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How to Start a Small Business in Canada

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Starting a business in Canada will require some expert guidance. First-timers are likely to find it somewhat overwhelming. You need to be aware of the different steps involved to successfully start a business here.

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Steps to Starting a Business in Canada

Steps to Starting a Business in Canada

  • Realistic business ideas: You need good ideas to start a business not only in Canada but also anywhere in the world. Identify your skills, expertise and the prevailing market trends. Find out ways to enhance existing concepts or come up with something new that can provide solutions to people’s problems. Test your idea before investing money and time in it.
  • Business plan: Research your target market, products and the industry as a whole. Also, get to know your customers and their demands. This will allow you to approach potential lenders and investors confidently and test your business idea. The plan you devise should be thorough and complete.

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  • Type of business ownership: Three basic business ownership forms are allowed to choose in Canada to avail a business structure. These are namely, corporation, partnership and sole proprietorship. Also are present within those a few options like a limited partnership or cooperative corporation. Determining the structure type for your business will depend on numerous factors, tax deductions and liability desired for your business.
  • Winning name: Starting a business in Canada involves considering numerous marketing and legal aspects. More name restrictions are in place on corporations when compared to sole proprietorships. While naming your business, you need to take into consideration the legal issues. Once you have identified the name, get it registered with the concerned authorities. When marketing is concerned, your business name is to communicate very clearly the nature of your business. Hence, it should be positive, memorable, visually interesting and appealing.
  • Business license: Although not all businesses are required to have a valid license, some are allowed to operate legally in the municipalities. Visit online government agencies to derive valuable information on business licensing procedures. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also require other permits and licenses.
  • Provincial sales tax registration: Sales tax is yet to get harmonized with federal GST in some Canadian provinces. Hence, registration is mandatory in such provinces to collect as well as remit appropriate provisional tax. If starting a business in Canada in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia or Alberta, registration as PST (provincial sales tax) collector is essential. QST (Quebec Sales Tax) registration is essential in Quebec.
  • HST/GST Registration: If the gross income of your business crosses $30,000 for the next 4 consecutive quarters, then GST and HST registration are mandatory. However, respiration is limited to selected businesses only like limousine and taxi services, etc. If your business falls in this bracket, then immediate registration can help derive Input Tax Credits. It allows you to get back the amount paid on GST/HST registration.

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  • Additional business insurance: Your business nature may invite additional protection apart from the employment insurance that is legally required. A wide range of policies exists to cover general liability, property, disability, key people and business interruption. Consult a good lawyer, insurance agent to suit perfectly your business needs.
  • Small business financing: If you lack the capital, then you can seek funds from various other sources. You can come across numerous options like government grants, sharing equity and debt financing. Get to know their differences and obligations, to choose the right one.
  • Maintain proper records from start: Doing this will allow you to pay taxes and manage your accounts effectively and easily. Open up a separate bank account for your business as well as organize all business receipts. Use good accounting software to stay organized. It can also help you to grow your business smoothly.

This way, starting a business in Canada can be quick and hassle-free.

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