STARTING A BUSINESS CHECKLIST
CHECKLIST OF TASKS TO BE UNDERTAKEN RESOURCES
WHERE DO I START?
1. EVALUATE YOUR IDEA
Is your idea feasible? Can you make money from this venture?
Small Business BC has tools to help you assess the viability of your idea including general startup consultations.
2. MARKET RESEARCH
Test the viability of your idea by researching the market, industry and competition.
Small Business BC offers Market Research services including coaching and education.
3. DEVELOP A BUSINESS STRATEGY
This is an essential step and critical for the planning and success of your business.
Small Business BC offers Business Plan Advisory services to provide feedback on your business model and plan.
How will you finance your business? Banks and other lenders or investors will often require a written business plan.
Small Business BC offers a range of services to help you explore your financing options.
5. BUSINESS STRUCTURE
Consider and select the most appropriate business structure to operate your business: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership or Corporation* *Note: See ‘Starting your Corporation’ checklist.
Small Business BC offers registration services including full guided registration service for sole proprietorship/general partnership ($139).
6. BUSINESS NAME
Submit your Business Name Request (NR) for approval.
7. REGISTER BUSINESS
Register the business with your chosen structure using your name approval.
Small Business BC offers a sole proprietorship/general partnership registration services ($99).
8. BANK ACCOUNT
Open a business bank account.
Visit your local financial institution with a copy of your Business Registration Certificate.
Consider reserving the domain name of your company to establish your website.
Use a search engine to find a domain registrar to secure a domain name for your website (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com).
10. PAYROLL, TRADE AND TAXES
Open accounts under your Business Number (BN) as required (e.g. GST/PST, payroll, import/export).
GST accounts are required if gross annual revenue is greater than $30,000. PST has no threshold for most businesses.
Call Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-5525 or visit sbbc.co/BNregistration.
Call the BC Ministry of Finance at 1-877-388-4440 or visit gov.bc.ca/pst.
11. BUSINESS LICENCE
Contact your municipality for a business license.
Visit www.civicinfo.bc.ca or call your local city hall.
12. LAWS & REGULATIONS
Determine whether any industry specific licenses and/or regulations that may apply to your business.
Visit www.bcbizpal.ca or call your local city hall.
Ensure your business is protected.
Visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada at www.ibc.ca to learn what kind of coverage your business needs.
14. EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT
Ensure you’re aware of your requirements as an employer under the Employment Standards Act.
Contact the BC Employment Standards Branch at 1-800663-3316 or sbbc.co/BCesb.
15. PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS
Open a Payroll Deductions account under your existing Business Number (BN) or obtain a BN if you don’t already have one.
Call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-5525 or sbbc.co/crapayroll for information on the forms required, how to calculate the required deductions, and how to remit them to CRA.
16. WORKERS COMPENSATION
Register for workers compensation coverage for your employees and yourself.
Call WorkSafeBC at 604-244-6181 or 1-888-922-2768 or worksafebc.com. Self-employed individuals can obtain coverage through Personal Option Protection.
REQUIREMENTS FOR KEEPING BUSINESS RECORDS
If you’re operating a business or have self-employment income, you need to set up an orderly record and accounting system. It’s recommended that you contact a qualified accountant or certified bookkeeper to assist you. You’re required to keep all your business records for six years.
*Source – Small Business BC – CONTACT CLIENT SERVICES 604-775-5525 | 1-800-667-2272 | firstname.lastname@example.org