:

  • Reviewing your Offer to Lease before it is signed
  • Preparing or reviewing an agreement to document the lease terms and conditions
  • Understanding your obligations under the lease agreement
  • Negotiating changes to the lease agreement
  • Understanding terms and conditions around future actions (such as demolition, lease termination, right to purchase, etc.)

Let’s Talk

Private Lending for Investors

Investing in properties, real estate developments, and businesses is a business in itself. In any case, it’s important that all parties involved fully understand the terms of the loan. As a lender, you want to ensure that your interests are protected in the event that the loan cannot be repaid.

We can help you with:

  • Conducting due diligence on the borrower
  • Setting up security to protect your investment
  • Documenting the loan conditions (i.e. term of loan, interest rate, and repayment schedule)
  • Understanding and identifying the risks involved with lending
  • Understanding your options in the event that the borrower defaults

Let’s Talk

Your Law for Business Team

Gregory J. Greiner

Gregory J. Greiner

LAWYER & FOUNDER

Cynthia Lam

Cynthia Lam

LAWYER

Stefano Beninteso

Stefano Beninteso

LAWYER

Feel Confident Now

A proactive approach will save you time and money in the long run.

A man is smiling while looking at his tablet.

Feel Confident Now

A proactive approach will save you time and money in the long run.

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