Are you thinking about starting a business? There are many resources in BC to help you on your journey to becoming a business owner. We have put together the steps needed to work through this process and some quick links to some resource pages that can help you on your way.
- Small Business BC: smallbusinessbc.ca
- Entrepreneurship, is it right for you? Take the questionnaire
- Choosing a business structure: Sole Proprietor, Partnership or Incorporation
- Province of BC, Steps to Starting a Business.
- Starting a Business Checklist
- Business Planning
- Financing your business through options other than your local bank
Setting Up Your Business
- Create a Business Plan
Your business plan will be the roadmap for your business structure, how your business will run, detail what your market looks like, and detail the projected start-up and running costs for your business. This document varies with every business, from a simple one-page document to a detailed and comprehensive predictive analysis of the first few years of operation. Many business plan templates can be used; click the links below for some help getting started:
- Obtain Funding
Starting a business costs money. Once you have determined how much money your business start-up will take using your business plan, the next step is to obtain funding. This is usually done through one or a combination of three ways: Self-funding, investors and loans. Self-funding is when you use your own funds or funds gifted from friends and family. Investors give you funding through venture capital investments, usually offered in exchange for a percentage of ownership. Small business loans can be obtained from banks and credit unions. To have the best chance of securing a loan, you should have your business plan, an expense sheet, and financial projections for the next five years. Once you have this information together, start by contacting your local banks and credit unions. The following links are for chamber member banks and credit unions in the Burns Lake area:
Bulkley Valley Credit Union
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
Business Development Bank of Canada
- Pick your business location
Where you choose to set up your business depends on the location of your target audience. Some businesses may be best suited to being operated out of your home, while others need a dedicated building with a storefront to best do business. Research what options will work best for your business and select an option that fills your business needs and is within your budget. Remember to consult with your local government to ensure your business is conforming to any zoning requirements.
- Apply for your business name
Before you can proceed with your business registration, you must have your business name approved and reserved for your use. It is best to have two or three options ready that you would like to use before applying for your business name. This will help to ensure you will only have to complete this application once. Taking some time before submitting your application to research your chosen name to determine if it has already been used in BC can also help speed up this process. To apply for a business name in BC, go to https://www.bcregistry.ca/namerequest.
- Register your Business
To operate your business in BC, you will need to register your business. Some businesses only need to register with BC Register Services; others will need to register with multiple government agencies. The registrations required for your business will depend on your projected business income, what types of products and services you will be selling and whether you will be hiring any staff, workers or contractors.
BC Registry Services – All businesses are required to register with BC Registry Services within 56 days of receiving your name request number. If you are registering an Incorporation, you will need to go to www.corporateonline.gov.bc.ca. If you register your business as a Sole Proprietorship or as a Partnership, you can register your business through BC Registery Services’ OneStop Portal located at www.bcbusinessregistry.ca.
WorkSafeBC-If your business will be hiring employees or workers, you will be required to register with WorkSafeBC. This can be done either through the BC Registery Services’ OneStop Portal or directly through WorkSafeBC (www.worksafebc.ca/insurance/registering_for_coverage/register_with_worksafe/default.asp)
Ministry of Finance – If you are selling PST taxable goods or services, you will need to register with the Ministry of Finance for your PST number. Small sellers who have sales under $10,000 or businesses that only sell non-taxable or tax-exempt goods and services do not need to register for a PST number. For more information on whether your business will be required to register for a PST number, visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/sales-taxes/pst/register
Canada Revenue Agency – All businesses, including sole proprietors, contractors, consultants, small business owners and entrepreneurs
- Apply for a Business License
If your business is based or operates inside of a municipality, you will be required to obtain a business license through the municipality. To purchase a business license for Burns Lake, stop by the Village of Burns Lake Office