How to Start a Business
How to Start a Business in Canada
Everything you need to start a brand new business
Starting a business in Canada is a rewarding venture, but not a simple one. Once you have a business idea, you must take the proper steps to get your business off the ground and profitable.
Step One: Prepare a Business Plan
Your business plan will be the core of your strategy for as long as you own your business. The plan should help you set a roadmap and guide for the most important aspects of your business, like financials, structure and marketing.
If you've never written a business plan, it's important to do your research and find out what to include. The more detail you include, the easier it will be to find potential investors, so make sure to outline the market gap for your idea, startup costs, revenue projections, advertising plans, and anything else you have identified early on.
Step Two: Choose a Business Name and Structure
Your business name should reflect you—your own name, your business idea or personal detail, it's up to you. But all business names should be unique and easy to remember, so check your business name ideas with the existing registry.
You also have to determine your business structure. Are you setting up a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation? Decide which structure makes the most sense for you by understanding what each structure means.
Step Three: Register your Business by Province
Each province has its own process for registering a business, so make sure you choose the correct territory before registering. Once you know where your business will be set up, the following steps are required:
Step Four: Register for Zoning and Taxes
Depending on your province, you may also need to apply for specific permits and federal or provincial licenses. You can check if your business location or practices require permits here.
Additionally, there are two main taxes that businesses collect: the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Retail or Provincial Sales Tax (PST). Many provinces combine these two taxes into a single tax known as the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
Step Five: Purchase Business Insurance
If you are providing goods, purchasing equipment or leasing a store space, it's important to find the right business insurance so your new business is covered.
In addition to insuring property and assets, you might want to opt for Liability and Loss of Business insurance, both of which offer specific protection. It can help to speak to commercial insurance agents to find out what is best meets the needs of your business.
Once you take the necessary steps to start your new business in Canada, you'll want to follow your business plan in terms of hiring, marketing and promotion. Remember that keeping detailed records will help when tax season comes. Starting a business takes a lot of work, but the rewards can be incomparable.