> Builder’s Liens
> Business Incorporations and Corporate Records
> Employment Issues
> Family Business Succession Planning
> Franchise Law
> Get Paid Program
> Litigation & Mediation
> Purchase & Sale of Business
> Real Estate
> Real Estate Acquisitions
> Shareholder Relations
See our start-up solutions for small business (PDF file)
A builder’s lien secures a claim for payment for work completed on—or materials supplied to—a construction project or for repairs or renovations made to an existing structure. When a lien is registered in the Land Title Office, it becomes a charge against the title to the land or property involved. The BC Builders Lien Act assists those who have worked on a construction project or supplied material to it, but haven’t been paid. Under this law, you can file a charge against the property to secure payment, or partial payment, of the money owed to you. We regularly act for builders and others in securing a lien for the purposes of increasing the probability of getting paid for work done or for supplying materials.
The careful drafting or review of a contract can serve to protect your interests whether in a business, personal or family context. We work with a variety of clients and at all stages of contracts including the negotiations, drafting, review and all other matters involving contract disputes. Our contract experience includes advising on commercial contracts including purchase and sale agreements, supply, sale, distribution, and leasing matters. We also regularly advise our clients on contracts relating to a variety of family law matters.
Business Incorporations and Corporate Records
Many proprietorships and partnerships need to incorporate for tax planning and/or risk management purposes. A lot of business people want to incorporate their business right from the start. We can incorporate your existing business or your new business in a timely and cost effective manner. We can design your company structure to meet your accountant’s suggestions. As your company’s registered and records office, we can assist you with keeping your records up to date and filing your documents accurately and on time, as required by law. Our corporate clients know that we are always available to provide advice or assistance as needed, and that we are pleased to answer many questions without charge.
If you are an employer or employee we can assist you with all types of matters including termination with, and without, cause, working notice, severance pay, constructive dismissal, conflict of interest and any other issues that relate to the workplace.
Family Business Succession Planning
You’ve built something special that has sustained your family and others for years, perhaps decades. Now, the discipline you used to grow your business is needed to plan for its future. Preserve family unity with thoughtful discussions that reveal a shared vision.
What is succession planning?
Succession planning is a process occurring over time in which a family plans for the transfer of knowledge, skills, labour, management, control and ownership of their family business between generations. Sometimes this is from the founding generation to the second generation, or it can occur between successive generations. It involves the creation, preservation, and ultimately, the transfer of the business assets in order to achieve personal, family and business goals.
Each family business is unique and no single approach works for everyone. It is important to understand that the family business (and its succession plan) involves important relationships within the family and also those who make decisions affecting the business.
Why put time into succession planning?
Compromised profits, missed business opportunities and risk of insolvency aside, the primary threat to not planning for your business’s succession is destruction of relationships between family members. With thoughtful and collaborative decision-making and planning you will protect your most important relationships and can focus on the needs of your family and your business.
With the luxury of forward-thinking planning and due consultation with others, your business will also reap rewards. You will achieve the tax benefits that come with long term planning and should your business not transition to a family member, you will have the necessary time to reconfigure your business to maximize its value for sale.
Without an articulated vision for your business it will suffer a loss of opportunity and likely profits. It is this vision that enables a business to continue to be viable and operate for the long run, even if you are not able to run it yourself. Transitions take time and patience and allow for necessary training and skills of others to take effect. Your legacy took time to create. Now take the same care to protect its future.
Our formula for success
We’ve been guiding family businesses for decades and one thing is clear – no family is the same and no family will take the same route to success. Much like your business, your plan for the future will take its own course, but with us, you’ll have experienced help to keep on track and focused on the outcome.
We’re also sensitive to the various roles of different family members and the occasional “generational divide”. Your facilitator must be skilled in listening, moderating and bringing people together in a productive manner.
With us, we’ll guide you and your family through a series of steps. These elements can often be taken out of sequence though, depending on the circumstances of the business. However, it helps to organize the process into these major steps:
• Open the lines of communication
• Define the goals and objectives
• Identify the Successor(s)
• Assess the compatibility of Successor(s) goals and objectives
Step 1: Collect and analyze information
• Perform interviews
• Set appropriate milestones
Step 2: Generate options
Step 3: Make preliminary decisions
Step 4: Design, develop, write and review the plan
Step 5: Implement and monitor
These steps are not necessarily in a set order. Some parts must be done one after another, but others can be done at the same time and still others can be completed in a random order. The same outcome is achieved and we work you in a manner that is most conducive for your business and family.
