Up until now, a person involved in a business dispute had to retain a lawyer to get an understanding of his/her rights and obligations and possible actions. There was no online repository that could, with a simple click of a button, provide in-depth information about the applicable legislation and case law that governs business disputes.
Fortunately, Judy Rost, a partner at Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP, has changed all that with the creation of the BC Business Disputes Resource, a website for business owners wanting to know more about everything from ownership issues encountered between shareholders, partners, joint ventures, franchises, and family businesses, to contract disputes with suppliers and third parties, debt actions, and real estate or lease disputes.
The website provides a wealth of knowledge covering a wide variety of situations in which business owners might find themselves. For example, the section “Are You in a Fight For Control of a Company?” has four subcategories: type of remedy (which itself has seven subcategories of possible remedies); minority shareholder; 50/50 shareholders; and inheriting shares.
The BC Business Disputes Resource also has no end of advice that may surprise those who thought they were familiar with topics such as collecting a debt. In a lengthy and fascinating discourse about demanding payment from a debtor, the website reads: “Most debts in British Columbia are governed by a two-year limitation period. With some exceptions, you can’t get judgment for a debt unless you started the lawsuit within two years of the date the amount became due and payable.”
Another surprise — for those in a fight for control of a company — may come from the disclosure contained in the subsection about 50/50 shareholders in B.C. law: “Many 50/50 shareholders refer to themselves as partners, when in fact they each own shares in a company which owns the business,” meaning that a dispute between such shareholders is governed by B.C.’s Business Corporations Act (federal company disputes and partnership disputes are governed by other acts).
For those who want to drill even deeper, the website contains the most influential cases and relevant statutes on 17 key business topics (six complete court cases are provided for the topic of arbitration alone).
While Rost initially designed the website for business people, she soon realized it could also appeal to a broader audience. “We hope it can be a resource for young entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, business schools — any individual or group interested in learning the intricacies about different types of legal issues that businesses face,” she says.
Traffic to the site has been brisk, and Rost is preparing to make herself available to speak to different potential user groups about some of the legal matters discussed on the site — and to promote the site itself. She says: “The BC Business Disputes Resource has been years in the making, and we want to ensure that anyone serving the business community knows of its existence.”
For more information, contact Judy Rost at 604-484-1726 or at email@example.com
This article was published on BCBusiness.com on March 13, 2018.