Set up your business with this checklist

We’ve put together this checklist to help you get set up properly and make sure everything is compliant with relevant government regulations before your new business gets started.


What you need to do

Once you’ve written your business plan, secured start-up money, sourced suppliers and feel ready to serve customers, it’s time to open required business accounts  and make the standard arrangements necessary to conduct business in this Canada.

Complete the following activities to set up your new business in Canada.

1.   Business registration

You’ll have to decide on a form of business structure for your new business: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation.

Each carries distinct advantages, disadvantages, and costs. Check with your lawyer or accountant to determine the best choice for you and your business.

Depending on your business structure, your business must be registered with different levels of government for different reasons. For help with any of these matters, visit the Canada Business Network.

2. Permits & licenses

Trying to figure out what types of permission you need to open your business can be challenging.

Thankfully, Canada’s provinces, territories, and municipalities have collaborated to create one source where you may find the permits and licenses required to start and grow your business. Visit to learn more.

3. Government accounts

Canadian businesses must follow certain rules set out by federal, provincial, and municipal governments and other agencies. For example, if you plan to hire employees you’ll need to open a payroll account with the Canada Revenue Agency(CRA).

4. Bank account

If you are operating a business, you’ll need to open a business bank account so you can make deposits and issue payments.

Promote credibility by ordering cheques featuring your business name, and consider establishing commercial credit history by obtaining a business credit card. Choose a financial institution that will provide you with the best mix of products, services, pricing and support.


Before you take action on any of the information above, we recommend consulting with a qualified business advisor that understands your unique needs and situation for your specific business and/or personal plans.