Starting a Business in Canada

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Oct 21, 2011 - 1 minute read - business news

Telus Sponsors Elevator Pitch Contest On Facebook

Being able to tell someone what your business does in 30 seconds or less is an important skill. Getting a lot of information into this short message isn’t easy but if you can do a good job of it, you could win an iPhone 4, and iPad 2, and a $1,500 Amex gift card from Telus.

To enter, “Like” the Telus Facebook page and enter your business information along with your elevator pitch into the online form.

Anyone who owns or works for a company of 100 people or less can enter the contest. The winner will be chosen by a combination of public voting and a Telus judging panel.

The contest runs until October 31, 2011.

Oct 19, 2011 - 1 minute read - business news

Canadian Government Announces Permanent Funding For BizPal Program

There will be $3 million in annual funding for the BizPal program. The vision is to have more jurisdictions join the program, which provides a one-stop online service for access to information on permits and licenses that small business entrepreneurs need to start and operate their businesses.

Currently, there are 11 provinces and territories participating, with over 600 municipalities offering the service, which covers an estimated 57% of the Canadian population.

For more information, visit the BizPal website.

Oct 18, 2011 - 1 minute read - banking

BDC Allocates $200 Million To Help Entrepreneurs Invest In IT

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has allocated $200 million of loan funds to help entrepreneurs purchase new information and communications technology. The proceeds of the loans can be used to purchase hardware, software or consulting services including internet solutions.

BDC clients and non-clients including small or home based businesses are encouraged to apply. Those businesses applying for loans under $50,000 in total must apply online. Businesses looking for more than $50,000 under this initiative should call BDC customer service at 1 877 BDC BANX (232-2269).

Oct 13, 2011 - 1 minute read - business news

Take Off With Amex Contest

American Express is offering $10,000 and a social marketing consultation with the Managing Director of Facebook Canada to a lucky Canadian business.

You must be a resident of Canada (excluding Québec) and have authority to sign on behalf of your business to enter. To enter go to Amex’s Facebook page and click on the big green arrow in the graphic that says “Enter Here”. This will take you to a simple web form where you will fill out your basic contact information and write a 150 word statement that describes:

  • How the prize will elevate your business
  • A demonstration of entrepreneurial vision
  • An innovative and create approach to advance on the runway to success

The semi-finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges who will be using the following scoring criteria.

Keep these criteria in mind as you write the 150 word statement about your business. The better you demonstrate what you are looking for, the better chance you’ll have to make it to the final round where the winner will be selected from 5 finalists by public voting.

The contest closes for entries on Monday October 24, 2011 at 11:59:59 pm ET. You can view the official rules on the website.

Oct 12, 2011 - 1 minute read - business news

Greater Saskatoon Chamber Of Commerce Connections Event

The Greater Saskatoon Chamber Of Commerce is hosting an event called Connections. This is an excellent opportunity for people who are looking to start a business or people who have just started one to network with professionals from the business community.

Representatives from the following organizations will be on hand.

  • PwC LLP
  • Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan
  • Praxis School of Entrepreneurship
  • Ideas Inc.
  • Canadian Youth Business Foundation
  • Raj Manek Mentorship Program

This will be an excellent opportunity to meet people from these organizations, which are dedicated to helping people start their own businesses. If you are looking for advice on how to get started or where you can find resources, this event is for you.

The event will be held at Ideas Inc. (200-120 Sonnenschein Place) from 7:30 am to 9:30 am on Thursday October 20th, 2011. Tickets are $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members.

Oct 11, 2011 - 1 minute read - entrepreneurship

Get Out Of Your Own Way

You want to start a business, yet you are not making any progress towards that goal. There seems to be a lot of things in the way. Your idea isn’t good enough. You don’t have enough money to invest into it. You don’t have the time to do the business planning that is necessary before you get started.

You think of “some day” when these things that are in your way won’t be anymore. You’ll be able to get started then and your dream will finally be a reality. There is a problem though. Without action, someday will never come.

If it is really important to you, choose to make starting a business a priority. You’ll have to sacrifice things you like doing. Watching TV, playing video games, and going out to dinner are fun things to do but they won’t get you closer to your goal. You might think starting a business is your top priority but if you are doing these other things instead, they are really your top priority.

