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Starting a New Vending Business

Expert: Julie King

Chris asked:

I am starting a vending business in May 2002. This is a new vending machine that does not have any competition really on the market yet. I have been saving money and making contacts for my business in order to have a quicker start. It will be a part time business for the first 6 months unless I happen to get funding which will allow me to purchase more machines and therefore run a profitable business the very first year in business.

I'm not too sure where to start, and what department/agency I need to contact. Your help would be very appreciated.

Julie King answered:

Congratulations! It sounds like you have done a lot of hard work already, and you must be excited as May 2002 approaches.

Based on the information you have provided in your question, I am going to assume that you have a good handle on the planning stage, and need information on how to actually get started.

First, by now you probably know what type of business you want to register. (If not, check out the article in our Starting a Business Guide that explains the pros and cons of the different forms.

Your next step is to register the business. How this is done depends on the province you will start the business in, and the type of business you plan to form (sole proprietorship, partnership or incorporation). Right now in our Starting a Business Guide we explain how to register in several provinces, and we are expanding the list every month. Hopefully we already have an explanation for your business.

If you are in a province not listed please let us know, and we'll look into it for you. If you plan to incorporate, which may be a good idea for your situation, I would recommend using the services of either a paralegal or a lawyer.

This is also the time to apply for any special permits or licenses. Do you need a GST/PST number? What about a business number? You need to do a bit of research to determine what, exactly, your business needs. Most communities have local business resources centres that are free to drop-in users, and they will have information on permits and licensing obligations that you must address. As well, the municipal office of the town or city you live in should have this information. You can find information about GST, a Business Number and your tax obligations (from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) online at

After that, you'll want to develop any corporate materials, including a logo, business cards, letterhead, brochures, sales letters, etceteras. You may want to set up a bank account in your company's name, which you can do once your business has been registered.

About the author

Julie King is the co-founder and managing editor of CanadaOne, Canada's first small business portal.

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