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Small Business > Resource Center > Business Tips > Tips 4-6

Tips 4-6

Tip #4: Time to get down to business? Get registered

Most businesses must register with federal, provincial and even municipal government agencies. Requirements may include an operating permit, permission to operate in your chosen location or specific qualifications for you or your employees.

You should register your business prior to obtaining a business license. At the Provincial level, you'll register your business name(s), provincial sales tax, workers' compensation, employment standards, health taxes and more. For information specific to your business, visit the Canada Business Service Centre online at: (opens new window)

At the Federal Level, you'll also need to register for a Business Number (BN) with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) to unify all accounts a business may have with the federal government. The BN is used to operate corporate income tax, import / export accounts, payroll deductions (CPP and UI) and GST/HST. Registration should take place after the company has been registered.

Depending on the nature of your business, your municipality may require you to register for a business license, undergo fire safety or health inspections or obtain approvals for any changes made to your business premises. You'll also need to ensure your business does not contravene any zoning or land-use bylaws.

Business Name Registration

As an example, when operating a business in Ontario under a name other than your personal name, you must register the name with the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services (MCBS). A business name search can be conducted at the time of registration to see if there any businesses with that name currently operating in the Province. Once you register your business name, you'll be given your Master Business License (MBL), allowing you to:

  • operate your business under the name you registered
  • open your business bank account
  • write and accept cheques on behalf of your business name

Note: You do not need to register if you operate the business using your own personal name (unmodified) as a sole proprietor.

For Province specific information about registering your business, see (opens new window)

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Tip #5: Open for business? Open an account - it's easy!

Opening a Business Deposit Account is an exciting first step toward your future success. Best of all, it's simple, requiring a few business-related documents and some basic personal information.

What to Bring

Personal One piece of unexpired, original government issued photo identification (ID), such as
  • Valid driver's license
  • Canadian passport
  • Trade name registration
  • Partnership documentation or articles of incorporation.

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Tip #6: Starting a business? Let's talk money

Determining whether you have enough money to start you business means creating a variety of realistic cash flow projections, taking as many factors into account as possible. That way, you're better prepared and can react quickly if things don't turn out as expected.

Calculating Your Business Start up Cost

Be sure to include costs for operating capital during the first 3-6 months, as your business continues to grow. Try this simple calculation to figure out what you might need to get started:

Start-up costs
Includes funds you'll need to cover shortfalls
in your cash flow.

  Your initial investment
Includes money from you, your family or partners


  Start-up capital required

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