Business start-up checklist
When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.
On this page:
Planning your business
Creating a solid business plan is vital to your success - you need to know where you expect to go long before you get there. Before you start writing your plan, you'll want to make a number of key business decisions.
- Corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship?
Find out which type of business structure is right for your business: incorporation, a partnership, a sole proprietorships or a cooperative.
- Naming your business
Choose the right name for your business. Your business name should be unique and easy to remember, and should describe the products and services you provide.
- Regulated industries
Find out how certain industry sectors are regulated and what some of the key business obligations are in those sectors.
- Choosing and setting up a location
Trying to decide where to locate your business and how to arrange it once you get there? Consider your options.
- Market research and statistics
Learn more about market research, how to conduct it and where to find free information and statistics to support your market research project.
- Marketing and sales
How well you market your business and interact with your customers can vastly influence your success.
Organizing your finances
Your business success will depend on how well you plan for, and manage, your finances. If you will be seeking financial help, either from a start-up loan or from a government grant, it is imperative that you have a well-developed business plan.
- Business planning
Find out how to write a business plan, and access templates, sample business plans, market research information and statistics.
- Grants and financing
Find out how to access money for your business.
How does your business measure up to others that are similar to yours? Benchmarking allows you to evaluate your performance and ensure that your business is operating at an optimum level.
- Managing your finances
You can use these resources to help you understand financial concepts and learn about tasks like budgeting, financial analysis and bookkeeping.
Registering your business
Be proactive - take care of all your registration and licensing requirements with your municipal, provincial and federal governments early on in the process. Once you complete these steps, you will have the necessities such as a Business Number, registered business name and a GST/HST account.
Canada Revenue Agency's Business Registration Online is the one-stop-shop for all of your federal business registration requirements. If you operate in the province of Quebec, you will need to register using Revenu Québec's Businesses Portal.
- Permits and licences
Use our search tool to find out what permits and licences your business may need from the federal, provincial and municipal governments.
- Business registration online
Register for a business number, GST/HST, corporation income tax, payroll and import/export accounts in one convenient online location.
Provincial and territorial business registration
Most provincial and territorial governments require that you register your business with them.
- Establishment of an extra-provincial limited partnership (New Brunswick)
Find out about the rules, procedures and fees to file a declaration for an extra-provincial limited partnership.
- Forming a Co-operative in Saskatchewan
Find out how to register a co-operative in Saskatchewan, including information on fees and required forms.
- Registering a sole proprietorship or partnership in Saskatchewan
Find out how to register your business name as a sole proprietorship or partnership in Saskatchewan, including the fees, the forms required and the turn-around time.
Provincial tax information
Get information on provincial tax benefits and find out how to collect sales tax from your local and out-of-province customers.
- Overview of charging and collecting sales tax
As a Canadian business owner, it's important to know how and when to charge sales taxes for the goods and services you sell and supply to your customers.
- Provincial tax obligations
Understand what taxes you should register for, collect, and remit when you do business in Saskatchewan, and how to register for taxation and report the tax collected.
Hiring and managing your staff
Key to the day-to-day functioning of your business is your staff. You will want to determine the number of staff you require and their necessary qualifications. Then you will need to recruit the best and brightest and create a working environment that they want to be a part of.
- Hiring employees
Are you looking to recruit staff for your business? If so, our resources can help you find the right personnel.
Being the boss is not easy. Discover how to effectively manage your employees.
- Health and safety
Find information about your responsibilities concerning occupational health and safety, including what you can do to prevent accidents.
Workplace health and safety
You have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of all of your employees while they are working. This requires that you comply with certain regulations and standards for the safety of your workplace.
- Employer and Employee Duties — Occupational Health and Safety (Federally Regulated Employers)
Read about the obligations that you and your employees have under the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.
- Tools and Toolkits for Employers on Occupational Health and Safety
No matter what jurisdiction your organization is regulated in, these tools can help you comply with workplace health and safety requirements.
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System — Employer Requirements
Learn how to ensure that hazardous materials are handled safely in your workplace. Find information on use, storage, handling, disposal and labelling of hazardous materials.
- Occupational health and safety - Saskatchewan
As an employer, you have the obligation to ensure the health and safety of your employees. Access resources to help you make your workplace as safe as possible.
- Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board
Find out if you need to register for workers' compensation insurance to protect you and your employees from work-related injuries or death.
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information – WHMIS - Saskatchewan
Reduce the risks from hazardous products in your workplace. Find out how to determine what is a controlled product and the rules and regulations that apply to them.
Whether you are just starting out or an experienced entrepreneur who's been in business for years, you can never be too informed when it comes to your business.
- Contact the Canada Business Network
The Canada Business Network has centres across the country that offer guidance, information and resources to help make your journey in business a successful one.
- Business support organizations
You don't become an expert business manager overnight. Seeking the advice of peers, professional business counsellors and coaches can help you transition from new business owner to experienced entrepreneur.
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