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How To Start A Business In Ontario

How To Start A Business In Ontario
December 14, 2022

Ready to take the plunge and start a business in Ontario? First off, congrats! You’re about to embark on an exciting journey. But before you jump headfirst into your new venture, there are a few things you need to consider. How will you structure your business? How will you finance it? What kind of permits or licenses do you need for operating in Ontario?

We have your back – here’s everything you need to know about getting started with starting a business in Ontario. It can seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry: if we can make it through this pandemic, we can make it through anything! Let's get started. 

First off, it's important to decide what type of business structure you'll choose. In Ontario, there are four main types of business structures to choose from: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and co-operative. Each one has its own advantages and drawbacks.

Sole Proprietorships In Ontario 

One of the most popular and simplest ways to start a business in Ontario is through a sole proprietorship. This type of legal structure gives an entrepreneur full control over their business activities and comes with relatively few rules or regulations. 

If you’re looking to get your business off the ground as quickly as possible, then this could be the way for you. How do I go about setting up a sole proprietorship in Ontario? We’ve put together some tips that can help make things easier for entrepreneurs like yourself: 

1) Choose Your Business Name: Start by coming up with a business name that you can use to register your business. It’s important to make sure it isn’t already taken and that it complies with provincial regulations (e.g., avoiding trademark infringements, not implying government sponsorship, etc.). 

2) Register Your Business: Once you have settled on a name, you will need to register your business with the relevant government office in order to become officially recognized as an entrepreneur in Ontario. You can do this online or through mail – be sure to include any required documents such as proof of identity or proof of address. 

3) Get a Tax Number: You will also need to obtain a business tax number from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This will allow you to submit your business income to the CRA and be eligible for any associated credits or deductions. 

4) Set Up a Bank Account: You will need to set up a separate bank account for your business in order to keep track of transactions. This can help make filing taxes much easier since all expenses and income can be grouped together by category. 

Partnerships in Ontario

Forming a partnership is an easy way to form your own business in Ontario. All you need is two or more people who want to come together and start something. Then, you just have to decide the roles and responsibilities each partner will have, set up a business account with your financial institution, and register your partnership with the province. After that's done, it's time to get down to business! 

A partnership is an ideal way for multiple entrepreneurs to collaborate on a project or idea. Working together allows you to combine talents and resources in ways you wouldn't be able to do alone. Plus, each party can leverage their individual strengths while compensating for weaknesses that may exist. That means more optimal decision-making and better chances of success. 

By forming a partnership in Ontario, you can also enjoy other benefits such as lower start-up costs and shared liability protection. This is because all partners are jointly and individually responsible for debts, losses, or obligations incurred during the course of business. 

Corporations and Co-operatives In Ontario

If you want to incorporate a business in Ontario, there are several steps that need to be taken. First, you must choose a business name and file articles of incorporation with the provincial government. Once your application has been approved, your corporation is legally formed. The corporation then needs to register with various government bodies such as the Federal Corporations Directorate or Corporations Canada, as well as local authorities like municipal or regional governments. You also need to get any necessary licenses or permits for operations, depending on the type of business activity being undertaken.

A co-operative is another type of entity that can be established in Ontario. Unlike corporations, co-operatives are fundamentally different because they are owned and operated by members who share a common economic interest. As with incorporating a business, there are certain steps that must be taken when forming a co-operative entity in the province.

First, you must choose a name for your co-operative and draft its Articles of Association which need to be filed with Corporations Canada and approved by the relevant government authorities. As part of this process, it is important to decide on specific features like how members will contribute capital to the organization or what voting procedures will be followed by members at general meetings. Additionally, there may be other requirements such as obtaining special permits depending on what type of activities your co-operative plans on engaging in (such as selling alcoholic beverages). Finally, once all these steps have been taken care of, it’s time to apply for registration with Corporations Canada which officially establishes your co-operative entity under Canadian law.

Registering a Business

Once you’ve chosen your business structure, it's time to register your business name with the government so that it is recognized as a legal entity in Ontario. This can be done through ServiceOntario or the Canada Business Network website. You may also need to obtain permits or licenses depending on your particular industry, so be sure to check out all the details before you get too far ahead of yourself. 

Finally, it’s time to think about how you’ll finance your business. Are you planning on using funds from a personal savings account? Or will you be looking for external financings, such as angel investors or venture capital firms? Depending on the size and scope of your business, there are numerous options available – do your research and find what works best for you! 

Small Business Financing in Ontario

Small business owners often struggle to obtain small business financing from traditional lenders. This can be a daunting task, as small businesses are considered riskier investments than larger corporations. Financiers are typically cautious when it comes to lending money to small businesses because of the higher risk associated with such loans.

There are a few major challenges small businesses face when trying to secure small business financing from traditional lenders:

1. Creditworthiness: Most require small businesses to have good credit ratings in order for them to approve small business loans. This means that small businesses must have a history of making payments on time and managing their finances effectively in order for the lender to consider them for a loan.

2. Collateral: Traditional lenders also require small businesses to provide collateral in order to secure the loan. This can include property, equipment, or other assets owned by the business that can be used as collateral if the small business is unable to pay back the loan.

3. Documentation: Small businesses must also provide extensive documentation when applying for small business financing from traditional lenders. This includes financial statements, tax returns, cash flow projections, and other documents demonstrating the ability of the small business to manage its finances responsibly and repay any loan funds provided.

4. Long Application Process: The process of obtaining small business financing from a traditional lender is often lengthy and complex. They typically take several months or even longer before they reach a decision on approving or denying a loan application from small businesses due to their thorough review process and stringent criteria for approval.

Furthermore, small businesses may need additional time beyond what is normally required by traditional lenders in order to gather all necessary documents and prepare financial reports if further analysis is requested by lenders during the loan application process.

Alternative Financing in Ontario

The majority of the aforementioned choices are provided by large banks, thus in order to be eligible for a loan, you must have a strong credit history and/or extensive business experience. Fortunately, for individuals who don't fit the bill, there are options. You can take certain actions to get business finance even if your credit score is low. Alternative lenders take into account more than just your credit score; they also take into account things like how long you've been in business and your current cash flow history. You can have the funds you require in as little as 24 hours, directly transferred into your business bank account, assuming you can satisfy a few simple requirements. Repayment terms can be modified to fit your unique circumstances.

While there are many options available for obtaining funding for your business, there are some important factors that you need to consider before making a decision on a business lender. 

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge, we’re excited to see you put it into action to start and grow your business.

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