Just Starting Your Own Business?

by L. Kenway BComm CPB Retired

What You'll Find In This Chat

Let's chat about good bookkeeping practices.
  • What Bookkeeping-Essentials has to offer
  • Government resources and initiatives
  • Canada Business website
  • Other small business resources

When you are just starting your own business, the number of decisions to be made can be overwhelming. Your accounting system is just one of them.

Your start-up will go easier if you have access to resources and guidance along the way.

This web site has a few resources to help you out with the bookkeeping side of your business. Here is a sampling.

1. When choosing your accounting system, make sure you compare your final choice with my list of criteria.

2. You need to make decisions about how you are going to handle and file all of the paper and records that goes along with having a business. I give you a few options to consider in Simple Suggestions to Get Organized With Your Recordkeeping.

3. Take time to read my Tax Planning Opportunities series so that you don't miss out on any tax deductions.

4. Two handy bookkeeper's references are Tax Filing Deadlines and Due Dates and CRA Tax Compliance Rates.

5. The Practice section of this website has articles to help you with the day-to-day tasks involved with bookkeeping.

6. If you decide to hire a bookkeeper, you may want to check out my article on How to Supervise Your Bookkeeper.

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Other Resources That May Be Useful
In Assisting You With Starting Your Own Business

Canada's Economic Action Plan
Resources and Initiatives for Businesses

Here is a partial listing of government initiatives that provide general benefits to businesses ... many are helpful if you are starting your own business:
  • Investing in the Canada Business Network, a government information service for businesses and start-up entrepreneurs offered through the internet, by phone and in-person services. It also provides information to SMEs seeking financing.
  • Industry Canada offers small business financing. It is available through lending institutions if your gross revenues are less than $5 million.
  • Business credit availability program through EDC and BDC
  • Reducing Taxes for CCPCs
  • Canada Youth Business Foundation $15,000 in start-up capital
  • Extending assistance to the manufacturing and processing sector through a temporary 50% straight line accelerated CCA rate on eligible machinery and equipment until 2011
  • Frozen employment insurance premium rate ended December 31, 2010
  • Canada Summer Jobs provides funding for hiring students between 15 and 30. The deadlines have past for this year ... but keep an eye out for this next February.
  • Helping businesses in all sectors invest in computers
  • Canada Border Services Agency's tariff relief on imported machinery and equipment
  • Improving Canada's competition and investment policy frameworks
  • Eastern Ontario Development Program
  • Facilitating the movement of goods in international shipping containers
  • Moving forward with public private partnerships
  • Regional economic development in the north
  • Southern Ontario Development Agency
  • Strategic investments in northern economic development
  • Strengthening aviation security
  • Aboriginal skills and employment partnership
  • Aboriginal skills and training strategic investment fund
  • Community adjustment fund
  • Work sharing
  • Extraordinary financing framework
To get more information on these initiatives and more, go to actionplan.gc.ca. Look at the very bottom of the page and click on What's In The Plan For Me / Business. Once there, you will find detailed outlines for every initiative. You will be able to sort:
  • alphabetically
  • by theme
  • by department or agency
  • by project map
Take advantage of these initiatives while you are starting your own business as you don't know how long they will last ... given the current minority government.

Canada Business Website and Other Government Resources

But if it's just general, all round starting your own business questions or you are wondering how to get your business number (tax registration number) ...

... there are a lot of good government sites dedicated to starting your own business now ... making it easier than ever to get the information you are looking for.

In British Columbia, we have One Stop BC business registry.ca and Small Business BC.ca. Both these sites have lots of good information and are a valuable resource.

Other provinces in Canada have similar web sites. You reach them through the Canadian federal government site - Canada Business.ca. At the very bottom of the page, you will see the links (flag icons) to all the provinces and territories.

Canada Business is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs find information. There is an Interactive Business Planner and Business Start-up Assistant you should check out. They also have a Canada Small Business Financing (CSBF) Program.

In the United States, check out Small Business Development Centers located in each state. Another resource ... the U.S. Small Business Administration has partnered with SCORE, a non-profit organization that provides yoou with business training and advice from volunteer business owners and executives.

Other Resources

1. The Scotia Bank has a great site for starting your own business called Get Growing. You can find it at getgrowingforbusiness.com. It's well worth a visit. While you are there, make sure you take a look at My Tools and their featured articles.

2. ... but what if you want a more personal touch? DonnaLynne MacDonald's Home-Biz-Help-Desk.com focuses on direct selling, MLM, and growing an online business. There is a lot of information geared to starting your own business.

One page I liked has some great pointers to help you decide whether you have the right personality for a home business ... better to find out before you've invested oodles of time and money!

You'll also find a great page to help you avoid internet scam business opportunities.

3. Another a web site I have found is run by a former CPA. It's called How to Start a Business Guide.com.

When you visit this site, you will find A Step-by-Step Business Startup Guide. On the home page, there are specific steps to follow (linked to detailed instructions) to maximize your business startup success. While visiting the site, make sure you check out " Your Goals ". This link ...

... takes you to a goal setting evaluation matrix. What a simple method to help clarify and equalize all those ideas floating around in your head!

This site gives you access to the vast knowledge of a CPA (for free) who has hands on experience in running his own successful businesses. By the way, I don't get anything by referring you to this site ... I just like it and I thought I'd share my discovery with you. :O)

The site is US based, but you should be able to adapt the information to Canada where necessary.

4. You might also want to visit Steve Pavlina's website Personal Development for Smart People.

There are two articles that might interest you ... 10 Stupid Mistakes Made by the Newly Self-Employed and 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job. The first article has practical advice. The second article might help get you over the hump when it comes and you are thinking of giving up.

Oh, if you are just starting your own business in Canada, don't miss this tax planning opportunity ... ... and remember, if you run across a bookkeeping question and have no where to turn, let me help you through my service - Ask a Canadian Bookkeeping Question. I am committed to educating and supporting work from home business owners ... just remember, you do have a resource available when you need help with your bookkeeping questions.

It's been great chatting with about bookkeeping today.

It's been great chatting with you .
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