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Starting your business


As economic development agents, we salute your initiative. That’s why we provide you with all the tools and resources needed to conduct your entrepreneurial process. To help you determine if entrepreneurship and you mix, we have compiled a list of questions that we are frequently asked by entrepreneurs. These questions will help you evaluate your particular business skills, clarify your business idea and continue your work. Ready to put your ideas into action?

Question 1 – Do I have the characteristics of an entrepreneur?

Several entrepreneurs share these characteristics:

  • Leadership
  • The ability to take risks
  • Autonomy
  • Confidence
  • Ease to communicate
  • The drive
  • The sense of initiative
  • Stress tolerance
  • The tenacity and perseverance
  • The ability to make decisions
  • The ability to adapt

We suggest you take 15 minutes to complete a self-assessment. When you have answered the 50 questions, your answers will be compiled according to three criteria (motivation, attitude and skills) that will establish your entrepreneurial profile. You can then compare this profile to other entrepreneurs.

Although no questionnaire can predict your chances of success, this tool provides a realistic picture of the demands of the business world. Do not be discouraged if the result does not meet your expectations, see there instead an opportunity to work on your weaknesses.

Question 2 – How to choose the type of business should I start?

All that you need to start your own business is a good idea, is not it? Not really. Although the original idea is crucial to the pursuit of the process, the success of your business will be more dependent on its profit. Since you invest several hours in running your business, knowing all the possibilities for you to make a profit is crucial and allows you to situate yourself from the beginning.

Rate your experiences, interests and motivations. Complete a market study and trends. Determine what need has not been filled in the market. Many small businesses are based on the idea of having found a solution to a problem that had not yet found a solution.

The following links may help you generate and develop ideas for starting a business.

Question 3 – How can I determine the viability and potential of my idea?

Developing a business plan will help you to that effect. In addition to being a good basis to start a market study that will determine the size and market share, as well as competition and the growth potential of your business. This way, you will be equipped to carry out your financial statements.

The feasibility checklist for starting a business, available on the website of the Canada Business Network, Alberta, is aimed particularly at new entrepreneurs. It should help you assess your business plan and help you understand all the issues of entrepreneurship. It also allows evaluating a new proposal or a business opportunity.

The research related to a business project can be daunting to the uninitiated. The section evaluate your idea of the Canada Business Network website will help you conduct this research and to determine the potential of your project.

To measure the financial performance of your business and compare it to industry averages, Performance Plus is an interactive confidential and effective tool.

Learn from the mistakes of others is often much less painful than to suffer the consequences of their own blunders. Royal Bank did the Top 10 entrepreneurial mistakes.

Question 4 – What are the costs associated with starting a business?

It depends on the type of business you want to start. Many home businesses start with very little money, while a big box store requires a much larger investment. We strongly recommend that you draw up a comprehensive list of projected expenses to run your business and prepare a forecast of your cash flow for 12 months.


At this stage, you’ve probably realized that you had the potential to become a partner or a business owner. Tools and resources in this section will help you advance your business plan. Just like the previous one, this section is presented in the form of questions and answers. These questions should help you in learning more about the legal form of your company, its registration, your obligations as an entrepreneur, regulations and laws that you must comply with the taxes you have to pay and of course, programs and services available at the Hearst EDC.

Question 1 – How to register my business?

The obligation to register your business depends on its legal form. A registered company is automatically receive a Master Business Licence. The MBL can be used as proof of business name registration at financial institutions and to facilitate other business-related transactions with the Ontario government. To register online, visit One Source for Business website.

Sole proprietorship or partnership?

Each legal form has its advantages and disadvantages. We recommend you to visit:

  • The site of the One Source for Business for the details of the various tariffs
  • The types of businesses the Canada Business Network website section to know more about the types of businesses and the issues arising

You’ll be better able to determine which one best suits your project.

Question 2 – Do I need a permit for my business?

Some business activities require a license, which usually is granted by the federal, provincial or municipal. However, you must obtain an authorization, a business license or a certificate of compliance with the municipality.

For further information regarding registration for the Canada Revenue Agency, as well as other obligations as an employer, see the One Source for Business website.

Question 3 – What taxes do I charge?

You must collect the HST if your gross income (total sales before expenses) is equal to or greater than $ 30,000 and that, over the last four calendar quarters of any calendar quarter. Most goods and services are taxed at 13%. However, if your gross income is less than $ 30,000, you can voluntarily register and charge the HST.

However, before making this decision, we invite you to consider the changes it has on the accounting of your business. For many, especially those who use manual book keeping, accounting HST requires to balance two additional columns. If you do not collect HST, you do not enjoy the tax credit on inputs, which allows you to recover the HST paid on purchases related to your business. Moreover, by failing to charge the HST to your customers, you tell them that your gross sales of less than $ 30,000. It is therefore appropriate to ask you about the habits of your customers and see if your competitors charge HST to their customers.

For more information on the HST, please contact: Canada Revenue Agency.

Question 4 – What is a business number?

The business number is a numbering system that simplifies the relationship between the businesses and the federal government. The business number is based on the following idea: a business, one number.

Not all businesses need a business number and program accounts with the Canada Revenue Agency. Read “Do you need a program account” to determine whether you need to register.

Question 5 – Can I deduct all my business expenses?

Generally, you can deduct business expenses. However, be aware that it is important to keep all receipts and invoices related to these expenditures as evidence and the record in your general ledger. For more information, visit the website and the Canada Revenue Agency.

Question 6 – At what assurances do I subscribe?

If your business is home based, your home insurance may not cover the space for the company. There are various types of tailored insurance companies:

  • Loss of assets
  • Liability
  • Interruption of business activities
  • Loss / illness of key personnel

Please contact a company or an insurance broker to discuss your specific needs.

Question 7 – Is there government funding?

Some federal and provincial government offer financing programs tailored to the particularities of the regions for activity sectors. In general, funding is available as a loan or loan guarantee. There is very little government subsidy programs, except for the arts and culture. Many entrepreneurs use the Canada Small Business Financing Program, which offers a loan guarantee by the Government of Canada. The Government of Ontario has a program guide online on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. In Northern Ontario, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation offers financing programs.