Letterhead

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 your marketing.

Additional Resources:

Associates versus Association

Business Structures