Canada is often viewed as the land of opportunity, both for those who have lived here their whole lives, and those who choose to make Canada their home. In fact, Canada is ranked second in the world for entrepreneurial activity at 13% of its citizens owning a business. Various studies over the years have shown that the percentage of immigrant entrepreneurs remains on par with those who are Canadian-born.
Canada has plenty of resources and tools to help entrepreneurs learn how to start a business. First, however, you need to decide what sort of business structure works for your business, and plan around any regulations and licensing you may require.
There are various business structures to consider when starting a business in Canada, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and co-operative.
A sole proprietorship is most common for solo entrepreneurs who are looking to build a small business in alignment with their personal tax obligations (with full liability for debts incurred).
A partnership is a non-incorporated business with multiple owners. It functions similarly to a sole proprietorship in terms of income and taxes but also shares the liability among partners.
A corporation or incorporation adds separation between the business and the owners and is closely monitored by regulatory bodies. It’s ideal for those who are looking to offer services internationally or have a large employee base.
A co-operative shares ownership among its members, ensuring profit distribution and equality in decision-making– it’s less common for entrepreneurs in Canada.
Creating a business plan is the best way to map out the various components of your business and identify any potential barriers to success. This is when you conduct research on your type of business and if there are any local bylaws or federal rulings that could impact your plans.
During the business planning phase, you’ll also clarify your goals, identify any financing requirements, and take a closer look at the market. Who are your customers and do they exist in your region? Who are your competitors, and how will you stand apart?
In addition to Futurpreneur, there are plenty of other resources available to entrepreneurs who are new to Canada:
– Local Chamber of Commerce – visit your local Chamber of Commerce to see what programs they have in place to help new entrepreneurs.
– BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) – in addition to partnering with Futurpreneur to provide start-up financing , BDC offers free resources for entrepreneurs, including articles, toolkits, and calculators.
– The Government of Canada – the Government of Canada website can walk you through the business registry process from start to finish and refer you to the right provincial page.
– Business Link – in Alberta we work with community partners like Business Link to provide specialized services to immigrant entrepreneurs.
Working with a mentor through Futurpreneur’s program offerings can also be beneficial when starting a business, by partnering you with someone who has already been through it.
The advancements and innovations in technology over recent years have resulted in numerous accessible tools for entrepreneurs with limited resources. Most notably in recent years is automation.
Automated services and tools apply to repetitive tasks that often leave entrepreneurs caught up in the daily grind rather than looking ahead at where their business is going. For example, employee scheduling can take up valuable hours every month. Automated platforms, like this solution by Humanity, can drastically reduce the hours spent in these low-value tasks. It’s recommended that all entrepreneurs evaluate what tasks they can automate.
By automating low-value tasks, you’ll be able to focus on growing your income so that you can re-invest in your business. Re-investing in your business is what will help it grow and flourish.
If you plan on hiring employees, there’s an added layer of complexity when starting a business. You’ll need to ensure that you are adhering to labor standards laws and regulations and that you’re in compliance with the Workers Compensation Board of Canada. You’ll need to have your business registered before you can hire someone and have the various forms to file from the CRA for tax purposes.
Many small business owners are choosing to outsource their tasks to contractors. This helps create a network of entrepreneurs working together to grow their businesses and circumvents the challenges associated with hiring.
The thing to remember when starting a business in Canada is that there are plenty of resources available to help you be successful. As someone who is new to Canada, you’ll have extra resources and programming in place specific to immigrating, so use them!
By having the right support system in place, procuring the right tools, and building a great team, you’ll be able to start a successful business in Canada and become a part of the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the country so great.
About the author
Ashley is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion in providing creative solutions for building brands online. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches.