A Helpful Checklist for New Small Businesses in Canada

by Jake Nordquist
9/26/2018 11:50:37 PM

Starting a Small Business in Canada

Congratulations, you’re starting a new small business! It’s an exciting time, and you want to make sure you get things right the first time around. From the required paperwork to considerations around .ca domains, here are some of the things new small business owners in Canada need to know to get started.

Choose a business structure

Your business can be structured as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. The structure you choose impacts how income is reported, what type of tax returns you file each year, and much more.

Because each business type is so different, and there are so many small details to consider, working with an accountant or attorney is often the quickest and easiest way to make sure everything is in order.

Will you have employees?

In Canada, employers are required to complete certain payroll requirements. You are generally considered an employer if you:

  • Pay salaries, wages, bonuses, vacation pay, or tips to employees, or;
  • Provide certain taxable benefits, such an automobile or allowances, to employees.

Register for a business number and CRA program account

These nine-digit business numbers are used when working with the federal government, provincial governments, and even municipal jurisdictions. However, not all businesses are required to have a business number.

You may also need a Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) program account to meet some tax obligations and receive certain benefits, refunds, rebates, and more. Here’s an example where a CRA account is not required:

  • You start a new business, but do not want to hire employees. After researching further, you learn that it’s not necessary to register for GST/HST. A business number is also not needed.

Now, let’s assume your business has grown, and you must now register for GST/HST. You’ll register for the accounts and receive a business number. If you later decide to hire employees, you’ll have to register for a payroll deductions program account (which will be attached to the existing business number).

Create a records-keeping system (that you’ll actually use)

You must maintain records of all important business-related documents. Whether you use apps, an old-fashioned paper filing system, or a folder in your inbox, keeping everything organized and accessible will make tax-time much easier.

Register for a website with .ca domain

Nowadays, all small businesses need a web presence, and you may want to consider purchasing a .ca domain instead of a .com domain. According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, 77% of Canadian consumers prefer to use websites with .ca.

A Canadian domain can also give your company an organic, local SEO boost, because there are fewer domains to compete with, plus location is also considered in rankings.

Find a place to work

You could work from a home office or coffee shop, but there are better options that can elevate the professionalism of your small business. Virtual offices are a great solution, and you can choose from coworking spaces, private offices, and more. To check out some of Intelligent Office’s Canadian locations, visit this page.

Related

Additional Resources to Help Grow your Small Business

White Paper

How Mail Services Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

In today's mobile economy, digital entrepreneurs often work from varying locations. While this can help save money and increase agility, it comes with one big drawback:

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants Provide a Competitive Edge

Countless small business owners rely on remote assistants or offsite receptionists to help with critical organizational duties. While some are content to offload simple tasks to self-employed, stay-at-home support people, others demand more comprehensive services...NULL

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants & Remote Assistants: A Comparison

While the traditional virtual assistant is likely to work from home, an executive-level virtual assistant is part of a greater brick-and-mortar presence. This fundamental difference opens the door for extensive training opportunities that broaden the professional's support capabilities.

Read More >
White Paper

Overview of Virtual Offices, Executive Suites and Co-Working Spaces

Work has changed. In an age of instant communication, cloud-based applications, and workplace versatility, the era of the traditional office culture has come to an end. Providers of virtual offices, executive suites and co-working spaces have effectively liberated the nation’s work culture, adding dynamic and energizing new choices...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 1 of 4: Introducing the SBA

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, navigating the tricky terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a major challenge. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs and operators have access to one of the most effective resources in the worldwide market...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 2 of 4: Starting a Small Business

Navigating the complex terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a challenge for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs have access to one of the most effective resources in the world via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 3 of 4: Managing a Small Business

Congratulations! You have gotten your small business up and running. Now what? This part of our four-part series on leveraging the Small Business Administration to help you launch and manage a small business will focus on the operational aspects of running a business. Whether you need leadership strategies, day-to-day decision making skills
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 4 of 4: Marketing, Sales and Contracting

Understanding marketing and sales as well as the technical complexity of our Internet-driven society gives entrepreneurs a distinct advantage over the competition. This final segment of our four-part report will take a deeper dive into the logistics and philosophy of marketing and sales and their impact on your business success.
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

DIY Marketing Tools

If a business isn’t marketing, its potential customers are not finding it. Small to medium size businesses often struggle with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. New DIY marketing tools, however, have eliminated the need to spend astronomical amounts on online and traditional marketing. These tools
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office for Legal Professionals

Law firms (large and small) and solo legal practitioners alike can use virtual office services and spaces to run their entire legal operations or as a supplement to a home office or traditional brick-and-mortar offices. Virtual office services can be particularly useful during trial preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Finance & Tax Professionals

Finance and tax professionals, whether they work solo or as part of a larger firm, can use virtual office spaces and services to stay on top of their workloads, especially during the busy tax season. Professional virtual office spaces can be particularly useful when back-to-back client meetings are necessary...

Read More >
White Paper

Traveling Entrepreneur

As business people and entrepreneurs continually strive to grow their business, doing so frequently involves traveling around the country to attend networking or tradeshow events, meeting clients and prospects on their own turf, and getting some face-time with colleagues, contractors or employees who may operate in a remote location. Preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office Eguide

Have you ever wondered why some small businesses are successful and others are not and what do these successful companies do to gain an edge over their competition? Through our years of experience
... Click to read more

Read More >