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The Notary: A Partner in Your Business

More and more business people use the services of a notary as legal advisor for their business and as an analyst for their personal financial situation. Indeed, a growing number of notaries have extensive training and experience in corporate law and personal finance. Through their close and privileged relationships with the business community, these notaries have become valuable advisors over the years, for all types of businesses. By regularly updating their knowledge and actively participating in the activities of the new economy, these notaries can help leading-edge industries in the same way as they have been trusted advisors to more traditional companies.

In addition, many notaries have acquired the necessary training and experience to act as mediators in civil and commercial matters and are able to solve most civil and commercial disputes that an entrepreneur may encounter in the normal course of business. Other notaries have also been accredited as arbitrators.

An expert in the drafting of contracts, a notary offers the contractor all legal certainty that his rights and interests are well protected while allowing him to save time and money.

The Notary: An Expert in Business Law
Analysis of the situation and the goals to be achieved

To help you steer your business in the right direction, the notary will carry out a rigorous analysis of your company’s legal situation. Together with you, your notary can develop a real action plan to help you achieve your goals.

An analysis of your company’s basic characteristics is an essential prerequisite for establishing the legal form that best suits it. This analysis is obviously desirable at the start-up stage of the enterprise, but it may also take place at any other time and even at more than one time. Indeed, the evolution of the company or the emergence of new needs or projects could lead you to want to perform a new analysis.

Juridical Forms of Companies

Given certain unavoidable factors, such as the importance of your down payment, your desire to work as a team and your managerial skills, your notary will clearly explain the advantages and disadvantages of the various legal forms available to the company. Your notary will inform you about the possible choices regarding:

  • Personal and individual business
  • Various types of companies
  • A corporation governed by the Federal Act or a corporation established under the laws of Québec
  • Franchising
  • Other business formats 

With full and detailed explanations from the notary, you will be able to make an informed choice and you will know exactly what to rely on the legal and tax consequences resulting from this choice.

The notary may draw up the documents necessary for the constitution or modification of the structure of your company, whether it be a partnership agreement, a shareholder agreement or any other appropriate document.

Business Fiscality 

Nowadays, taxation has become a key factor for good corporate governance. Again, some notaries have acquired the necessary expertise to help you prepare a comprehensive tax planning strategy, taking into account various possibilities, such as:

  • Realizing a capital gain
  • Freezing of the estate
  • Management companies
  • Share repurchase programs 

Moreover, this expert notary can also assess the tax consequences of the sale of your company on your property and that of your heirs.

Financing the business: because money does not grow on trees!

Money is crucial. Your business needs sound financial foundations to ensure its full development. Thanks to his legal training and his involvement in the business community, the notary can participate in designing realistic financing projects perfectly adapted to your company.

The notary is in a good position to develop and have accepted by potential financial partners an integrated financing plan taking into consideration:

  • The sources of available funds (shareholder advances, credit, mortgage, equity loan, etc.)
  • Guarantees to be provided (collateral and personal guarantees)
  • Aid programs and grants, where appropriate 

Throughout a company’s life, financing remains a daily concern, both at the time of start-up and restructuring, and at the time of an acquisition or expansion project. The same will happen when you reach the stage of transferring your business to the next generation or to third parties. Your notary can help you negotiate these financial agreements.

What If You Have an Accident?

What would happen if you ever become incapable of running your business, making the necessary decisions? Even if no one wants this to happen, your notary will advise you to sign a warrant for your inability. Among other things, this mandate will take care to mention who, in case of incapacity on your part to act, will have to ensure the succession and take the reins of the company. Such an initiative allows you to choose for yourself the person you consider best suited to running the business and often avoids tensions and divisions in the family.

The Notary: A Financial Planner
Plan today to harvest the fruit of your labour tomorrow

Everyone wants to be able to maintain their standard of living at retirement and even improve it if possible. With the disappearance of the welfare state and the increased tax burden on taxpayers, the state’s pension funds may soon be unable to cope with the increasing number of retirees and the aging population.

