Whether you’d like to lend money to help a family member or as a commercial venture, there are some important guidelines to be aware of. Not only can lending be a risky undertaking, but there are laws that govern how it must be done. Universal lending legislation does not exist. It varies from place to place.

In this article, I will assume that you have already made the decision to grant somebody a loan. …

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Credit: the New York Public Library

There are a lot of regulations in the business world. There are plenty in my industry — real estate and business financing — in particular. There are rules that govern how much interest can be charged. There are laws for when the interest clock can start ticking. There is legislation around granting mortgages and signing personal guarantees. And it all can vary based on the jurisdiction. Some areas are relatively easy to navigate, while others can be an administrative nightmare.

I have recently cut back on the business I do in one Canadian province because of its lending laws. I won’t specify which one in this article. However, its regulations are so burdensome, confusing and expensive to comply with that it’s seldom worth it to provide financing there. That province essentially assumes that all borrowers — whether they are large, established businesses or desperate and vulnerable people — are meek, helpless and unable to fend for themselves. Moreover, there are at least three separate acts that govern lending in that province, not to mention federal rules. …

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Last year at a party a guy sat down next to me. He slid over so that our bodies were touching and put his arm around me. He knew that I, a straight man, was married to a woman. I’m sure of that because it came up in earlier conversation. Feeling uncomfortable with his arm around me, I got up and talked to somebody else.

That’s all that happened.

There was no awkwardness. The man and I chatted more later on in the night.

I think about that five-second interaction a lot. I ask myself, why did he do that? Rationally speaking, there was such little upside for him. Even if he didn’t know I was married, statistically the chances were that I was not into men. We were also in public. I could have reacted differently. I could have been offended and caused an embarrassing scene. We met for the first time that night, so how did he know I wasn’t a bigot? …


Alexis Assadi

Alexis Assadi is a financier who enjoys contributing to the public discourse. He previously hosted a podcast called “Income Investing with Alexis Assadi.”

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