Legal services provided by P.J. Richer Law Corp

Practice Areas

Corporate & Business Law

We advise small and mid-sized companies on a wide variety of corporate law matters from incorporation and other business structures, to buying or selling companies. We help with employment contracts as well as with creating or reviewing other contracts. Our job is to offer you clear, understandable advice that makes your company run better.

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Corporate &
Business Law

Uncommon Legal Advice For
Common Business Issues

We work with small and mid-sized Manitoba companies on a variety of legal matters from incorporation and other business structures, to buying or selling companies. We help with employment contracts as well as with creating or reviewing other contracts. Our job is to offer you clear, understandable advice that makes your company run better.

Contact Us

Corporate &
Business Law

Uncommon Legal Advice For
Common Business Issues

We’re not your typical law firm. Our focus is on helping families and small businesses with many of the most common legal situations they face. We listen. We give good advice. And we take time to ensure you understand your legal standing. 

Contact Us

We work with small and mid-sized Manitoba companies on a variety of legal matters from incorporation and other business structures, to buying or selling companies. We help with employment contracts as well as with creating or reviewing other contracts. Our job is to offer you clear, understandable advice that makes your company run better.

Legal Workshop For Owners & Managers

Avoid costly legal landmines for your business at our special legal workshop for small and mid-sized businesses. This is a unique opportunity for your company to work with experienced lawyers to protect yourself from common business problems at a fraction of the regular cost. Don’t miss out.

Limited Space Available!

Free Guide To Incorporating In Manitoba

Starting a company in Manitoba? Here’s what you need to know.

Download Your Guide

Affordable Legal Advice On Retainer

We’re constantly looking for ways to make law more accessible. Whether you are starting a business in Manitoba, or are already up and running, we have a new monthly subscription service to cover most basic legal services.

Starting at $199 a month, you can hire us to be on call all year long as your Chief Legal Officer. This is designed to give you the legal advice you need at an affordable rate.  

Corporate & Business Law Video Series

Starting a business in Manitoba

When launching your new business in Manitoba, you will need to choose the legal form of your operation. You can structure your business in several different ways. Two popular types of business models are the sole proprietorship and the corporation. Each is suited to different types of businesses and phases of development.

Other less common business models include partnerships and limited partnerships, however, you should meet with your accountant or lawyer to determine whether these models are suitable for you.

Sole Proprietor

Sole proprietorship is the least complicated business structure. As sole proprietor, you are the business. You can operate under your own name, or you can register a business name at the Companies Office for a fee. For example, I could use P.J. Richer Plumbing without registering because P.J. Richer is my own name. If I wanted to operate as Swoosh Plumbing, I would have to register that name.

If you decide to register a business name in Manitoba, you will be required to renew the registration every three years. Regardless of whether your name is registered, you will also be required to register with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for a GST (Goods and Services Tax) number and with Manitoba Finance for a PST (Provincial Sales Tax) number. We strongly recommend that you also consult with an accounting professional at this stage.

What are the advantages of being a sole proprietor?

Many new small businesses in Manitoba opt to start life as a sole proprietorship. The most significant advantage to operating as a sole proprietor is that you can keep your costs low.

If you plan to operate on a shoe-string budget during your start-up phase, sole proprietorship will likely be your preferred method. Sole proprietorship is also appropriate if your income will be limited. For example, your business exists simply to supplement your main employment income.
 
When your business generates enough income to bring you into the highest tax bracket, you should consider incorporation. Talk to your accountant!

What are the disadvantages of being a sole proprietor?

The largest disadvantage of sole proprietorship is that you and your business are the same entity. No legal distinction exists. This means that all of your assets including your car, home, and cottage are available to satisfy any judgments in the event you are successfully sued.

While lawsuits do not occur often, when they do, your legal costs, resulting damages, and the time away from your business can have devastating effects on your financial reserves.

Why should I incorporate?

Here's a short video explaining some of the benefits to incorporating your business. Once your business starts earning more income, or if liability is an issue, you may wish to incorporate. Many Manitoba businesses choose to incorporate.

