STARTING A BUSINESS IN CANADA – what you need to know

There’s no doubt that successful businesses start with brilliant ideas. After all, in today’s fiercely competitive environment, innovation is the ammunition entrepreneurs need to stand out in the crowd.
Many newcomers to the business world may assume that starting a new business is necessarily linked to an invention. And although this may play an important part in some pioneering companies, most business concepts are in fact all about tweaking existing ideas or finding new ways to do old things.

However, there are no clear recipes for starting a new business, but here are a few guidelines that can help you get going in the right direction.

  1. Look for windows of opportunity: It’s a much safer bet to look for these opportunity in familiar territory where you can use your existing strengths. For example, if you work in the pharmaceutical industry then you could branch out into health care.
  2. Find your market niche.
  3. Present your idea with a strong business plan.
  4. Get yourself a mentor: You will increase your chances of success considerably by seeking advice from someone with business experience, often called a mentor. These business leaders provide management advice, suggest sources of financing, and frequently offer their young protégés internship opportunities to hone leadership qualities in the field.

Futurpreneur Canada is a good start when seeking for mentorship.

Choosing a business name

Keep these things in mind when choosing a name for your business:

  • Be sure it reflects the product or service you offer or you may confuse prospective customers.
  • Think about how you want your business to be perceived.
  • Pick something that is easy to pronounce and remember.
  • Make it unique and distinctive to avoid confusion and legal issues.

In choosing a business name, make sure to find out if the name you intend to use has been taken or not so as to avoid legal issues. Finding out if a particular name has already been taken can be done using any of these methods:

  • Search the Internet.
  • Search national name databases.
  • Check trade names in other provinces and territories.

Registering your business with the government

Before you register your business, you will need to know the following:

  • where your main office will be located.
  • which other provinces and territories you plan to operate in.
  • your proposed business name.
  • the type of business that best suits your needs (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation).

If you need help figuring out the business registration process you can access support by region.

Getting business support and financing

For national and regional business support, including financing for immigrant and aboriginal entrepreneurs. Visit (Services and information).

Applying for business permits and licences

Permits and licences that you may need for your business from all three levels of government. BizPaL helps you find the permits and licences you may require when starting and/or operating your business. Filter permits based on your location, industry, and business activities and save the ones that apply to your situation.

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