Starting a Business in Canada

Starting a business in Canada can be exciting - but scary. This in-depth, free how-to guide has the answers you need to get your business up and running - successfully!


Get Ready: What you Need to Know about Planning & Registering Your Business


Step 1: Make Sure You Are Your Ready for Entrepreneurship
It is easy to come up with an idea to start a business, but not so easy to actually launch and build a profitable business. Eighty per cent of businesses fail in the first five years. Before you take the risk of starting a business, make sure:

  1. That you are ready to start your own company
  2. That you have assessed your business readiness

Step 2: Evaluate Your Options
When starting a business, there are important differences between starting from scratch, buying a privately owned business and buying a franchise. To know what steps you need to take be sure to read these articles:

  1. Ten Steps to Your Own Business - for starting from scratch.
  2. Canadian Franchise Guide - if you are buying a franchise in Canada.
  3. Comprehensive Guide to Buying a Business in Canada - if you are buying a business (franchise or independently owned).

Step 3: Prepare a Business Plan
You should not skip this important step ... even if it means that you just jot your ideas down on scraps of paper or a napkin! Be sure to read:

  1. Business Plan Workshop - a practical guide written by the creator of CandaOne's award-winning business plan!
  2. Business Planning for Non-Planners - great advice if you find that you have "business plan block".

Step 4: Register Your Business -select a province/territory
AB BC MB NB NF NS  ON PE  SK YT




Handy Provincial Tax Links (PST): (select a province/territory)
ONQUNFLMBSKABBCNUNWTYKNBNSPEI
ON | QU | NFL | MB | SK | AB | BC | NU | NWT | YK | NB | NS | PEI
Things to consider when starting or buying a business:

What Form of Business Is Best for you?

Are you an independent contractor or freelancer?

Selecting a Company Name

Choosing a Year-End

Help! What Taxes Must I Pay?

Demystifying the GST / HST

HST Primer: What Businesses in Ontario and British Columbia Need to Know

Business Partnerships Need Pre-Nuptial Agreements


Now that You're Registered ... What's Next?

12 Steps to Entrepreneurial Success
Be sure to read this great overview on getting your business up and running. This twelve-step series is a good introduction to what you need to know to develop a successful business.

Creating an Action Plan for your Canadian Small Business
It is also time to get organized - which makes this a must-read article.

Below you will find links to the best articles we have on starting a business in Canada. You can also check out our stand-alone guides on marketingsales and money management.

 

Leveraging Social Media: Help with Twitter, Facebook, LInked In, Blogging & More!

Killer Facebook Targeting
Dramatically increase the response rates from you Facebook ads using this advice from Marty Weintraub, author of Killer Facebook Ads.

Using Facebook for Business
With over 400,000,000 active users worldwide, Facebook is a marketing channel like few others. These tips will help you understand how to put the power of Facebook's user base to work for your business.

Blogging for Business: How to Humanize Your Business and Connect with Customers
Tara Hunt of Buyosphere gave out some tips on how to use blogging as a tool to interact, engage with and increase your customer base.

 

Be Awesome: How Social Media Can Help You Use Un-Marketing in Your Business
With over 85,000 Twitter followers and a book that hit the bestseller list as it came off the presses, you will want to hear what Scott Stratten has to say about how small businesses can use social media and unmarketing.


Groupon and Beyond: How Group-Buying Sites Are Transforming Business
Increasingly, businesses are hopping on the group-buying bandwagon. Before you offer deep discounts online, consider what your business has to gain—and lose.

 

Marketing & PR

The Marketing & PR Checklist
Use this checklist to plan, track, and evaluate your marketing efforts.

Know your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
This article looks at how you can power drive your sales and marketing by understanding what makes your business unique.

Marketing Biz: Getting Started on a Shoestring
If you had the ear of a leading marketing guru, what questions who you ask? We were recently fortunate enough to have this opportunity, as we interviewed Jay Levinson, the noted author of Guerrilla Marketing.

Marketing 101
Marketing/advertising that will help you get your new business up & running.

Successful Sales
Success through sales — how a plan of action can help you turn business leads into new business.

News Release Builder
This online workshop teaches you how to write and distribute a press release - go directly to step 4 to build your own press release online.

Media Relations
A basic primer for small businesses.

The Marketing Phrase Book
(review) Are you tongue-tied when it comes to writing promotions? This book is a valuable resource for professionals with writer's block.

Upcoming Business Events
Our events calendar contains information on upcoming business events across Canada.

Interpersonal Networking Skills
Do I/don't I? skills for good interpersonal networking.

Seeing Things from the Customer's Perspective
Step in to your customers shoes and consider how you can improve your business with this simple exercise.

Canadian Trade Shows
Looking for Canadian tradeshows? Be sure to check out these online resources.



