The first thing Aikay Vincent Oduoza, founder and principal lawyer with Vincent Mark Law Office, wants to know about your new business, is its vision, mission and objective.
“We start by telling clients to put the issues of profit and money aside,” he says. “When you do the right thing, money will come. I want to understand your business objectives, values, your ethos.”
Business objectives, values and ethos are important to Mr. Oduoza. Graduating with a degree in law in Nigeria and then originally called to the Bar in Ontario, Mr. Oduoza also has a degree in executive leadership from the prestigious Harvard Business School.
“I want to know what is important to you,” he continues. “For example, if you tell me that you feel very strongly about family, and you have a spouse or a grown up child, I will suggest that you incorporate your business. That way, if anything happens to you, your business can exist in perpetuity. Of course, we would also need to discuss the tax and cost implications and these may affect your business structure.”
Sole proprietorships offer the flexibility of operating on your own with no interference, but lack the perpetual continuity of a corporation. “When you pass on,” says Mr. Oduoza, “you will have no control over how the business carries on and who runs it.”
After a discussion about the structure of an enterprise, a consultation with Mr. Oduoza will typically turn to other practical matters.
“Is the client going to have a website?” he asks. “If so, perhaps they need help with legal disclaimers on the site or how to comply with privacy legislation, local licenses, registrations, trademarks, etc. There is so much more to starting a business than just hanging a shingle outside your door and welcoming customers. We can guide the client in the right direction.”
Mr. Oduoza recommends visiting Vincent Mark Law Office for an initial consultation before deciding to proceed.
“The initial consultation is very important,” he says. “That’s when we discover the client’s needs and how to meet them.”