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Step 4. How Do I Get Going?


This guide features Canada and Saskatchewan as that is where the protagonist of our little example company is from, but you should go through a similar process in your jurisdiction.


  1. Speak to your accountant to see which form of business ownership; sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation makes sense from a tax perspective.

  3. If you have the money, contact a lawyer to set up your legal form of business. Partnerships should have a written agreement and corporations will need to be incorporated either Canada-wide or in your home province of Saskatchewan.

  5. It’s recommended that founders shares should vest over time, meaning that each shareholder gets a distribution of shares each year. That way if one founder leaves early on, he or she won’t own a large percentage of the company.

  7. If money is an issue, it is possible to do the incorporation yourself. The first step would be to pick a name for the company or a name under which the partnership will do business. The Government of Canada’s website has guidelines on how to do this for a federally incorporated company. The NUANS system allows an initial search to see if the name you like is already taken. If you are registering the company in Saskatchewan only, the name check must be done with the Saskatchewan Department of Justice. Partnerships can only be registered at the provincial level. A federally incorporated company must also be registered in the province in which it is doing business.

  9. The company name should also be checked to see if a good website address is available. A short address with a .com name is preferable, with .ca a secondary choice. A search and registration service is available here.

  11. The next step is to get a GST number for the business. This is a lot like a person’s SIN number. It is the unique number that the Canada Revenue agency uses to identify your business. You may need a PST Vendor’s License as well if your product falls under that tax.

  13. It is likely that you will have to register your business with the Saskatchewan Worker’s Compensation Board

  15. Next, go to a bank or credit union to open an business account. It’s best to make an appointment so you don’t have a long wait. All of your signing officers should be at the appointment. Take along your articles of incorporation or partnership registration, your GST number and a couple of pieces of personal id.

  17. Find a web designer to design and launch your website if you don’t have the programming or design skills. It’s important to be heavily involved in the content of the site to make sure it reflects a message consistent with your marketing plan. Don’t hire the neighbour’s kid to do your site. You want someone who is going to be around in the future to update your content.

  19. You should be in a position to start implementing your business plan now that you have gone through the basic set up details. It’s time to rent a space, buy equipment, and get to work!