So you want to start a business? Four questions that every start-up should ask

Posted on 1 November 2017 Back to News

So you want to start a business? Four questions that every start-up should ask

By: Jillian Brazda

Student-at-Law, HGR Graham Partners LLP


Are you or someone you know going into business for yourself/themselves?

You should be appropriately prepared before “opening your doors”.


Here are four questions that all new entrepreneurs should be able to answer:


  1. What business are you in?


Many people fail to properly identify and define their product and/or service, their marketplace, and their target market. Be sure to select a product and/or service which is needed, which has long term potential, and which will survive foreseeable changes in consumer taste and economic circumstances.


  1. What form of business structure will you use?


You may operate your business as a sole proprietor, as a partnership with one or more other individuals, or through a corporation. In a sole proprietorship, you receive all profits but are fully liable for all debts, losses and liabilities. A partnership is similar in its structure but involves the distribution of profits, losses and liabilities between the partners. A corporation is a separate legal entity in law and has numerous advantages including limited liability, perpetual existence, estate planning and tax benefits but, a corporation also brings with it added costs and regulations. The decision on how to structure your business should be made by consulting with the appropriate professionals.


  1. What initial registrations must you make?


If you plan to operate your business in a name other than your personal name then you must register the business name under Ontario’s Business Names Act.  If you are going to employ others, you will have to register with respect to Canada Pension Plan, Income Tax, Employment Insurance, Employer’s Health Tax, and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also be required to register with Canada Revenue Agency with respect to Harmonized Sales Tax.


  1. Whose help do you need?


Starting a new business involves numerous decisions. It is important to start building a “team” of professionals who can help you navigate the process and make informed decisions. Among the individuals you may want to have as part of your team are:


AccountantAn accountant will assist you in setting up a business plan, preparing cash flow projections, setting up your books, training you or your staff in bookkeeping, preparing financial statements, and other tax and financial-related services.


Banker:  You should establish your relationship with your banker early and learn of the services available from your bank.  A banker will also assist you to establish lines of credit and specific loans, that may be needed, as your business grows.


Insurance AgentYour insurance advisor can assist you in determining your business insurance requirements, the best rates available, and the types of coverage specific to your business needs.


Lawyer:  Your lawyer can advise you with respect to the form of business structure most suited to your needs, preparation of contracts and agreements for your business, the applicable laws and regulations affecting the conduct of your industry and helping to solve problems as they arise.


Nowadays more and more people are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit. There is always room for a well-prepared business venture.


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**This article is not intended to provide legal advice. For more information please contact HGR Graham Partners LLP



Phone:  705.327.6656 ext. 317

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