How to Get a Business Started Guide for Canadians

How to Get a Business Started Guide

So the title is a mouthful but I promise you this is a resource you will want to bookmark if you’re a Canadian looking to start a Business. I am going to list the necessities and paperwork you will have to complete to officially be able to start operating under your new business name.

  1. You’re going to have to figure out what type of business you will legally run.
    • Sole proprietorship
    • Partnership
    • Corporation
    • Joint venture
    • Registered charity
    • Non-profit
  2. Get a Business Number. This is a must have for the Canadian government to be able to identify your business and it to be a legal entity in the country and in your province. This will cost you $
  3. If you are going to be running a business that will make more than $30,000/year you will need to apply for GST #, which is free through Revenue Canada. If you’re not sure if you will surpass the $30,000 mark or will be close apply for one anyway.
  4. This should be step 1 but make sure you purchase the .com domain for your business name. Some new business owners do not understand how much this is worth to their company no matter how small it is. Websites are most companies’ #1 marketing tool right now and drives traffic to their virtual business front very cheaply (Compared to traditional advertising methods etc). You can search for an available domain name at You can purchase a .com or .ca domain name from GoDaddy or Netfirms but DO NOT host your website there. For serious business owners you will want to host your business with either a local reputable company or a world class yet affordable company like Simple Helix. Domain will cost you $10/year and Hosting will cost you $200/year.
  5. Purchase the .ca domain version of what you decide to name your business as well.
  6. Make sure you put special thought into the name and branding of your business before you make a final decision. Run it by as many people you trust and even do a case study/survey on options.
  7. Research the name of your business in and out and don’t get any design/website/signage done before you do a nuans search. This search basically compares proposed corporate name or trade-mark with databases of existing corporate bodies and trade-marks. If you pick a name that someone else has already trade-marked then you cannot use that name. Same goes with a logo that may be too similar to someone else’s. You can easily get sued for setting up a business without doing a nuans search. I believe this still costs $12.00.
  8. Look for investing, grants, and loans opportunities.  You would be astonished to know how much money our Canadian government gives out to health companies, tech companies, environmental companies, non-profit companies, and the list goes on. Millions and millions of dollars. Don’t get too excited you have to do extensive reports and documentation to get most of the larger grants from the government but there is money out there for you.
    • SBFC
    • Dragon’s Den investors
    • IRAP
    • Young Entrepreneurs in Canada
    • You will always have your local banks to go to for loans.

How to Get a Business Started Guide

  1. You will need to get organized in a matter where you create a solid business plan with all the details laid out. If you’re a larger business you will need to deal with payroll, and if you’re starting out by yourself it is a bit easier to learn as you go along. Sitting down with a accounting firm in your local community will help you get payroll and all of your taxes straightened out. You do not want to be disorganized with your accounting/tax information so save yourself the trouble and get it done right by a professional. Spend your time doing what you do best. You can find some solid business plans by Googleing Sample Business Plans. Find one in your industry and get someone who writes extremely well to do a draft. Do at least 3 revisions and presto.
  2. Once you have your business strategically planned out on paper with the finances to back it up you are ready to do business. If you ever have any questions or need help with any of the steps leave a comment! If you need in depth help I can help you under contract in evening and weekend hours.

Canadian Business Guide to Help Get Your Business Up

With this basic Canadian Business Guide to help get your business up and running you will have a good grasp of what needs to be done.  If you have any more input as to what could be added to this list (besides the obvious – research product/service, purchase product, etc) then leave a comment and I will gladly add it if it’s valid.

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