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A businessman sits at a desk and works at a laptop with stationery in the foreground.

Top 5 Tips for Starting Your Own Business

August 12, 2015

Many of us dream of becoming our own boss.  The path to becoming self-employed may seem daunting at first.  However, with proper planning and guidance you can be in control of your own success.

Here are the top 5 tips for starting your own business that you can use to put you on the right track to becoming your own boss:

  1. Prepare a business plan. A well thought out business plan will benefit you in many ways. It will help you secure financing from possible lenders and investors and show your employees and partners that you are informed and prepared. It will help you identify your customers and competition and will determine your financial needs.
  2. Decide on a business structure – You will need to decide whether to operate your business inside a corporation.  You should ask your lawyer and accountant for advice in this area.  If you choose to set up a corporation you will need professional advice regarding the share capital structure.
  3. Understand Taxes – Register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) – You will need to register for GST if your gross income exceeds $30,000. However, you should register to take advantage of input tax credits. Ask your accountant about any tax refunds and credits that may affect your business.
  4. Set up Payroll – You will need to register with CRA and activate a payroll account.  Accounting software packages such as QuickBooks have payroll modules that can be used.  Alternatively, outside payroll service companies such as Ceridian offer an affordable option.
  5. Create an accounting system – Once your business if up and running you will need timely, reliable accounting information. An accountant may be able to recommend a reliable bookkeeper. Affordable software packages such as QuickBooks will allow you to track your invoices and produce timely reports.