Starting Your Business - and the Business Plan
Doing a bit of research, deciding what you really want to do, and putting that in a business plan will guide you toward success. Your business plan will also be useful if you require assistance from bankers, accountants and lawyers.
There are many resources available to help you write a business plan. These are available from libraries, bookstores or the Ontario government website for business: http://www.ontario.ca/en/business/index.htm.
You can use these resources to write your own plan, or you could hire a professional to help you. Whatever you decide to do, initially at least, your business plan should be fairly simple and easily updated.
Once you have a clear idea of what you will be doing, you will need to set up the business. In Ontario, businesses can be set up based upon your circumstances, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited (incorporated entity) company. Each of these has different setup procedures, legal requirements and financial consequences. Since you may eventually need a legal representative to set up your business, it is worthwhile discussing with a lawyer the type of business that meets your needs.
Financial accounting is very important for the successful operation of any business. As part of preparing your business plan, you should consult an accountant to discuss financial record- keeping, business forms, choosing an appropriate year-end, tax and other records, as well as accounting fees.
In summary, you need to:
- Talk to your banker about the bank’s requirements.
- Talk to your accountant about accounting requirements.
- Set up your company using the services of a lawyer.
- Develop a business plan.
You may also decide to do all of the above on your own. For most people, this is a real challenge. It will take you away from your core business activities and use up valuable time. Spending a few hundred dollars working with your accountant and a legal firm may be well worth it.
The Canadian Business Network website offers links to tools and guides designed to assist you with developing your business idea, preparing a business plan, assessing your entrepreneurial qualities – as well as providing an overview of the benefits and challenges of owning a small business. To access this site, visit: http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/125/
Starting a Business
There are several tools and resources available to ensure that you have all the requirements to operate your business. The following sources will help you identify: permit requirements, tax accounts, employee payroll deductions, insurance requirements, registering your business and so on.
Requirements specific to truck and bus operators are outlined in future modules of this guide, such as "Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Registration.”
When you are starting a new business, it is recommended that you investigate your requirements at all levels of government – municipal, provincial/territorial and federal. As a commercial motor vehicle operator, you also should be knowledgeable of the requirements for the jurisdictions in which you operate.
What follows are sources and links to assist new business owners.
Each municipal government (city, town or county/rural municipality) has the authority to issue its own business licences within its jurisdiction. Since each municipality differs, you should consult with officials to decide how your business will be affected by local regulations, taxation, licences or zoning requirements. You may also need to obtain licences in municipalities in which you are not located but carry on business.
Depending upon the type of business you have, other regulations may apply: health and safety, fire, transportation, environmental legislation, labour laws and so on. For more information on municipal regulations and licences, contact the clerk of the city, town, village or rural municipality where you plan to do business. The telephone numbers are available in the telephone book or through directory assistance.
To assist new or future business owners, Ontario has a web section called Service Ontario ONe-Source for Business with information that includes:
Starting a Business
Operating a Business
Ontario Ministry of Finance provides tools for tax requirements: http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/tax/index.html
Ontario Ministry of Labour provides tools for employees, including employment standards and health and safety: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/
New or future business owners can find assistance from the federal government with its information online at Canadian Business Networks:
Starting a Business
|About Canadian Business
Revenue Canada has additional tools for tax requirements and wage deduction including a publication called RC4070 Guide for Canadian Small Businesses. See the Revenue Canada website for more information: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html