Faced with this situation, you need to react, take charge and call on the help of specialists to determine the scenario that will enable you to achieve your objectives and ensure the success of your retirement plan .

The notary financial planner is the best person to accompany you in this process, notably in terms of retirement, investments, insurance and succession.

Hire an General Overseer!

Do you think that’s not necessary? Keep in mind that successful financial planning is very often the result of the work of a multidisciplinary team: a notary, accountant, life insurance specialist, stockbroker, banker, etc.

Because your notary financial planner will not neglect any detail in ensuring that all these people work together to achieve your goals, he is the ideal contact person to coordinate your financial planning according to your personal situation. Moreover, he will never be placed in a conflict of interest since he is prohibited from selling you financial products, insurance or investments.

A Tax Strategy to Enrich Your Pension Fund

Developing a personal tax strategy will help you minimize your tax burden and taxes. As a result, you can invest your tax savings in retirement programs. Moreover, these tax savings often constitute a taxpayer’s most important contribution in the search for full financial autonomy in retirement.

Safe Investments So You Can Sleep at Night

You have set retirement goals to protect your quality of life and your standard of living. To achieve them, you first need to examine your personal situation, and then to define the kind of investor you are. Of course, the savings you will realize for your retirement will have to be invested to earn income, but be aware that the best investments are those that will not keep you up at night worrying.

You will not be surprised to learn that your risk tolerance is what will set the tone for your portfolio. Moreover, financial planners will tell you “everything in moderation” and “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Consult your notary financial planner to help you design an investment strategy that is both safe and profitable.

Facing the Inevitable

We will all leave the world of the living one day. On that day a good life insurance program will provide your spouse and children with replacement income while providing them with the cash needed to pay the taxes and other expenses that will be incurred as a result of your death.

But did you know that there are protection programs you can benefit from while you are still alive? Thus, you could join group plans or individual disability insurance plans to protect against the uncertainties of life. This is an important aspect not to be overlooked, because misfortunes do not only happen to other people…

The Will: A Critical Part of Your Financial Planning

Any personal financial planning will involve making a will. If you die without a will, the estate planning you have so carefully put in place may be all be for nothing. The will is and will always be the foundation, the cornerstone of your estate planning.

It is therefore important that it be drafted by an expert and, without a doubt, that it be done in the notarized form. Any change in your living conditions will require a timely revision of your will in order to make the appropriate changes.

Financial planning is both simple and complex. To eliminate financial worries at your retirement, be sure to do your personal financial planning with an overall prokect manager: a notary specializing in financial planning.

The Notary: A Specialist in Agricultural Law
Today’s Farm Is Big Business!

The agricultural enterprise is generally the most important asset in the farmer’s estate, and the income of several generations of people sometimes depends directly on it.

Very often, in order to create a sense of belonging or for other reasons, there is a time when the farm owner wants to integrate the members of his family as active partners in the company.

This desire for family involvement in the company, whatever the cause, usually involves the transfer of a part of your farm business during your lifetime, hence the need to set up a new legal structure.

The Legal Structure of Your Farm Business

The notary can help you make all the necessary decisions regarding the legal organization of your company. Of course, each situation is different and some cases can be very complex.

Also, with the consent of the client, the notary will not hesitate to call upon the services of specialized contacts if necessary or appropriate. You are thus assured, given your specific needs, to have the best legal structure.

Your notary may therefore advise you of the advantages and disadvantages of the joint-stock company, the limited partnership or the joint venture. He or she will also be able to demonstrate the legal and tax consequences of all possible solutions.

You will know exactly what is what with respect to the ownership of the assets used by the business in the normal course of its activities and the liability regime applicable in case of a lawsuit.

On the tax side, the information provided by the notary will enable you to clearly distinguish your tax situation from that of your company.

Your Notary, an Expert Writer!

Once the decision has been made on the choice of the appropriate legal structure to realize your project, the notary can immediately prepare all the documents required to set up a company or to sign a company contract.

In order to fulfill your intention to keep the business under family control, the notary will also be responsible for drafting and signing all necessary purchase and sale agreements.

