Starting up a business can be overwhelming, daunting, or confusing, but it can also be an exciting and rewarding career choice as it gives you the chance to be your own boss while building something of lasting value for yourself, your family, and your community. Canada is known to be an amazing place to start a business for several reasons: it has a skilled workforce; access to generous government grants and tax credits; a reasonable cost of living; and opportunities to obtain venture capital and grow money for your business.
Below are the basic things you need to know in order to start a business in Canada:
1. Business Idea: It is important for you to come up with a good business idea because this is where a successful business starts. This can be done by studying your skills, watching current trends, looking out for ways to improve upon existing concepts, understanding the needs of prospective customers, figuring out the core issues that your product or service solves, defining your market niche, and getting a mentor that can provide valuable advice based on personal experiences and help you successfully navigate the process of setting up your venture before you invest serious time and money into it.
2. Write a business plan: This is a plan that serves as a guide for your business, outlining the roadmap, goals, milestones, success measures, and other useful information. Creating a business plan would greatly help in selling your idea to investors and potential stakeholders, planning for operational requirements and setting reasonable financial forecasts.
3. Choosing a business name: As a business owner, picking a good business name will help customers understand what you do and the type of business you run. It is advisable to choose a name that customers can spell and pronounce easily, which is distinctive and not too similar to businesses that already exist. After that, you can check online to ensure no other business bears the same name as you have chosen.
4. Register your business name: If you intend to form a sole proprietorship under a name other than your legal name, registering your business name with the Canadian government is required.
5. Figuring out business ownership: As a business owner, you could decide to run a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or co-operative business.
6. Business License: Although a business license is not necessary for all business types, new businesses will need to get business licenses before they can operate legally within their territories. Also, depending on the business type, a business owner may also need other licenses and permits. The BizPal is a useful tool for determining the type and location of a business, as well as what licenses or permits may be required, as well as information on how to apply and pay.
7. Register for the Goods and Services Tax and the Harmonized Sales Tax: A business number is a 9-digit number which is used for identifying your business when dealing with the government. As a business owner, you would be required to register your business with the local and federal government, depending on where in Canada you are based and the type of business you do.
8. Register for Provincial Sales Tax: Most provincial and territorial governments require businesses to register with them, and the process varies depending on your location.
9. Keep excellent business records from the beginning: Keeping excellent business records from the beginning allows you to pay your taxes and manage your accounting books more quickly and easily.
10. Business Marketing: In the process of making a business plan, as a business owner, you must have included how you would want to promote your business. From there, you can then start translating those plans into goals and specific marketing initiatives so you can get your business off to a great start.
As the business grows, you need to be ready to take on, train, and register employees and get insurance for your business property, goods, and vehicles.