In this age of technology, we are all becoming increasingly more comfortable relying on online services to assist us in our day-to-day activities. I, for one, am no exception. Guilty of purchasing items such as clothes, books and electronics off the internet only to avoid the trip to my local mall or simply avoiding the interaction that comes with it.  The convenience and low cost of these services are just a few examples of reasons as to why people of all walks are enticed to access services from the comfort of their homes; but at what point does risk outweigh convenience?

Many different legal services are now offered on a variety of websites. Such websites have been developed to provide customers with a quick and effortless way to incorporate a business without the need of speaking to a lawyer – just as simple as clicking a few tabs and you are on your way! In the world of legal disputes and tax consequences, however, it may be worth asking the question as to whether you think starting your business should be as easy as ordering products off the internet.

The truth of the matter is that sometimes seeking the right professional advice from the start may save a lot more money in the long run. In the case of starting your own corporation you will want to make sure your Articles of Incorporation give you enough flexibility to allow for not only the beginning phase of your business, but throughout your longer-term objectives. There are things that an online service just may not be able to decipher without the ability to properly dialogue and outline your intentions, wishes, goals and plans.

Just like searching the internet to self-diagnose an illness can be a terrible idea, so can establishing your corporation without legal advice.  With the assistance of a lawyer you can be sure that everything you want out of your business is properly executed to avoid any issues or complications in the future. What these online legal services fail to tell their customers is that while filing your Articles of Incorporation is as easy as clicking a few tabs, if you later find out you need to make a change and are forced to file  Articles of Amendment, you’ll be hit with another filing fee of $150.00, together with the additional cost of legal services – likely much greater depending on the amendments that you wish to apply. Getting legal advice from the start ensures you avoid these costs and complications in the future.

Starting a business is a big step for any entrepreneur and can be one of your biggest life investments. You must ask yourself, do I know and understand the laws around operating a business? Am I aware of how I would like my business to be organized and what that means for the future of my business? Have I done everything to protect my interests and investments in this company? An individual can face serious repercussions for operating a business contrary to the laws of the province and/or country.

It’s not just the technical aspects where guidance can be significantly beneficial.  The right lawyer can provide you with valuable tips, strategies as well as connections to others that may be able to assist you further. Incorporating a business is an important decision that requires a long-term plan to ensure that you are operating within the law; starting off from an internet provider may be quick and easy but it does not leave much room for you to address specific questions and concerns that you may not be aware of – things that online services simply cannot provide.

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, either by incorporating, partnership, or as a sole owner, it’s a good idea to start off on the right foot and contact a corporate lawyer that you can trust to be committed to your business and to mapping out your roadmap with you.