You have to choose what’s important. If you don’t have time to focus on the things you need to do to start your business, it isn’t that important to you, is it?

Oct 5, 2011 - 2 minute read - business news

Canadian Government Introduces Hiring Credit For Small Business

The federal government has announced that it will grant a one-time tax credit based on the increase in an employer’s employment insurance (EI) premiums paid in 2011 over those paid in 2010. The credit will be calculated on the employer’s 2011 T4.

The business that are eligible for this tax credit are those who paid $10,000 or less in EI premiums in 2010. This effectively means that the credit is only available to smaller companies that don’t have a large number of employees. This is because a larger employer would pay more than the $10,000 in EI premiums. For example, a company with 11 employees earning $38,000 each would be too big to qualify for the credit.

The practical outcome of this is that an employer could hire an additional employee at $40,000 per year or two additional employees at $20,000 per year and not have to pay any additional EI premiums for 2011.

This is a useful tax credit because it will put more money in the hands of some small business owners who will in turn send it through the rest of the economy by buying goods and services.

While the tax credit is welcome, make sure you base all of your hiring decisions on what makes sense for your business and not on tax policy.

Oct 4, 2011 - 2 minute read - legal

How To License A Business In Regina

Regina is different from many other municipal jurisdictions because there is a good chance that you will not require a business license to operate your business. The city of Regina explains it this way:

All businesses require a licence from the City of Regina unless:

  • The business is considered a non-profit corporation under provincial jurisdiction.
  • The business operates from a premise which pays commercial or industrial property taxes, with the exception of second-hand dealers, pawn brokers, and coin dealers.

What the second point means is that if your business is operating from a normal commercial business premises, it will not be required to obtain a license unless it conducts the specific business activities mentioned.

As home-based businesses do not pay commercial or industrial property taxes, they will require business licenses. There is an exemption for home-based businesses that do not gross more that $5,000 in revenue as determined by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Home based businesses with revenues above the $5,000 threshold will have to obtain a Resident Business License at a cost of $112.50 for the first year and $225 annually for every year after that.

Non-residents wanting to do business in Regina are required to obtain a Non-resident Business License at a cost of $450 per year.

The business license application process can be completed either in person or by mail. The business license application forms can be downloaded here.

Oct 3, 2011 - 2 minute read - business planning

The Difference Between A Hobby And A Business

People often get into a particular type of business with the idea of pursuing a passion while earning a living. This is a good thing. Having passion for what you are doing can make it much easier to persevere through difficult times. It makes going to work every day a pleasure instead of a chore. No more Sunday evening stress about Monday morning because you love what you do.

Unfortunately, many people have a passion for the activity the business does and not the business itself. This is well illustrated in Michael E. Gerber’s The E-Myth Revisited. He writes of a woman named Sarah, who had a love of baking pies. She started a business called All About Pies. Before long she was completely run down and even had even started to hate baking pies. She didn’t have a proper system in place to deal with all aspects of the business and she was running herself ragged trying to keep up with everything.

If you think that you’ll start a business based on your hobby just so you can get paid to do what you love, you are misleading yourself. The “business” aspects of running a business have to be dealt with and because it’s a small business, you will be the one who will have to deal with them. You won’t be able to afford to delegate all of the “business stuff” to others. Even if you could, you wouldn’t want to. You need to be in charge and make the strategic decisions that affect the direction of the business. You need to manage your business to make sure that your vision is implemented.

It will be up to you to wear all of these different hats to make sure that your business is successful. Gerber’s book does a good job of explaining how to do this. I recommend that you pick up a copy learn about what you are getting yourself into before you begin the business planning process.

Sep 28, 2011 - 1 minute read - business news

Intuit Announces QuickBooks Intervention Contest

Intuit is running a promotional contest to encourage work life balance and to promote its QuickBooks software.

Over-worked business owners can be nominated or they can nominate themselves. Winners of the contest will be chosen at random from all of the eligible contest entrants. The winning business owner will receive $10,000 and the person nominating him or her will receive $10,000. If a business owner who self-nominates wins, he or she will get the full $20,000.

All entries must be received on or before 11:59:59 PM (ET) on January 31, 2012. If you are interested in nominating someone or nominating yourself, you can enter by using the online entry form.