Although there are no specific Law Society requirements that
you must indicate your business structure on your letterhead, you must first
determine whether there are any legal requirements to do so on your letterhead.
These requirements may be contained in the Partnerships Act (i.e. for general
or limited liability partnerships), the Business Corporations Act (Ontario)
(i.e. for professional corporations), or in other statutes. Where there is no
legal requirement to include this information on your letterhead, you should
assess whether there are any other reasons why you should.
Rule 4.2-1 of the lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct and
subrule 8.03(2) of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct provide
that a lawyer or paralegal’s marketing, which includes letterhead, must be
- demonstrably true, accurate and verifiable
- neither misleading, confusing, or deceptive, nor
likely to mislead, confuse or deceive, and
- in the best interests of the public and is
consistent with a high standard of professionalism
As a result, even where there is no legal requirement to
include your business structure on your letterhead, where you plan to exclude this
information, you must ensure that the letterhead is neither misleading, confusing
or deceiving to others, nor likely to be.
Furthermore, where you choose to list firm partners, associates
or staff members on your letterhead, you should consider clearly designating
which firm members are lawyers, paralegals or non-licensees in order to comply
with your professional obligations not to mislead, confuse, or deceive others in