In business, knowing where to turn for help can make all the difference. Notaries, lawyers, accountants, trademarks agents and bankruptcy trustees are a few of the specialists you can count on when needed.
Many notaries work in the field of business law. Here are a few examples of what they can help you with:
- Completing the formalities for creating, merging or selling your business.
- Handling recurring legal obligations.
- Assisting in negotiations and strategic development.
- Drafting or reviewing commercial leases.
Notaries can provide advice on a variety of legal topics and explain the impact your business can have on other parts of your life (for example, in the event of divorce or death). Some notaries are highly specialized in certain fields such as tax law, franchises and commercial mediation. Notaries aren’t limited to real estate and wills!
They are members of a professional order called the Chambre des notaires (board of notaries), which provides rules concerning the notarial profession and protection of the public. The responsibilities of the Chambre des notaires include the following:
- Regularly inspecting its members’ offices.
- Requiring a certain number of continuing education hours every year.
- Providing the public with tools and mechanisms to prevent conflicts with their notary.
You can contact the Chambre des notaires if you’re having a problem with a notary,
For more information about notaries, see our article.
Like notaries, lawyers can provide advice on many legal topics, including tax and business law, which are among the largest areas of legal practice in Quebec.
Lawyers can represents their clients in court—a major distinction between them and other legal professionals. They can also represent you in negotiating agreements with other people.
Their professional order is called the Barreau du Québec (Quebec bar association). It ensures that lawyers keep their knowledge up to date through mandatory continuing education hours each year. The Barreau also inspects lawyers’ offices on a regular basis.
If you have a dispute with a lawyer, you can contact the Barreau du Québec.
Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs)
Chartered professional accounts (CPAs) can assist you in different ways, including:
- Providing advice to optimize the performance, profitability and growth of your business.
- Compiling invoices and other supporting documents.
- Preparing or examine your financial statements.
- Ensuring that your financial statements do not contain errors.
Chartered Professional Accounts (CPAs) are sometimes confused with other types of accountants, but only CPAs have liability insurance and are governed by a professional order responsible for protecting the public. You will not benefit from this protection if you deal with someone who isn’t a CPA.
Visit the website of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec (professional order of CPAs) to learn more.
Patent and trademark agents
If you need to register a patent or trademark to protect your exclusive right to use it, a patent or trademark agent can help by filing a patent or trademark application on your behalf.
To learn more about these specialists, visit the website of the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents.
At some point during your business career, you might need the services of a bankruptcy trustee (also known as an insolvency trustee), whether for yourself or to assist you with a claim against a customer.
A bankruptcy trustee can help you in the event of bankruptcy, or even before bankruptcy if you are thinking about filing a proposal to release you from your debts. Here’s what they usually do:
- Prepare a list of the debtor’s assets and liabilities.
- Check who must be paid first, by law.
- Sell the debtor’s property or borrow money by providing the debtor’s property as security.
- Pay the creditors according to the order of priority established by law.
You can contact the Office of the Superintendent in Bankruptcy to learn more or to check whether a person is a licensed trustee.
You might need to deal with other professionals throughout your business career:
- Finance and insurance
- To learn more about professionals in the finance and insurance sectors, visit the website of the Autorité des marchés financiers (government agency that oversees financial markets and services).
- Real estate brokers
- To learn more about the role of real estate brokers in the purchase or sale of a property, visit the website of OACIQ, the organization governing real-estate brokers.
- Chartered administrators
- To learn more about the role of chartered administrators, visit the website of AdmA, their professional order (in French only).
- Certified Human Resources Professionals and Certified Industrial Relations Counsellors
- To learn more about the role of Certified Human Resources Professionals and Certified Industrial Relations Counsellors, visit the website of the CRHA, their professional order (in French only).