How To: Start a Business in Canada in 8 Steps

How To: Start a Business in Canada in 8 Steps

Starting a business is an exciting prospect for any entrepreneur. But taking your business idea from dream to reality can have its challenging moments.

If you’ve decided to take the plunge into business ownership, congrats! If you’ve chosen to start a business in Canada, then you’re already off to a great start. Canada is one of the world’s strongest economies, boasts strong trade agreements with other countries and is home to an ever-growing, highly skilled and diverse workforce.

So what now? If you’re unsure of the next steps, don’t worry – we’ve got you. Here’s our 8-step guide on how to get your business set up for success in Canada.

Step 1 – Dig Deep

Before starting a business, it is vital to carry out market research. Your market research should investigate your potential rivals or partners. Crucially, if no one else is doing what you want to do, it should investigate why not and outline if there is a good reason for this.

Once you’ve researched the market, you need to ask yourself who is your customer? Once you’ve defined who your ideal customer is, you should focus on selling your product or service to them. More importantly, you need to build trust and a relationship with them to ensure they buy from you again.

This process should be the central focus of all your entrepreneurial activity. Check out this handy guide on determining your ideal customer.

Step 2 – What’s the Game Plan?

A business can’t go anywhere without a business plan. To start a business in Canada, you’re going to need one.

A business plan may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a mega-document. It’s basically who you are, what you plan to achieve, how you plan to overcome the risks involved and provide the returns anticipated”. Your plan should include a precise and clear narrative that sells your company, backed up by sound financial figures and thorough research.

Step 3 – Make a Name for Yourself 

Once you have all your research and business plan in place, it’s time to give your company a name.

When choosing a name for your business, it’s important to think about how you’d like your business to be perceived by the public. Make sure the name in some way reflects the product or service you offer – this will help you avoid ambiguity with your target market.

It’s also important to go with something that is memorable, easy to pronounce, and unique – best to avoid trademark issues.

Once you’ve given your business an identity, it is important that you protect it. Registering your business means that you won’t have to worry about someone taking your name, or more importantly, undermining your big idea when your venture becomes successful.

You may also want to ensure you have a relevant domain name available for your business. One that matches your business name as closely as possible. Crucially, it could help protect your interests in a partnership scenario.

Here is a short list of things you should check off in order to make your business a reality:

– Registered business name

– Business structure (LLC, corporation, partnership, etc)

– Main office location

– Trademarkscopyrights or patents

– A domain name for your business’ website and team emails

A lot of these things are easy to organise, but it’s recommended that you consult a lawyer to put your mind at ease and make sure you’ve covered everything.

Step 4 – Make It Official 

To legally register your business with the Government of Canada you must first visit the Business Registration Online (BRO) page.

The requirements for your business may be different based upon your business type.

Provincial requirements can vary for corporations, sole traders and cooperatives.

Your business must have the following to start legally operating:

– Federal tax ID

– Provincial tax ID

– The relevant permits/licenses

– Business bank account

– Business Name registration (if the business name differs from the company name)

A full list of the contact details for provincial and territorial registrars is available on the Canada Business Network site.

Step 5 – Money, Money, Money!

There are lots of ways to raise the funds you need to get your business up and running.

You may be able to finance the business yourself. This could take a while and comes with a lot of financial risk. But if it works out, the reward is that you would be in total control of where your company is going.

You can also seek a bank loan or line of credit. If you’d rather not deal with the banks, perhaps your friends and family have enough faith in you and your idea to invest.

There are several other ways to raise your capital including online crowdfunding, applying to angel investor groups and joining a startup incubator.

You could even consider taking a small business loan from new-age financial companies who can help you where banks turn you down.

The Government of Canada has a searchable, online directory of more than 1,000 federal grant programs that your business may be eligible for, and would cost you zero equity.

Step 6 – Get Some Expert Advice

Another way in which your fledgling startup can seek support is by speaking to your local Canadian Trade Commissioner‘s office.

The Canadian Trade Commission has offices present across 160 cities in several countries. The Government of Ontario has fifteen locations worldwide to help you with setting up your business in Canada with every support imaginable.

They can offer you advice and information on free-trade agreements, tariffs, sanctions and export controls.

Step 7 – Take It To The Bank

Every business needs a bank account. Opening a business bank account differs from opening a personal account, so there are some things you should prepare in advance. Luckily for you, we’ve got a whole blog on that topic!

Check out: How to Open a Business Bank Account in Canada

Step 8 – Take On The World

Right about now you’re feeling pretty good about yourself, as it’s finally time to bring your idea to life. If things take off the way you hope, growth is inevitable.

Soon, you’ll be able to expand your team to help you with the increased workload – and depending on what your product or service is, you may even start doing some international business. 

For all businesses, especially ones still in the early stages, it’s important to save money in any way you can. An unnecessary expense all companies face are the high fees involved with sending and receiving payments.

Sending wire transfers can cost you anywhere from $30 to $80 per payment. Receiving payments isn’t always free either – especially if you’re being paid in a foreign currency and getting hit by poor exchange rates.

These costs add up quickly, and can really hurt a small business’ cash flow. But, thankfully, there is a better way.

How Remitr Helps Your Business

Remitr’s Global Network allows you to send money to over 150 countries worldwide…in just 1-2 business days.

We offer the best live foreign exchange rates, and charge a flat fee of just $5 to most countries. We also do same-day local payments here in Canada at a cost of only $1 per transaction.

We’ve even got you covered for receiving payments! If you’re a SaaS company, e-Commerce store or an Exporter – the Remitr Global Business Account (GBA) makes getting paid painless. Receive in USD, EUR or GBP from your customers or your payment processor, and save up to 2% in currency fees.

To sum it all up, we run your business payments while allowing you to run your business. We were built for small businesses, to free up your time and cashflow to help provide you with more room to grow. Sign up now and enjoy the ease of having your business payments be effortless and on-time, no matter where you do business!

Wondering how we can best serve your company’s unique needs? Send us a message or arrange a call with our Business Payments Specialist today.

Remitr is the better alternative to cheques, bank visits and wire transfers (they all suck). The Remitr Global Network allows fast, often 1-day, business payments worldwide. Remitr also offers businesses a free Global Business Account for receiving online sales payouts in USD, GBP and EUR – all without the bank fees or the delays.

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