Once the company has the best legal framework for your needs, the notary will carry out all the required follow-ups and will make all the related filings or registrations required by law.

Often, the new company structure will require you to review your financial planning strategy and your succession in particular. By revising the terms of your will, the notary will plan your succession so as to ensure the continuity of the business while maintaining a balance between all the heirs.

The Notary Advises You and Represents You on Agricultural Zoning

As an expert in real estate law, notaries can properly advise you at the time of any real estate transaction and will be able to determine with you the best way of holding your property in an agricultural zone. They can also make representations to the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (Agricultural Land Protection Commission) in order to obtain the authorizations provided for by law with respect to the subdivision, use, alienation, inclusion or exclusion of a lot in an agricultural zone. Their mastery over the intricacies of the law will allow them to construct an argument that takes into account the particularities of the case.

Consult a Notary Specialized in Agricultural Law

As the agricultural sector is governed by many laws, business people often find it difficult to navigate this area of activity. Thus, without knowing it, you could be ignoring some of the mandatory requirements of these laws. In addition, you may be missing out on programs, credits or grants in place to improve your business.

Your notary is a natural ally, close to you and your family, who has your interests at heart. Notaries know how to combine their business experience with their profound knowledge of the people in their environment.

Present and active in all regions of Quebec, notaries are leading legal advisors for farmers who mainly run family businesses. As a specialist in agricultural laws, your notary can certainly give you a good helping hand. Do not hesitate to consult a notary specializing in agricultural law.

The Notary: A Mediator
Civil and Commercial Mediation 

Sooner or later, in the ordinary course of your business, there may be a dispute with one of your customers or with one of your suppliers. Mediation is a method of resolving conflicts that you can rely on to resolve these kinds of problems without a third party deciding for you. More and more notaries are able to offer you this way of reaching an agreement by acting as mediators to facilitate finding your own solutions.

Mediation is a flexible and voluntary approach. It requires the cooperation and good faith of those involved. They must therefore agree to mediation with the objective of reaching a viable agreement that resolves the dispute to their satisfaction.

Mediation aims to restore communication, thus recreating healthy relationships between the parties. It may even prevent further conflicts.

After having ascertained the will of the parties to submit their dispute to mediation, the notary mediator will ask them to sign a mediation agreement in which the role of the mediator and that of the parties are clearly defined, as well as the mediation process, its confidential nature and the costs associated with it.

The Mediator: An Impartial Player

The mediator’s role is to provide a structure and support the parties in their efforts to find a satisfactory solution to the dispute.

In order to achieve this, the mediator first tries to create a climate conducive to communication. He then collects all the information relevant to the conflict to establish the needs and interests of the parties. He directs the conversations so as to achieve a calm and productive discussion, which can stimulate the parties’ creativity in the search for solutions.

The mediator does not represent either party. He is neutral and impartial. He does not give legal advice or opinion on the subject of the dispute. On the other hand, the parties remain free to solicit the opinion of a third person at any time, for their exclusive advantage. The role of the mediator is not to resolve the conflict nor to impose a solution since, in mediation, it is the responsibility of the parties to resolve their conflict.

Mediators receive specialized training and are subject to strict standards of professional ethics. Due to their training and the duty of impartiality required by law, notaries are the perfect professional to act as mediator and to help you negotiate a satisfactory and lasting agreement.

The Role of the Parties: To Discuss and Understand Things!

To reach a satisfactory solution, the parties engage in an open and frank discussion based on their needs and interests and then negotiate in good faith in an environment conducive to the process. The facilitator promotes this discussion in order to help the parties determine the points of agreement and disagreement and to further their progress in finding appropriate solutions.

Using mediation does not mean that you waive your rights or that the other party can evade its obligations. You are not required to accept a compromise you don’t like. Mediation is a voluntary process and you can withdraw from it at your discretion. Mediation does not exclude the possibility of instituting legal proceedings at any time or of having recourse to one or more arbitrators to resolve the dispute in the event of failure. On the other hand, if the parties reach an agreement, a draft agreement will be written up and submitted to the parties for approval before signature. This agreement signed by the parties will constitute a contract which they can enforce in the event of non-compliance.