Here’s more detail on our process: Step-by-Step Approach (Adobe PDF file)
Who in the family should start the discussion?
Any family stakeholder can initiate the discussion towards the future well-being and planning of the business. Every family is different, but any member of a family can start the discussion.
Ideally, the dialogue is held with all interested individuals, and we can help facilitate these discussions or support you in your approach towards discovering the future possibilities for your business. Most families find a qualified third-party to help gently guide these discussions is helpful, if not necessary in many cases.
Our assurance to referral sources
We regularly receive referrals from other professionals to help their family business clients with their planning. If you are a new potential referral source, allow us an opportunity to assure you that we will limit our services to succession planning. Call or e-mail us to discuss this further or ask us for a guarantee in writing.
Our interest is in seeing family businesses work through a practical, yet tailored succession plan that fits right for them. That’s it.
We act for companies who are contemplating franchising their business. Becker & Company lawyers and advisors will assist you with end to end franchising services.
We advise on all franchise and legal matters relating to the expansion of your business to ensure that your franchise model has the best possible chance of success.
Franchising laws and requirements are distinctly different from other business needs. They require specific franchise agreements, disclosure documents and enforcement services to protect your interests. We can assist you with every stage of turning your business into a franchise with:
1. Franchisor corporate set-up and structuring
2. Securing all intellectual property rights, trademarks, copyrights, brand protection, etc.
3. Incorporation of entities, registration of names, incorporation of companies, etc.
4. All legal documents, including: Franchise prospectus, disclosure documents, franchise agreements, employee agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, etc
In addition to specific franchise legal advice, we also have the experience and knowledge to assist you in the business planning and implementation stages of establishing your franchise for success.
These services include:
- Strategic planning
- Initial investigations and analysis
- The primary franchise due diligence and documenting thereof
- Compiling your prospective franchisee profile
- Franchisee recruitment and selection processes
- Franchise manuals:
- Recruitment and Selection,
- Daily operations manual which includes chapters on branding, marketing, sales promotion, accounting, information technology, personnel relations, training, non-compliance and de-franchising procedure, etc.
- Advising on all the required action plans
- Advising on financial models and financing
- Business plans and developing processes
- All the process correspondence and documentation
- All Franchisor and Franchisee monitoring and evaluation processes and documentation.
Over the past 20 years we have acted for a broad range of franchisors and have mitigated the risks involved in establishing and maintaining a productive and profitable franchise network.
Do not let the opportunity to expand your business go by because of the costs involved. Talk to us about our various made-to-fit financial options to make it happen.
Get Paid Program
Collecting on an outstanding debt can be frustrating and time consuming, particularly if it impacts your business. Our lawyers can help you collect on your debt with the fast and simple online Get Paid program. This streamlined collection service is for individuals and businesses of all sizes, and can be completed from your home or office computer by filling out our easy step-by-step form. Our collections lawyers are ready to assist you now. Get Paid today.
Litigation & Mediation
Commercial and personal disputes are stressful and highly disruptive to your professional and personal life. Our approach is to support you in a manner that, when necessary, preserves important relations while protecting and advancing your position and outcome. We have advised on complex commercial matters including real estate and construction, partnership, insurance, and sensitive personal disputes which include family matters, employment, personal injury, estates and more.
Disputes are often resolved in a courtroom or leading up to a trial, other times they are resolved using a mediator. A mediation process is mandatory in some areas of law and involves a qualified, neutral third party in place of a judge. The mediator is often an expert in the subject matter of the dispute and is skilled at helping both parties identify a mutually acceptable resolution. Success rates for mediation are high and costs are lower than conventionally litigation.
Purchase & Sale of Business
Whether you are the vendor or the purchaser of a large or small business, our legal counsel can advise you throughout the process and help you finalize your transaction. We have done so for entrepreneurs, mid- to large-sized businesses and individuals.
We work with the most professional and successful real estate developers, agents, businesses and landlords in the Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Coquitlam region on matters involving leases, purchase and sale agreements, contract development and disputes, builder’s liens and more. They refer their clients to us for other legal services including conveyancing services that are completed swiftly and highly competently.
Real Estate Acquisitions
The purchase of real estate, whether large or small, for commercial or personal use, requires due diligence that comes with decades of experience. Our services range from commercial rezoning applications to conveyancing and includes litigation, when necessary.
As with any contract or agreement, avoiding disputes begins with an agreement that is thoroughly negotiated and well-drafted. However, disputes between minor or major shareholders and company owners can arise and lawyers at Becker & Company are experienced at resolving such disputes using either the process set out in your contract or through the legislative process.