Money Matters

Financing your Business: Preparation Steps
Before starting your search for capital, be prepared; this article lists the things you should do before going to the bank.

Financial Glossary
Use our financial glossary to discover the meaning of terms such as working capital, liquidity, and fixed assets.

A Consumer Credit Rating Primer
A good overview of what factors affect consumer credit ratings.

Accounting 101: Balance Sheet Basics
If owners equity calculations send your head spinning, read on for a clear understanding of balance sheet basics for small business owners.

Understanding Financial Statements
This article briefly explains the balance sheet and income statement, two financial statements are used by financial institutions to evaluate a company's loan application.

Financial Ratios Revisited
A look at the ratios most commonly used by the bank to assess your credit application.

Understanding the Bankers' Formula
Need to secure debt financing? This multi-part article explains how you can improve the odds of securing credit from a bank.

A Guide to Expense Deductions in Your Canadian Business
The federal government's rules for tax deductions for businesses are not always clear-cut. Here, we help you navigate around some of the stickier ones.

Collecting Debts
If you are reluctant - uncomfortable - collecting debts, consider this advice.

Other Financing Channels When your financing channels are limited, consider these options.

Cut Costs without Cutting Corners
The day to day expenses of running a business can quickly add up. This list of cost cutting ideas can save you money without losing face with your customers.

The Ins and Outs of Individual Credit
You've decided to run a credit check on a potential client to ensure that you'll get paid for your services. Once the report arrives what are you really looking at and how can you use the information to make the best decision? This article can help.



Management

Mission and Vision Statements
Vision and goals may seem like the "soft-stuff" of business, but as seasoned business owners know, these intangible elements play a very important role in the success—or failure—of a business.

The Formula for Success
What do some entrepreneurs do differently that enables them to achieve almost mythical business success? This month we look at the characteristics that separate successful entrepreneurs from their peers.

Success Requires Action not Talk!
You need urgency to be an entrepreneur. If you hire someone who doesn't have it, it could sap your resources and ruin your business.

Common Sense Leadership
Do you ever find yourself wondering if you are the leader your employees need? Or perhaps their actions don't seem to line up with your expectations. Paul Adams shows you how you can become a smart leader with these simple steps.

Success is Managing with Common Sense and a Flair for Leadership
Leadership skills are critical to the success of a new venture. Do you have them? Whether or not you think you're a gifted leader, you should consider putting management theories aside and focus on common sense as you build your business.

Awaken the Leader Within You!
Do you want to improve your leadership skills? Here are ten easy steps that will help you awaken the leader in you and rekindle your passion for greatness.

Success is in the details
The failure of a business doesn't happen overnight, it is often the product of neglect, and overlooked details. Learn to spot the warning signs before your business becomes a statistic.

Lessons in Leadership: Decision Making a Must for Success
Lessons in Leadership: Rewarding Extra Effort
Making heroes of employees is common practice with many well-managed progressive companies. In this article Dr. Paul Adams looks at the advantages - as well as the possible pitfalls - of using rewards to motivate your employees.

Work Smarter — Not Harder
How many of us work harder, when we should really work smarter? This article looks at how you can use strategy to accomplish more .. with less!



Other Great Articles

Are You Waiting for the Perfect Goal?
Successful entrepreneurs are driven by goals, which are integral to their success. Here's how you can define goals that will get you moving.

If Only I Could Get Organized!
Reg Pirie offers some excellent answers to the question many business people ask - How do I get organized?

Time Management: Interrupt Interruptions!
A piece of paper and a pencil are all the strategy you need to save time.

Don't Put it Off Any Longer: Cure that Procrastination Virus
Do you find yourself waiting to the last minute to tackle projects? This article can help you cure your procrastination habit.

Keys to Home-Based Business Success
Follow these 3 P's and you will be on the right track to successfully compete in your home-based business.

HR Benefits for Small Businesses
An outstanding benefits plan can help you grab great employees out of the reach of competitors and keep them happy at your company.

Ten Things You Must Know Before You Sign a Business Lease
Things you need to know before negotiating a business lease.

Systematize and Simplify
Are you tired of hectic deadlines and having too much to do? Here's a tip that will help you reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks.

Doomed to Fail Before You Start
Want to start your own business? Reg Pirie offers excellent advice that can help you avoid business failure!

Who Needs a Mentor!
A sounding board, a trusted resource. Someone who can listen - and challenge you to new levels. Mentors offer untold value to new entrepreneurs; in this article Reg Pirie explains why you need them, and how to find them.

Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking
Stomp that #2 fear and gain the skills to knock their socks off the next time you represent your company in front of a live audience.

Unclutter for Success!
Learn how to reduce stress and frustration with these tips for uncluttering your business space.

So, You Want to Be a Consultant
There is more than meets the eye to these people then jetting around the world. We get the goods on what it really takes to make it in this business.


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