HOW TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS IN CANADA
September 22nd at 11:32am Published by sharpshooteradmin
Thinking about starting a new business? Running a company can be an amazing adventure, and it can even give you more security than a regular day job. Being your own boss may sound like heaven on earth, but what you have to remember is that it’s still a lot of hard work.
A great business exists where what you love meets what other people will pay for. Before you leave your day job to start a new company, be sure that your product or service has a market.
Entrepreneurs know that establishing your identity as a business involves more than a website, a shop, and a sign. In fact, your business has several different identities: legal, financial, market, and operational. For a successful business enterprise, you will need to establish all four, and in a particular order. However, before you “set up” your business, you should take some preliminary steps first.
Starting a Business in Canada Step by Step
Step 1: Make Sure Running a Small Business is Right for You
Focus on your skills, experience and passion. Go with what you already know or don’t mind learning fast. Evaluate business-lifestyle fit and test your idea.
Step 2: Understand Business Structures
You will need to decide what type of business structure you want. A sole proprietorship, registering a partnership, incorporating your business, or amalgamating corporations each have pros and cons. Find out which is best for you.
There are other business structures, such as societies, franchises and cooperatives to consider.
Step 3: Develop a Business Plan
You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Many entrepreneurs write a business plan only when they need to secure start-up financing. However, your plan is far more than a document for banks and investors to read; it’s an invaluable roadmap for launching and growing your business. Your business plan is vital for success and financing. It’s your roadmap: your goals, strategies, target market, financial forecast, and much more.
Step 4: Secure Your Financing
Every business will need working capital in order to pay for start up expenses and in order to operate until the business is profitable. Many people keep their jobs while they are starting their own business. That way, there’s a guaranteed income to help them while they’re starting out.
Step 5: Choose a Business Name and Have it Approved
It’s a good idea to have a first, second and third choice for your business name, just in case the name you want is not available. You can do some preliminary research for potential conflicts by looking through telephone listings, business directories or similar publications.
Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:
- Avoid hard-to-spell names.
- Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
- Conduct a thorough Internet search.
- Search and register a domain name
- Use a name that conveys some meaning.
- Conduct a trademark search.
For database business name search in Canada and other resources go to :
You can download the Name Approval Request form. The form also includes guidelines for choosing a name.
The form is also available and can be processed at most OneStop locations. To ﬁnd the OneStop location nearest you, call 1 877 822-6727.
Step 6: Register Your Business
Register your business to prepare for various aspects of operations, such as web domain, taxes, employees, and trade.
Before you can start operating under a business the proper paperwork needs to be filed, unless you are operating under your exact legal name. The name you choose needs to be unique from all other businesses.
If your business is a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you can register it quickly and easily with the Province of British Columbia online using the OneStop Business Registration Service.
You will need to register your business. You may also need to obtain a Business Number, GST/HST Account, or other tax related accounts with the Canada Revenue Agency. Click here for more information
Step 7: Secure Your Online Presence
In today’s world it is almost essential for a business to have an online presence, whether through company listings, social media or a company website.
Creating a website for your business is no longer the expensive and time-consuming activity it used to be; plenty of templates exist in which you can simply input your business information and publish. In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:
- Setting up social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
- Creating accounts on review sites (Yelp, Google Reviews, etc)
- Registering for a local Google profile
Step 8: Register for Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
Register for Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT). If you provide accommodation in certain areas of the province, you may also be required to charge MRDT on the purchase price of accommodation. The MRDT is currently collected in over 50 municipalities throughout the province and is used to fund tour ism marketing for the local area. To find out more about the MRDT, see the PST on Accommodation Bulletin (PST 120) (PDF).
Step 9: Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST)
If you sell or provide goods and services in Canada and your annual world-wide GST taxable sales, including those of any associates, are more than $30,000, you may be required to register for goods and services tax (GST).
To register online with the Canada Revenue Agency, go to the OneStop Business Registry.
Step 10: Complete Other Registrations
You may also need to complete other provincial, federal or local government registrations. The registrations that follow can be completed through the OneStop Business Registry.