A simple guide to making your dream of becoming an entrepreneur a reality in Canada

Published by Zoom Start-Ups on 23 September, 2021.

            A successful business starts with a good idea. Know your skills, watch current trends, and look for ways to improve upon existing concepts or contribute something unique to the market. Test your idea on friends and family before you invest heavily into it.


            You should have a complete business plan to guide you. Even a put together a quick-start plan that will show you whether your business idea is viable. It will allow you to examine everything about the industry, products, and market for your business. It will also give you something to present to investors and lenders—the ultimate testing ground for your business idea. Let our qualified consultant help with your business plan and documentation.


            Choosing a business name comes with both legal and marketing considerations. In Canada, the government places more name restrictions on corporations than on sole proprietorships, but every business owner will have to consider legal issues when naming their business. Most businesses will at least have to register their name with the Canadian government. In terms of marketing, your business name should communicate what the business does in a way that's visually interesting, memorable, and positive.


            There are only three basic forms of business ownership that you can choose from for a business structure: the sole proprietorship, the partnership, and the corporation. There are a few options within those, such as a cooperative corporation or the limited partnership, but they all fall under these three authorities. Deciding which structure is right for your business will depend on several factors, from your comfort level with liability to the tax deductions you want for your business. Let Zoom Start-Ups can assist with the registration of your business.


            While not necessary for all businesses, many new businesses require business licenses before they can operate legally within their municipalities. Depending on your business you may also need other licenses and permits. Industry Canada's BizPaL is a useful tool for getting information on what permits and licenses are necessary and is available in most provinces and territories. BizPaL will provide a personalized list of the business documents you need for all levels of government.

            In most cases unless your new small business gross income stays under $30,000 for four consecutive quarters, you will have to register for the goods and services tax (GST) and harmonized sales tax (HST). That threshold for the small supplier exemption doesn't apply to all businesses, either. Taxi and limousine services, for instance, always have to register for GST/HST. Let our certified specialist help with the registration of your new business.

            In the provinces which have not harmonized their sales taxes with the federal GST you will also have to register to collect and remit the appropriate provincial tax. If you are starting a business in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, or Saskatchewan, you will need to register as a collector of provincial sales tax (PST). In Quebec, you will need to register for Quebec Sales Tax (QST).


            If you keep good records from the first moment you open your business, things such as accounting and paying taxes become easier.  Keep and organize all your business receipts. After all the work you've put into organizing and launching your business, don't forget one of the most important steps - promote your business. You are a newcomer to Canada and would like to start your own business. Contact our experienced professional consultant at Zoom Start-Ups who can help with all the requirements of getting your business up and running.


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