Incorporation serves two major purposes:

  • Incorporating your company creates a new legal entity separate from you, the individual. If the entity, or corporation, is found liable, you, as shareholder are not. This will protect your personal assets, such as your home, vehicle and RRSPs in the event your company is successfully sued.
  • From a tax perspective, you can keep the money earned by the corporation within the corporation. Currently, in the Province of Manitoba, earnings under $425,000 attributed to a Canadian-controlled private corporation are taxed at 11%. This amount increases on January 1st, 2019 to $500,000 This is a legitimate way to defer taxes

The biggest disadvantage of incorporation is cost. While tax deferral is appealing, you should consult with an accountant to ensure you are fully aware of the consequences of the decisions you make. While you will be deferring taxes, you will also be incurring annual legal and accounting costs. If your income is low, any tax advantages will be lost.

If you're thinking of incorporating, take a look at our Chief Legal Officer services. These offer you a pre-set bundle of legal services for your company. You know in advance what your legal costs will be while making sure your annual filings are done properly and you have access to other timely legal advice.

Starting your own business

When launching your own business, you will need to choose the legal form of your operation. You can structure your business in several different ways. Two popular types of business models are the sole proprietorship and the corporation, each suited to different types of businesses and phases of development.

Other less common business models include partnerships and limited partnerships, however, you should meet with your accountant or lawyer to determine whether these models are suitable for you.

Sole Proprietor

Sole proprietorship is the least complicated business structure. As sole proprietor, you are the business. You can operate under your own name, or you can register a business name at the Companies Office for a fee. For example, I could use P.J. Richer Plumbing without registering because P.J. Richer is my own name. If I wanted to operate as Swoosh Plumbing, I would have to register that name.
If you decide to register a business name, you will be required to renew the registration every three years. Regardless of whether your name is registered, you will also be required to register with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for a GST (Goods and Services Tax) number and with Manitoba Finance for a PST (Provincial Sales Tax) number. We strongly recommend that you also consult with an accounting professional at this stage.

What are the advantages of being a sole proprietor?

The most significant advantage to operating as a sole proprietor is that you can keep your costs low.

If you plan to operate on a shoe-string budget during your start-up phase, sole proprietorship will likely be your preferred method. Sole proprietorship is also appropriate if your income will be limited. For example, your business exists simply to supplement your main employment income.
 
When your business generates enough income to bring you into the highest tax bracket, you should consider incorporation. Talk to your accountant!

What are the disadvantages of being a sole proprietor?

The largest disadvantage of sole proprietorship is that you and your business are the same entity. No legal distinction exists. This means that all of your assets including your car, home, and cottage are available to satisfy any judgments in the event you are successfully sued.

While lawsuits do not occur often, when they do, your legal costs, resulting damages, and the time away from your business can have devastating effects on your financial reserves.

Why should I incorporate?

Once your business starts earning more income, or if liability is an issue, you may wish to incorporate. 

Incorporation serves two major purposes:
  • Incorporating your company creates a new legal entity separate from you, the individual. If the entity, or corporation, is found liable, you, as shareholder are not. This will protect your personal assets, such as your home, vehicle and RRSPs in the event your company is successfully sued.
  • From a tax perspective, you can keep the money earned by the corporation within the corporation. Currently, in the Province of Manitoba, earnings under $425,000 attributed to a Canadian-controlled private corporation are taxed at 11%. This amount increases on January 1st, 2019 to $500,000 This is a legitimate way to defer taxes

The biggest disadvantage of incorporation is cost. While tax deferral is appealing, you should consult with an accountant to ensure you are fully aware of the consequences of the decisions you make. While you will be deferring taxes, you will also be incurring annual legal and accounting costs. If your income is low, any tax advantages will be lost.

Easy Explanations

What is a Sole Proprietor?

Sole proprietorship is the least complicated business structure. As sole proprietor, you are the business. You can operate under your own name, or you can register a business name at the Companies Office for a fee.

What are Officers & Directors?

In corporations, officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and directors make the legal decisions on behalf of the corporation. They can also be personally liable under certain tax, employment, and environmental laws.

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