Congratulations, all seems set for you starting a business in Canada!
We bet that like most entrepreneurs, you’re enthusiastic and counting down to when you open the doors to your first customers.
However, running a business in Canada could be quite different from what you’re familiar with, especially if all your entrepreneurial experience has been in a different country.
Going over the details to ensure you have every aspect well-thought-out on paper is the first step towards creating a successful business. The next step is bringing the plans to life, and that is where the rubber hits the road.
In this article, you will find five useful steps for starting a business in Canada.
Five steps for starting a business in Canada
1. Registering your business
This is the very first step in establishing a Canadian entity. You would need to decide what type of business to register–sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or co-operative. You would also need to decide if the business would be registered within provincial or federal jurisdiction. There are also other legal requirements for operating a business in Canada. Depending on the type of business, you might need to register for a Business Number (BN) for tax purposes. You also need to be aware of industry-specific licenses or permits required for your business. A corporate lawyer can help you navigate this terrain which could be quite unfamiliar. So, it is advisable to consult one.
2. Opening a business account
Canada is home to over 40 banks and a good number of them have tailored services for businesses. Opening a bank account in Canada is pretty straightforward – you need to have your business registration documents, your Social Insurance Number (SIN), and two valid government-issued IDs.
Some of the things to consider in choosing a bank for your business are the monthly fees, transaction limits, and customer service.
With most business accounts, you can receive and make payments, purchase assets, get lines of credit, and manage your tax remittances. Bank charges are dependent on the services you sign up for, and you could opt for more or less, depending on what your business needs.
3. Finding a business location
Since the pandemic, the majority of businesses have adopted a virtual workspace model or a hybrid of physical and virtual. However, businesses in the hospitality, retail, logistics, manufacturing, and similar sectors that require physical offices, warehouses, or production space, might require having a physical workspace, and renting might be inevitable.
If you have decided that renting is the way to go, you need to ensure that the rental space meets safety regulations, and is suitable for your business operation. You would also need to follow COVID-19 public health guidelines for a safe workplace. If you’d like to save cost on overhead, and I bet you would, some smart options to consider are co-working spaces, hoteling desks (the Airbnb of office space) tool libraries, maker spaces, day storages, and third party logistics companies (3PL), depending on the type of products or services you offer.
4. Hiring employees
Finding the ideal team is one of the biggest factors for business success. It is both a costly and time-consuming process, so you want to get it right.
There are quite a few job sites, such as Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster, Neuvoo, Job bank, Jobillico etc., where you can post job openings in your company. You could also use the services of a recruiting agency to find the right talent for your business. Another place to look for employees is through your professional network. Also, some government-funded programs offer incentives to cover training costs when you hire their participants.
Canada has strict laws that protect the rights of employees which you must keep abreast of so you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.
5. Setting up your operations
For a new business, you want to avoid getting bogged down by day-to-day operational activities, which could hamper business growth. The good news is it’s 2021 and digital is the way to go. There are digital platforms and software that will help you manage the different aspects of the business, save cost and increase efficiency, whether it is for organizing, scheduling, virtual meetings and conferencing, managing workflow, employees’ details, customer database, payroll, or finance.
Not IT savvy? Don’t worry! Although there is a bit of a learning curve, once you get a hang of it, the hours and dollar investments will eventually pay off and you’d be on a fast track to automating your business.
Now that you have these 5 important aspects of starting a business in Canada covered, you are well on your way to welcoming your first customer to your business.
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