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(This is bit of a follow up to Legally speaking who is the employer, is it whoever is paying the employee, telling them what to do, who owns the assets they use etc?)

When is an organization considered to be its own legal entity? When can a lawsuit be started against an organization and not just an individual? What can be a target of a lawsuit, for example you might not be able to sue specifically the HR department but you could sue the company as a whole?

For example, I had worked for an organization. The paperwork I signed, the branding on the assets and the public image led me to believe this organization was its own self-contained organization. However it was unregistered as a business or non-profit etc. which meant it would be hard to sue because proving address of service would be difficult. It may have more accurately described as a department of a parent company.

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  • In your case there seems to be clear legal entity - the parent company. So you actually don’t have a problem, correct ? Nov 26, 2023 at 16:25

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An organization is its own legal entity when it has been formally organized as such. In most jurisdictions it's not simply a question of registration; there must be formal articles of incorporation or a formal partnership agreement, etc., that satisfies the legal requirements of the jurisdiction where the organization operates.

It may have more accurately described as a department of a parent company.

If the department of the parent company isn't organized as a separate legal entity then it is the parent company, and its actions are the parent company's actions.

If it is acting contrary to company policy or without knowledge or approval of the parent company's senior officers then the parent company's management systems are inadequate. The parent company still bears responsibility for the actions of its various departments.

you might not be able to sue specifically the HR department but you could sue the company as a whole.

That's correct.

the branding on the assets and the public image led me to believe this organization was its own self-contained organization. However it was unregistered as a business or non-profit etc. which meant it would be hard to sue because proving address of service would be difficult

I don't know about British Columbia or Canada, but in many US states there's something known as "DBA" registration. "DBA" stands for"doing business as." This enables an entity to register formally that it is operating under a different name.

For example, if Linda's Lunch, Inc., buys Sam's Sandwiches, Inc., and dissolves its new subsidiary but doesn't want to rebrand the restaurants it has acquired, it can use a DBA registration.

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    In Australia the expression used is “trading as”. The business name needs to be registered.
    – Dale M
    Nov 26, 2023 at 11:13
  • I tried doing a directory search by address as well as name but both found nothing. Nov 27, 2023 at 0:43

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