Confidentiality of Mediation

Even if you know someone in mediation, you will learn very little about it because the parties and the mediator are committed from the start to keep the process confidential. No statements or information from the parties, whether verbal or written, can be used in subsequent legal proceedings without the consent of all concerned. Furthermore, the mediator cannot be summoned as a witness in legal proceedings concerning the dispute in question. The parties are therefore in a position to express themselves freely.

An Economical and Expeditious Choice

Most of the time, the parties agree to equally share the costs of the mediation, that is, the mediator’s fees and the various disbursements. The mediator’s fees vary according to his training and professional experience. However, the costs of mediation are generally much lower than those associated with court remedies. In addition, while the duration of the mediation differs from one case to another depending on the complexity of the case and depending on the time the parties are willing to devote to it, this mode of resolving conflicts is much faster than the traditional judiciary path.

The Notary: An Arbitrator

Civil and Commercial Arbitration: Another Quick and Cost-effective Way to Settle a Dispute

Civil and commercial arbitration is a means other than the courts to expeditiously and privately terminate a dispute in full respect of your rights. A few months or even weeks are usually enough to get a decision. Costs vary depending on the complexity and length of the arbitration.

All costs may be shared between the two parties by mutual agreement. Otherwise, cost-sharing will be assigned to the arbitrator’s decision to determine how much of the fee will be paid by each party.

How Is Arbitration Used?

If you have had the foresight to include in the contract an arbitration clause called a “compromissory clause”, it will be a matter of enforcing it according to its content.

Otherwise, the parties to a dispute may request a notary to prepare an arbitration agreement under which their dispute shall be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the terms and procedure to be agreed upon at that time. Arbitration is a means of resolving disputes recognized by the Civil Code of Quebec and is an effective way to resolve most kinds of disputes (except family matters, matters relating to the state, the capacity of persons or matters of public order).

Confidentiality of Arbitration

Arbitration is a private process whose existence and whose content (declarations, evidence, exhibits, etc.) cannot be made public without the agreement of all parties. Entrepreneurs and business people have the advantage of not seeing their differences aired out in public, in full view of their competitors. In addition, this route often helps preserve the business relationship between the disputing parties.

Where Can I Find Competent Arbitrators?

To choose one or more arbitrators, you can simply contact the Chambre des notaires du Québec, which makes a list of qualified arbitrators available to the public. An arbitrator is someone who must have practiced law for a minimum of 10 years and who has undergone specialized training.

The arbitrator, having to decide a dispute according to the rules of law and the applicable usages, acts with the strictest impartiality. Under no circumstances will an arbitrator intervene to advise the parties or to express an opinion.

Arbitration may be conducted orally at a hearing date fixed in advance. In this case, the parties present their claims and the supporting evidence in turn; witnesses and experts will be placed on the docket, if necessary. Alternatively, the parties could also choose arbitration based on documentary evidence, providing all their evidence in writing.

The Arbitral Award, a Final Decision 

Once the hearings have been completed, the arbitrator or arbitrators shall render their decision in writing. The award shall be final and without appeal. The parties have an obligation to comply with it, failing which either party shall be entitled to apply to the courts for approval. Such proceedings shall render the award enforceable, unless the court finds therein serious misconduct or an error of law, thereby invalidating the arbitration.

Arbitration is a means open to all to resolve disputes of a civil or commercial nature. It is a voluntary recourse, except for the few cases of compulsory arbitration imposed by law, and the choice is yours.

The Notary: A Guide and a First-Class Ally

Do you need a specialist in business law or agricultural law, a financial planning expert, a mediator or an arbitrator? In an economical, fast and harmonious way, the notary will give you valuable advice to help you achieve your personal, financial or commercial goals. The Chambre des notaires du Québec can quickly provide you with the contact information of a notary specialized in these sectors of activity.

Source : Chambre des notaires du Québec (Translation)

Consult your notary, who leaves nothing to chance.


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