Business start-up checklist

When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.

Table of Contents

Planning your business

Creating a solid business plan is vital to your success; you need to know where you expect to go long before you get there. Before you start writing your plan, you'll want to make a number of key business decisions.

Organizing your finances

Your business success will depend on how well you plan and manage your finances. If you will be seeking financial help, either from a start-up loan or from a government grant, it is imperative that you have a well-developed business plan.

Registering your business

Be proactive — take care of all your registration and licensing requirements with your municipal, provincial and federal governments early on in the process. Once you complete these steps, you will have the necessities such as a Business Number, registered business name and a GST/HST account.

Canada Revenue Agency's Business Registration Online is the one-stop shop for all of your federal business registration requirements. If you operate in the province of Quebec, you will need to register using Revenu Québec's Businesses Portal.

Provincial and territorial business registration

Most provincial and territorial governments require you to register your business with them.

Provincial tax information

Get information on provincial tax benefits and find out how to collect sales tax from your local and out-of-province customers.

Hiring and managing employees

Your employees are the key to the day-to-day functioning of your business. You will want to determine how many employees you require, and what qualifications they need. Then you will need to recruit the best and brightest, and create a working environment that they want to be a part of.

Workplace health and safety

You have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of all of your employees while they are working. This requires that you comply with certain regulations and standards for the safety of your workplace.

Additional resources

Whether you are a new or experienced entrepreneur, you can never be too informed when it comes to your business.


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