We work with you at every stage in the startup lifecycle
Our Startups @ McMillan team provides flexible, agile, bespoke legal services to suit your specific needs, at rates that make sense to your business. That way, you can be properly protected rather than resorting to the sort of one-size-fits-none templates you might find in a random online search.
As part of a full-service, national Canadian business law firm, we not only have specific understanding of your startup’s needs, but we can also draw on the breadth and depth of knowledge, experience and skills that comes with a larger platform. We’re here to give you the best of both worlds.
We also offer an initial no fee consultation to help customize our top-notch legal services just for you, so you only pay for the services you need right now, and not a package of documents you don’t know what to do with.
How We Can Help
Working through human resources matters from hiring your first employee to drafting complex benefit plans Employment Law
When it comes to managing employment relationships, clarity is essential to building and maintaining a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship. Whether you are negotiating an essential contractor agreement or drafting an employee stock option plan, our team is equipped to provide you with practical advice tailored to the unique realities of your business. As employment law varies from province to province, our national reach scales with your business as you grow from a local shop to a coast-to-coast enterprise.
While our focus is on helping implement employment and labour relations practices that minimize potential conflict, we recognize that disputes are sometimes unavoidable. When they do happen, we are able to provide you with effective representation to achieve your goals and best interests. We represent clients at all levels of provincial and federal courts, human rights tribunals, labour relations boards, arbitration, and government administrative bodies, so you can rest assured that you are in the right hands if a dispute arises.
Advising you on how best to structure your business to tackle the challenges ahead Corporate Law
Looking to start a new business? Never before has business been as dynamic or competitive as it is today. New business models and an ever-evolving regulatory framework highlight the need for a steady legal hand guiding your business as it grows and thrives. Our team is equipped to assist you in structuring your business to meet your current and future needs. We advise on all aspects of a business’s operations and strategy including corporate reorganizations and strategic planning. Our practical and business-oriented approach allows us to help you maximize value and company growth. We hope to work with you to address day-to-day matters affecting your business and to set you up for future success.
Helping you to spot potential issues and negotiate solid agreements with your suppliers, customers, and business partners Commercial Law
Maintaining a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with suppliers, customers, and business partners is a key component in the success of any business. Our team is equipped to assist you in drafting or reviewing agreements to ensure that your relationships with suppliers, distributors, customers, and licensees are clear, enforceable, and fair. Our goal is to ensure that your most important business assets are protected through appropriate agreements that maintain a positive relationship between your business and anyone you do business with. With experience in a wide range of industries, our team is uniquely positioned to understand your business needs and to offer sound advice on how to structure agreements and create lasting relationships that will help your business reach its full potential.
Strategizing with you to effectively leverage and protect your intellectual property IP Law
Understanding intellectual property rights is essential to deriving full value from your company’s assets, and goes well beyond a simple registration. We regularly assist clients with crafting clear and effective intellectual property protection and enforcement strategies. This allows our clients to maximize the value of their intangible assets and to protect their original ideas and connections to their customers. With a team made up of lawyers, patent and trademark agents, scientific consultants and law clerks, we are well equipped to help you achieve the protection you desire. Our team has backgrounds in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, and engineering, allowing us to understand your business and apply technical expertise to your particular needs. Let us help you protect your innovative ideas and original designs.
Counseling you on how to navigate the regulations that impact your business Regulatory Law
Navigating regulatory frameworks can be complicated and time-consuming for any business. Our team’s goal is to ensure that your business is compliant with the complex regulatory requirements that are continuously imposed and rigorously enforced. We can help you develop effective compliance and risk-management programs so that you may focus on running your business. If your business faces an investigation by a regulatory body, our team can assist in preparing a comprehensive response. Regulatory frameworks do not need to be overwhelming. We strive to enable you to run and develop your business with free from concern that you are in compliance with applicable regulations.
Creating systems and policies to ensure that your business does not run afoul of rapidly expanding privacy laws Privacy Law
From drafting clear and comprehensive privacy policies for your e-commerce operations to advising on integrated cross-border cloud-based systems, privacy concerns are multifaceted and require a keen attention to detail. Privacy and data breaches – whether accidental or intentional – are frequent front-page news stories that have the potential to damage corporate reputations. Our goal is to keep you ahead of the privacy curve and ensure that no such breaches occur.
Some of the ways we are currently helping clients manage privacy issues are
- Protecting mailing lists by advising on strategies that efficiently comply with anti-spam legislation;
- Drafting, assessing, and enforcing social media policies and guidelines;
- Providing proactive advice on online sales and marketing law; and
- Strategizing on how to best collect personal information and other data while staying onside of rapidly expanding regulations.
Whether you are starting from seed, looking for an angel, or engaging an accelerator program, we will work with you to facilitate the growth of your business through to exit Private Equity & Capital Markets
Market volatility and the constant evolution of regulations pose challenges for participants in today’s capital markets. Our team recognizes that businesses need a trusted advisor with the experience to anticipate these challenges and the expertise to turn these challenges into opportunities. We have the skills to structure transactions in Canada, the U.S. and international capital markets, and to provide you with innovative transactional advice and solutions for whichever stage you are in your business development. Whether you are going public, going private, or require assistance with corporate governance, our team can help you choose the path that will best meet your objectives and will guide you through the entire process.
By taking a proactive approach, we not only help our clients solve disputes but avoid them entirely so that you can focus on what’s most important, running your business Advocacy & Dispute Resolution
While we focus on helping clients implement policies and practices that minimize the potential for conflict, we recognize that disputes are sometimes unavoidable. When disputes do arise, they not only consume valuable time and financial resources, they also distract your organization from running your business. That is why we aim to provide clients with effective and timely advice to helps them navigate these difficult situations. With a broad range of experience, our team is uniquely positioned to guide you through these tough times should they arise. Sometimes, the best path to a solution may be through alternative dispute resolution or a creative settlement. We aim to focus on your needs to work towards a solution that is both cost and time effective.
While startups are often disruptive by nature, fracturing categories and defying compartmentalization, below are a few of the broad industry sectors we're helping our clients engage and challenge.
Software & Apps
With an ever increasing array of new distribution models, privacy legislation, and innovative integrations, software businesses face a complex and multifaceted legal landscape that requires extensive cross-industry legal experience.
At the nexus of art, technology, and media; video game businesses face uniquely integrated and complex commercial, employment, and intellectual property law issues that demand conscientiously tailored legal services.
Entertainment & Media
The rapid democratization and globalization of content production and distribution has opened up a sea of new opportunity for content companies and with it, brand new legal challenges in financing, licensing, and intellectual property.
Food, Beverage & Agritech
With increasingly savvy consumers demanding more healthful and sustainable products and frictionless distribution services, our team is equipped to help your business anticipate and overcome the supply chain and regulatory hurdles ahead.
Craft Distilling & Brewing
As consumers clamber for local and unique offerings, craft distilling and brewing entrepreneurs have blended age-old crafts with cutting edge technology to create a disruptive movement that continues to face stiff challenges from both regulators and incumbents.
Legalization has presented entrepreneurs with new opportunities across dozens of industry sectors. Whether you are seeking to market a new product, service, or manufacturing process, practical legal advice can be the difference in being first to market.
Biotech firms are innovating every single day, but they encounter a mountain of challenges from government regulation to intellectual property issues, financing concerns, commercialization, and liability matters.
A new generation of clean technology businesses are meeting the need to commercialize new innovations that help power the world economy while reducing strain on our shared environment.
These disruptive technology forces are changing the way consumers and businesses make investments, raise equity, borrow money, make payments and use currency – and require deep regulatory and financial services experience.