It is possible to incorporate yourself. You can do this without any legal help as BC has an online incorporation system. It is important to note however, that even with online resources, it is still possible to make mistakes before, during, and after your incorporation.
Although the government website provides forms for incorporation, this does not include all of the forms that you require. Relying on government-provided forms alone will not be sufficient for you to incorporate your company. In addition, the forms or online incorporation system may prove confusing to some people and a small business lawyer can help clear up that confusion. There is also the possibility that you may make mistakes when completing the forms and that is why it is always good to have a lawyer look them over.
It may be the case that a friend is helping you incorporate the company because he/she has some experience in doing so. However, if your friend is not a small business lawyer, he/she may not fully understand the forms and put down their own name as the incorporator. This would result in your friend owning your entire company and it could lead to a long and expensive dispute.
It is typically the case that banks, and creditors are more likely to provide funding if your business is incorporated because it increases the legitimacy of your business. Just as important as incorporating your business is the ability to keep updated and accurate financial and corporate records. Corporation records need to be submitted annually so it is important to have these in order, and that may not be the case if you incorporate yourself. A small business lawyer can put together a corporate records book for you but doing this will often cost more than having your company incorporated by a small business lawyer from the start.
There is much more that goes into incorporating your company than just filing an application. It is highly recommended that you consult and work with a small business lawyer. To begin, a small business lawyer will be able to advise you if incorporating is the right step for your business. If it is, then the lawyer will be able to suggest the best structure for your business. In addition, a small business lawyer will help maintain your company. There are many other details that a small business lawyer will help with along the way, such as providing assistance with lease agreements, putting together employee contracts and client service agreements.
Your ultimate goal is to have a successful business and it doesn’t make sense to risk that by incorporating it by yourself. Incorporating with the help of a small business lawyer should be seen as an investment in your business that will set it up for long-term success. So, if you are planning on incorporating your small business or wondering if it is the right step for you, please leave a comment below or call in to book a consultation.