Change in Legal Entity Status - How Does this Affect Insurance?

March 13, 2023

If your business is changing its legal entity status, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to business operations, including  insurance. First, your business will now be considered a higher risk, which means your premiums could go up. You'll also need to make sure you're covered for any new liabilities that come with being a corporation. Luckily, we're here to help guide you through this process so that you can rest assured knowing your business is properly insured. Contact us today for more information.

What is a change in legal entity status?

A change in legal entity status can be a daunting undertaking - the world of business and finance can feel overwhelming if you’re not familiar with its inner workings! In brief, it refers to when a company transitions from legally being run as a sole proprietorship or limited partnership to a corporation. This shift is an increasingly popular option for businesses wanting to keep their liabilities separate from their personal finances and allows them access to certain government programs. While there are many regulatory changes that happen when a company goes through this process, it is ultimately a smart move when it comes to financial security.

Common Reasons for Changing Legal Entity Status

1) Decreasing Liability

With the setup of a sole proprietorship being so straightforward, it's no surprise that many businesses begin down this path. However, should any issues arise with their business – expenses and debts for instance – owners have to take full responsibility; leaving them liable in even more ways than one! Fortunately however, when things get serious there is an alternative - solo entrepreneurs can always modify their legal entity status to limit liability as required.

2) As unromantic as tax regulations are made out to be, incorporating can also provide an advantage there by setting your entity apart from yourself - allowing for better taxation rates.

3) Registration of the Business Name

As a business grows and expands its customer base, it is essential to ensure the uniqueness of its name. Incorporating can be key in protecting against potentials rivals from exploiting your company's well-deserved recognition by piggybacking off an established identity. In other words, don’t let someone else drive away with your hard work.

4) Mergers & Acquisitions

When businesses join forces, an inevitable change in legal status often follows. An important step for those who are transitioning to a new entity type is understanding the implications of such shifts and embracing upcoming opportunities with enthusiasm.

How does this affect insurance in Canada?

The transition from sole proprietorship to a corporation means big changes for Canadian businesses, especially with regard to insurance. Corporation must be insured against claims related to numerous areas such as liabilities, contracts, products and issues related to their employees. It is important for businesses to deliberate upon what coverage may be needed in each area, and further to discuss any extra precautions that can be taken with the assistance of an insurance professional. Making sure that your business is fully covered can protect you against potential losses due to unexpected events. Ensuring adequate coverages is not only necessary but also comforting as it follows through on your commitment as a responsible business owner toward your customers, shareholders, and employees.

When you change the legal entity status of your business, it's important to update who is named as an insured on commercial insurance policies. The Named Insureds can be owners, subsidiaries or even organizations and if multiple are listed then generally the first will act for all others. A great example? When transitioning from a sole proprietorship to partnership there may now be more than one owner that needs insuring – so keep track of changes! Mergers with other businesses also mean keeping up-to-date records in order ensure that any new entities created have enough coverage.

What are the implications for businesses moving from sole proprietorship or limited partnership to a corporation?

With the move from sole proprietorship or limited partnership to a corporation, businesses must consider the implications that come with this change in legal status. The Canadian government requires corporations to treat revenues and earnings differently than those of sole proprietors. Additionally, the ownership of assets are allocated differently, as well as regulatory filing requirements that may not apply to other non-corporate entities. These changes represent a significant shift for business owners who have to take into account such laws and regulations when making the transition. However, taking advantage of this legal entity change can bring about many benefits for companies in terms of liabilities, taxes and capital-raising abilities. It is important for business owners to make sure they understand all the implications before switching their legal entity status from sole proprietorship or limited partnership to a corporation.

How can you make sure your business is properly protected after a change in legal entity status?

Navigating the legalities of a change in legal entity status can be overwhelming, but there are certain steps that you can take to ensure your business is properly protected. Researching local laws and regulations pertaining to corporations is essential for any business owner making such a transition. Additionally, it may be important to seek out professional help from trusted advisors such as lawyers or accountants who have experience assisting with company structure changes. Always read contracts carefully and stay up-to-date on filing deadlines so you can remain compliant with both federal and provincial laws. Taking these proactive measures can go a long way towards ensuring your business is safeguarded as you transition into this new stage of growth.

How can Summit Commercial Solutions help?

Summit Insurance is a trusted advisor for businesses to manage risk and protect their assets. With experience in navigating the process of changing legal entity status, Summit Insurance has served clients all over Canada. Contact us today to see how Summit Insurance can help you with your business insurance needs. Our knowledgeable agents will be able to assist you while alleviating potential stress along the way.

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