The Business of Brothels

Well, yesterday’s Ontario Court of Appeal decision certainly has generated a lot of discussion. You know, the one where Brothels are now legal, well they will be in a year if the Supreme Court of Canada doesn’t disagree.

In our office the talk was not of the morality of the decision (we’re lawyers after all, discussions of morals are better left to those with higher callings) rather it was the business aspect of brothels.

The business issues will not be any different that any other business: they are a commercial enterprise and will have to be carried on in areas zoned appropriately. They will require a licence, be subject to all of the Government regulations the rest of the business world is subject to and they will pay taxes.

Trademark will be an interesting legal/marketing issue as the brothels are not allowed to communicate what they do.

Additionally, determining at what level charging fees to manage the brothels is exploitation and therefore illegal: some Bay Street Law Firms might want to avoid working for brothels given the fees they charge could be exploitative. (joking, of course)

An interesting decision generating interesting discussions. We certainly live in interesting times.

Inga B. Andriessen JD